Mainstream, VOL LII, No 31, July 26, 2014
Aftermath of Parliamentary Elections 2014: Fears and Uncertainties may Revive Call for Separate Electorate
Saturday 26 July 2014, by
The outcome of the 16th parliamentary elections (2014) has thrown up intractable surprises, if not enigma, defying understanding and inter-pretation. Two prominent players—Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)—strangely stand wiped out from the Indian Parliament. The former is a national and the latter a regional party, though both have the record and experience of holding the reins of power—the BSP in Uttar Pradesh and DMK in Tamil Nadu. In UP, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won 73 seats, representing a breathtaking 89 per cent of the Lok Sabha seats of the State. The party fought all the 80 seats, but noticeably did not favour a single Muslim to contest the elections under its banner. Another surprise is, the BJP won 100 per cent—all 17 seats—reserved for the Scheduled Castes, shutting the doors on all other political parties, including the BSP, known as the Dalit party. This raises serious questions over effective articu-lation of visions and dreams of the community by Dalit representatives themselves in the national legislature.
The electoral conundrum becomes equally inexplicable in the context of results/victories of some selected parties (Table-1). 1
Did Dalit Voters Betray BSP?
Joint Electorate curse for Dalits
Each of the parties in Table-1 has, noticeably, scored both in actual numbers as well as in percentage less votes than the BSP (shown in Table-2). The All-India Anna DMK, bagging 1,81,15,825 votes, which accounted for a mere 3.3 per cent vote-share, won 37 seats; All-India Trinamul Congress with 2,12,59,681 (3.8 per cent) votes won 34 seats and in Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) captured 20 seats by scoring 1.7 per cent votes which is precisely the vote percentage of the DMK. Sadly it (DMK) became an inexplicable cropper in Tamil Nadu. Based on a survey of UP villages, columnist Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar averred that “Older dalits in UP said they would definitely vote for Maya-wati, but young dalits said they would vote for Modi, as they believed he would bring them jobs. This may help explain why Mayawati got wiped out in the State: her once impregnable dalit vote-bank has been seriously eroded.”2 Displaying herd mentality many observers gravitated to this view that young Dalit voters flocked to the BJP camp and boosted its fortunes thereby inflicting injuries to the BSP’s political fortunes. Since sometime past the Indian media has been highlighting this aspect that the Dalit party got less reserved seats than others. In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, out of 87 parliamentary seats reserved for SCs across India, the BJP has captured 40 (46 per cent) including all 17 (100 per cent) from UP, thus reaching the pinnacle.
It seems the proverbial chaff received Aiyar’s careful attention over the delicious kernel. The real malady lies elsewhere and the present Lok Sabha results raise many a fundamental issue. The fallacy and futility of his argument, though based on survey, deserves to be exposed here and now. Comparison of results and perfor-mances in the Lok Sabha elections 2014 and 2009 in UP of selected parties (Table-2) will help our appreciation.
Table 2 shows that the BSP secured 1,51,41,044 in 2009 and 1,59,14,019 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The party’s tally went marginally up by 7,72,975 votes whereas the BJP score rose from 96,95,904 to 3,43,18,576, registering a whopping jump by 2,46,22,672 votes—implying a 3.53-fold rise. On one hand the BSP’s vote-share went up by a small margin whereas that BJP’s score rose by huge 2,46,22,672 votes, slightly less than the Dalit population in 2001.
Demographic Realities versus Dalit Representation
The last census in 2011 returned Uttar Pradesh’s aggregate population at 19,95,81,477 of whom 80.6 per cent are Hindus; 18.4 per cent Muslims and the remaining one per cent others.3 UP’s Scheduled Castes were 3,51,48,377 in 2001, accounting for 21.1 per cent of the State’s population. The Chamars, the largest of the SCs, were 1,98,03,106 souls, that is, 56 per cent of total Scheduled Castes.4 With a few honourable exceptions, if at all, this is by and large the universal demographic characteristic of Assembly or parliamentary constituencies across India. The Scheduled Castes in comparison to the total population form a fraction of all voters in any constituency, whether reserved or general. This presupposes that the Dalit voters all by themselves in reserved constituencies cannot elect a representative of their choice from any part of the country. They are outnumbered in strength by the general voters almost by 1:6 ratio in every constituency. Multiplicity of candidates adds further obstacle and reduces the prospect for the reserved candidate’s victory in election solely on Dalit voters. They are, therefore, heavily dependent on general voters for winning in any election anywhere from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari. The evil ingrained in joint electorates with regard to the Dalit political representation and participation in the Indian electoral system lies here. This must be recognised.
Acknowledgment and understanding of this critical aspect is essential to realise why non-Dalit parties win more seats reserved for Dalits per se. The Muzaffarnagar communal violence, not without cool forethoughts and calculations preceding the Lok Sabha elections, had deeply influenced its results. It vitiated the social environment, embittering inter-community equations, and kicking off the Hindutva flavour. Hindutva is both communal and caste-mongering. It asserts fictitious glory and authority of a pristine era of mythologies, characterised by power and privileges enjoyed by certain section of Hindus, with walls segregating the inferior castes from the superior. This passion, therefore, means pride in one’s caste which ipso facto implies prejudice against the underdogs. The Hindus of all descriptions rallied behind the party that mongered the Hindutva slogan and mobilised voters. Hindutva elements engineered and instilled these two-dimensional sentiments to harvest political gains. With the windfall to its coffer, the future may be predicted with some degree of precision: the experiment might be repeated for further gains too by igniting conflicts on communal as also caste angles. The conjecture of erosion of the ‘impregnable Dalit vote-bank’ that clinched the victory of the BJP, nevertheless, seems untenable. This, however, is not to suggest that some Dalits might not have voted for the Hindutva party. But the Election Commission does not predict caste or comm-unity trend or inclination of voters.
Gandhiji had turned the scale of political fortunes against the untouchables and practi-cally disenfranchised them by his crazy worship for Hindu unity, which is but moonshine today as it was in his own lifetime. Admittedly, BSP has travelled a long way from its days of “teer,taraju aur talwar.........” implying to shun the Brahman, Rajput and Vaishya to “sarvjana” much to the dislike of educated Dalit voters. The strategy helped the party to win absolute majority in the UP Assembly elections in 2007 after a long lapse of two decades by any party. In the 2014 parliament elections, the BJP fielded 14 Brahman, 15 Rajput 21 OBC and 17 Dalit but no Muslim contestants whereas the BSP had 21 Brahman, 8 Rajput, 14 OBC, 17 Dalit and 19 Muslim contestants.5 Only persons with stone blindness would fail to see that the BJP stood no comparison to the BSP’s inclusive approach to the nomination of candidates.
But the vital difference between them is certainly there—the former is in the supreme command of a Dalit woman. Women are not rare at the helm of political parties in India. Only she does not bear the inborn sheen and shine that caste endows others, leading observers and analysts willy nilly see her party differently. Hard marketing of virtues like character, ancestry, aristocracy, merit, erudition, patriotism etc. marks the media approaches over the victory of upper-caste candidates, say, Brahman, Rajput, Kayasth or Baidya etc. And the general perception turns instinctively topsyturvy for Dalit and backward classes. Their victory or activities are simply dubbed as caste politics or identity politics. It is no longer a secret that calculated doses of caste in selecting candidates and befitting campaigning yielded a bumper harvest for the Hindutva party at least in UP and Bihar, despite the hallowed assertion of President Pranab Mukherjee in the joint session of Parliament: “The electorate trans-cended the boundaries of caste, creed, region and religion to come together and vote decisively for ‘Development through Good Governance’.”6 The implications and ramifications of the BSP losing political ground in the Parliament election 2014 are more alarming. The system of joint electorates in place has wiped the BSP out of reckoning.
Separate Electorate to Destroy Hinduism:
Joint electorate is the Dalit’s political curse. The characteristics of the joint electorate system, which are injurious to their social, political and administrative interests, have jutted out strikingly in the public domain over the UP Lok Sabha elections to cause alerm. The stormy str-uggles surrounding separate electorate fought between Dr B.R. Ambedkar and Gandhi in Britain and in India forms the bitterest chapter of their relations. After prolonged political churning at the Round Table Conferences, the British Government announced on August 17, 1932 the principle of separate electorate for the untou-chables, also called depressed classes then. It envisaged that the untouchables would have some limited number of seats in legislatures to be elected exclusively by their voters. The same untouchable voters could also vote along with caste Hindus for general candidates. The scheme was significant as votes of the depressed classes would be considered crucial in influencing the election of general candidates who, driven by social orthodoxy, would not ignore or bypass them in welfare and develop-ment matters.
The British Government did this having regard for the role caste played in Hindu society. But Gandhi launched a holy war against separate electorate, declaring his resolve for a fast-unto-death. He considered it against Hinduism. The British Prime Minister J. Ramsay MacDonald wrote to Gandhiji on September 8, 1932, “........you propose to adopt extreme course of starving yourself to death..........solely to prevent the Depressed Classes who admittedly suffer from terrible disabilities today, from being able to secure a limited number of represen-tatives of their own choosing to speak on their behalf in the legislature which will have domi-nating influence over their future.”7 The Mahatma was hell-bent to deprive the untou-chables of the limited number of representatives of their own choice to be elected by them to withstand, if not counter, the dominating as well as malefic influence of caste in the politico-administrative spheres. The next day Gandhi accused the British Premier that “In establish-ment of separate electorate at all for Depressed Classes, I sense the injection of poison that is calculated to destroy Hinduism and do no good whatever to the Depressed Classes.”8 (Italicised by this writer) This frenzied outburst was calculated to foment distrust and disaffection against the alien rulers that the British injected poison to destroy Hinduism.
Gandhi incited his followers that the scheme of political emancipation worked out by the British for the untouchables was lethal for Hinduism. His further logic was more focused: “.............. no matter how sympathetic you may be, you cannot come to a correct decision on a matter of such vital and religious importance to the parties concerned.”9 It was a cheap, politically loaded but mischievous rhetoric. What he actually said was “Hinduism is in danger” and succeeded in instigating his co-religionists against separate electorate which though could emancipate the untouchables and extricate India from the dark age. What a bogey and a maleficent ingenuity the Mahatma invented and harnessed to gain political mileage! A septuagenarian Rabindranath Tagore, untrained in political dexterity or deception, had hurried in indifferent health to Poona to dissuade Gandhi from his resolve.
Hindu religion, caste and untouchability are organically intertwined and inseparable. Attem-pts to purge or reform caste abuses or malig-nancy rattle and offend the Hindu. Gandhi was there to defend the Hindu religion, caste and untouchability by resisting any move likely to weaken its scope for abuses. He was unam-biguous in his zeal. He jumped to action befitting an avatar for defending Hinduism in the throes of crisis conforming to the divine spirit exhibited in the holy Gita!10 A one-man army, he declared a fast-unto-death. The British authorities, he alleged, by grant of separate electorate would “arrest the marvellous growth of the work of Hindu reformers, who have dedicated them-selves to the uplift of their suppressed bretheren in every walk of life.” The sham and bluff of the Mahatma had mesmerised the Hindus who rallied behind him. We know the intrinsic contributions of such ‘dedicated Hindu refor-mers’, who could be no less orthodox than Gandhi. Untouchability persists in pristine form with wings spread all over India even till date. Gandhi betrayed the depressed classes under dishonest pretension and falsehood.
Separate electorate would have freed the untouchables from the thraldom of Hinduism. Their emancipation from untouchability was not acceptable to the Hindus. His bogey against the very antidote to cure untouchability earned him immediate attention and place in the Hindu hearts overnight—that religion was so dear to someone that he, for its sake, risked his life. This angle of the Mahatma’s character and personality perhaps warrants assessment to focus his malefic social role in India. If he had accepted the British scheme of separate electorate for the depressed classes India would have turned a new page. But Gandhi by faith, conviction and practice was inflexibly orthodox and sanatan or fundamentalist. Perhaps he was the first to inject religion into Indian politics against a section within its fold. Representation for untouchables in legislatures unknown in India was essentially a political settlement. If at all he agreed to a settlement, he ensured that the chains of the underdogs did not break down thereby. How does joint electorate work in practice?
Joint Electorate in West Bengal—Scheduled Caste issues Shunned from Public Discourses
To illustrate the point explicitly, let us refer, for instance, to West Bengal. The State has earned standing ovation as enlightened. Since the Left Front rule, if not even before, issues concerning the critical interests of the vast population belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes were never discussed on the floor of the State Assembly. The SCs account for 23.6 per cent and STs six per cent of the State‘s population. Nevertheless, discussions of their issues were/are never allowed in the august House. Efforts to raise such issues in the Assembly evoked sharp reprobation of the establishment, packed and dominated by the upper castes. Those who nonetheless attempted to bring up the issues of welfare and development of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the Assembly were subjected to crushing humiliations. This was the view of a retired IAS officer of the State with over three decades of experience working there.11
I contacted a former MLA of several terms from a reserved constituency.12 He corroborated what the bureaucrat had disclosed to me. The MLA was ridiculed and heckled in the Assembly when he attempted to raise issues of the deprived communities. Opportunities of call attention motions, starred questions, unstarred questions or short notices, though integral to the Assembly working, cannot be availed in the interest of the SCs/STs. Neither are/were zero hour interven-tions by MLAs from reserved constituencies in this behalf encouraged. This amounted to muzzling of voices of the elected representatives of the underprivileged caste and tribe. Total absence or suppression of discussions on welfare and development of these castes and tribes, in short, offers enormous opportunity to push and promote favourites of leaders in all places of power and authority. This assumes caste-line or remains confined within the elite rulers at the best. And the underdogs, by and large, are never their favourites.
People all over India, nonetheless, suffer from an oversized illusion, if not infatuation, that the bane of caste hatred, practices and atrocities is blissfully absent in West Bengal. In truth, a colourful tapestry over-deception and depri-vation of the Dalit and tribal communities by a tiny ruling class obstructs their vision. This fabulously facilitated marketing of their preten-tious goodwill for the underclass. The sophistry towards the underdogs was noted by Gopal-krishna Gandhi, who, as the Chancellor of Burdwan University in 2005 recounted his experience in his Convocation Address:
Some dalit from North 24 Parganas met me yesterday in Kolkata (Raj Bhawan) and said, “We have to establish our parentage by certificate; we don’t mind that though it is difficult. But false certificate can be manufactured and land or jobs are given on the basis of such certificate—is this fair? Should I have to concoct a certificate to say that I am my father’s son?” Their request was simple, they wanted a college to be established in their block. One of them, a dalit woman said to me in Bangla, “I am a Namasudra from the former East Pakistan. I live in North 24-Parganas. I am both an untouchable and a refugee. But I am a school teacher. I teach other Namasudras and Muslim women in the area. They need a college in which they can go without boarding a bus where glances will not say the ‘chandala‘ word to us. All we want is a college within a walkable distance.”13
The media censored this part of the erudite Governor’s speech. The art of shooting without bloodshed through the eyes is the cultural heritage there. The State’s schools and colleges for quality education were/are jealously sited in urban centres, if not in Kolkata, and guarded as the exclusive preserve for elite wards and favourites since the colonial era.
The elections to the Lok Sabha 2014 have deprived Dalits of spokespersons to articulate their hopes and aspirations in the national Assembly. The BJP’s Dalit MPs, let it be under-lined in bold letters, would never ever dare play this role. Indoctrinated ideologically, they would instinctively follow party lines for fear of incurring displeasure and facing disciplinary action. This is the result of joint electorates, a political bane bequeathed to the untouchables thanks to the Mahatma’s blackmail. The Dalit representatives are elected mostly on non-Dalit votes. Here lies the paradox why the BSP is erased out of relevance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. UP’s results show undoubtedly whether Dalits voted for the BJP or not, the Hindutva party got its candidates elected wholesale in constituencies reserved for the Scheduled Castes. Non-Dalit votes won the day for the BJP. It was not dependent on Dalit voters at all. Without separate electorates, those who will represent 265 million Dalits and Tribes are not their real elected representatives. The Scheduled Caste MLA/MPs have earned dignity like “farm labourers”. According to an India watcher based in London, Lord Meghnad Desai, “The Congress had charge of Uttar Pradesh in the first 42 years. It managed to govern through its Brahmin leadership which stitched together a coalition with their Dalit farm labourers and Muslims. But the elite took care to keep the population, especially women, illiterate and insecure.”14 The treatment the SC MPs and MLAs receive irrespective of parties is perhaps no better than farm labourers even now.
“The Poona Pact must go.”
—B. R. Ambedkar
Dr B.R. Ambedkar signed the Poona Pact under duress. He was blackmailed into submission to sign it. The Faridpur (now in Bangladesh) branch of the Bengal Depressed Classes Association had sharply criticised the Poona Pact as a “political blunder” for the untouchables. He knew he was tricked to do what was essentially against the interests of the untouchables. Not long thereafter, the same Hindu leaders unitedly blocked Ambedkar’s entry into the Constituent Assembly from Bombay Presidency. But the depressed classes of East Bengal (now Bangladesh) defied the Hindu supremacists and elected him to the Constituent Assembly. “The Poona Pact which prevented the true representatives of the Scheduled Castes from being returned to Legislature must go.” He lamented: “It has resulted in disenfranchising 60 millions untouc-hables. Even under international law no treaty was final or sacrosanct. As the Poona Pact has now become injurious to their cause the Scheduled Castes were entitled to fight for its revision....... Things will be much worse..........The last election has conclusively proved that the Scheduled Castes can be completely disenfran-chised.” Implementation of the pact started producing the mythological Prahlads ab initio.
It is a common experience all over the country that the Scheduled Caste MLAs and MPs are voiceless as also useless men and women for the community they claim to represent. As members of national parties they do not or cannot raise any issue in a public platform. Their mouths remain sealed once they get elected to any legislature, State or national, for its entire term. Any sign of disobedience earns prompt retri-bution from the party bosses they abhor to encounter. So they are chained to their respective parties. None has courage to sacrifice his/her own political spoils for the community. This weakness is the soul of the joint electorate system and is recognised as also used as an asset for maintaining a tight leash over the elected SC members. Perhaps there has never been a case of indiscipline against any SC legislator for promoting the causes of the community anywhere. They are voluntary slaves of their party held in its dingy backyard.
Political Reservation for SC/ST has No Anta-gonists but Job Reservation has Millions Why?
Reservation for SCs and STs in Parliament and State Assemblies under the Constitution had initially a life of ten years; but it survives on the statute book till date thanks to several amendments supported by all political parties, ruling and Opposition, and interestingly, the common man is almost unaware of these amendments carried out rather quietly. Hell breaks loose, on the contrary, over any talk or suggestion for amendment of reservation in government jobs. Insinuations and invectives of inefficiency, incompetence and mediocrity are hurled against the beneficiaries implying there-by that India’s standard of administration has eroded because of reservation in jobs.
No allegations or accusations for lack of competence, efficiency or merit, however, were/are ever voiced against MPs or MLAs elected from constituencies reserved for the Scheduled Castes or Tribes by the elite advocates of merit when the relevant constitutional provision for their election was amended decade after decade by Parliament. Rather enigmatic silence or patronising indulgence has enveloped such official initiatives. And there lies the intrinsic difference between the SC and ST MLA/MPs vis-a-vis SC and ST government employees. These employees—staff and/or officers—cannot be handled in exercise of power or performance of responsibilities the way the SC and ST MPs/MLAs can be disciplined by whips or holding out threats for refusal of ticket to contest the next elections or expulsion from the party. And by the way, history shows, if upper castes were wanting merit that was lauded as patriotism in the colonial era, in the post-colonial regime, for them its systemic failures or some other colourful alibi is advanced to evade respon-sibility or dereliction of duties. For the SC and ST employees, it is lack of efficiency and incompetence.
Sir Surendranath Bannerjea strongly criticised Lord Curzon for his emphasis on “efficiency” which was his watchword of administration. The leader regarded it as his “fetish”. According to him, the Governor-General’s “mad worship” of efficiency had set the arrogant Curzon ”at a defiance of public sentiment”.15 Criticism against insistence of efficiency of the colonial rulers was deemed as crucial for the patriotic movement. And now “efficiency” has become the watchword for condemning reservation for SCs and STs in government jobs. In 2011, the Chattisgarh Government has sacked compulsorily, without any showcause or notice, 17 judicial officers of district judge’s rank—14 of whom belonged to Scheduled Tribes and three Scheduled Castes. All of them had earned their due promotions without facing any adversity. The calamity cut their careers short by five-to-ten years.16 Scheduled Castes or Tribes wronged, either in official or private life, rarely receive justice in this country, a truth that presents itself everyday before us.
Yashvir Singh, a Puppet—Who?
The 117th Constitution Amendment Bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 20, 2012 for Reservation in Promotion for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Yashvir Singh, elected from UP’s Nagima Lok Sabha constituency in Bijnour district, tore the Bill into pieces.17 His party had decided to oppose the Bill sponsored by BSP chief Mayawati. To rub insult to wounds, Yashvir was pressed as a hack to damage the interests so critical to millions of Scheduled Castes and Tribes at large. The MP is a Scheduled Caste (Dhobi) with a B.Tech degree.
Now a real question is: will the 16th Lok Sabha see an orchestrated attempt for abro-gation of job reservation for SC/STs altogether? This needs just one or a few of the puppets from the reserved constituencies, deeply marinated in the Hindutva ideology, as undertakers, to complete the ritualistic funeral by raising the demand that reservation is no more required. The ruling party can follow the footprints of the Samajwadi Party as precedent.
The danger of caste gripping the whole country is inevitable as it is the fundamental pillar of Hinduism. Every Hindu worth his salt knows the strange fiction that God created caste and it was propagated by the (Rig) Veda. The legendary Lord Krishna lent sanctity to caste from the battlefield of Kurukshetra and it was compiled in the Bhagwad Gita. The Hindu epics of eternal merit, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, have related it with due marks of respectability. The ancient codes of saints and sages, for example, Manu, Yagyavalkya, Parasara, Vishnu, Ushana, Gautama, Narada etc. conferred ageless longevity and relevance to caste. The Hindu places of worship are not only the formidable fortresses of caste and its fictitious purity through odious practices but also the surest nursery for its luxuriant growth. Men in high positions keep prostrating before rituals in the garb of belief and faith that promotes supremacy of certain sections in the caste hierarchy. The President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, went to Benares where he had washed the feet of 150(?) Brahmans on the banks of the river Ganga in public view,18 by imitating some mythological fiction, which shocked and disgraced the Republic of the nation. Prime Minister Nehru resented this strongly. A former Vice-President of India, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, had, as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, built and installed a statue of Manu, a ferocious protagonist of caste in the Rajasthan High Court compound.19 A writ petition pends even now against its removal over about two decades in the same High Court. The case has not yet been heard for disposal.
In an environment, so favourable, created by the Hindutva regime, it is but unimaginable that caste will remain beyond the focus of ardent followers and forces spread globally whose hard labour made this day possible. In a Muslim regime marked by catholic religious policy in medieval India, Brahmin priests had composed an Upanishad dedicated to Allah. According to Dr Ambedkar, “........there are some protagonists of Hinduism who say that Hinduism is a very adaptable religion, that it can adjust itself to everything and absorb anything. [..................] It is quite true that Hinduism can adjust itself. The best example of its adjust-ability is the literary production called Allahupanishad which the Brahmins of the time of Akbar produced to give a place to his Din-e-Ilahi within Hinduism and to recognise it as the Seventh system of Hindu philosophy.”20 No regime—Muslim or Christian—over a millennium ending 1947 interfered with the abuses of caste. The British went overboard to strengthen the caste strangle-hold over the Hindu society. Native law officers, Hindu and Muslim, appointed by the East India Company, were spectacular examples of appease-ment of the upper caste(s). The Muslim law officer was called Kazi whereas Hindu law officer judge Pundit who advised all courts in administration of justice across the Indian empire in compliance with the tenets of their respective religious codes. While Islam does not recognise any special privilege group among its adherents for favours and considerations, Hindu scriptures, on the other hand, went zealously by the criteria of birth and caste. And judge pundits, who were mostly, if not entirely, Brahmans, ensured that the courts presided over by judges hailing from the foreign land, alien to Hindu socio-religious norms, did not deviate or digress from those discriminatory codes. It was an era of injustice for everyone else who were not Brahmans. The East India Company was monstrously disgraced by rampant corruption indulged in by the judge pundits, forcing them to abolish the posts of native law officers.
Hindutva is showing signs of bursting slowly into efflorescence. Application and enforcement of the scriptural models will get fillip for further disenfranchisement of the underdogs. If so, long, unending nights of miseries and misfortunes are in store for the Dalits of India. Only separate electorate can emancipate them. To achieve it, they have to wage a prolonged political struggle marked by sacrifices, if necessary. Else the development that the corporate world aims to achieve for India does not envisage the Dalit or tribal as partners. This is the fearful perception looming large over the horizon. The dark prophesy Dr B.R. Ambedkar issued so ceremoniously on the floor of the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949 may not remain too far to materialise. “How long should we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment, or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.” The victims of apathy, denial and prejudice have suffered enough and they have now to rise and remove their disabilities themselves as none would do it.
2. Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar, “How migrant laborers worked in Modi’s favor”, The Times of India, May 18, 2014.
3. http://censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/data_files/up/Census2011Data%20Sheet-UP.pdf; http://en.wikipediaorg/wiki/Uttar_Pradesh
4. http://censusindia.gov.in/Tables_Published/SCST/dh_sc_up.pdf. Data on caste are yet to be released by the Census Commissioner.
5. Deeptiman Tewari, The Times of India, May 19, 2014.
6. The Economic Times, June 9, 2014.
7. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Writings & Speeches, pp. 85-86.
8. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Writings & Speeches, p. 87.
10. ”Yadayada hi dharmansya glanirbhavti Bharatam, abhuytthanam adharamasya tadatmaanaam srajamyham, paritranayaye sadhunaam vinashya duskritam, dharmsanstha panarthya sambhavami yuge yuge...”
11. Major part of his career was spent during the Left Front rule. He shared the views strictly on condition of anonymity.
12. Haripada Biswas elected in 1998, 2001 and 2006 from Jagatdal Assembly Constituency. https://www.janprat inidhi.com/Jagatdal-C2398.aspxn
13. rajbhavankolkata.nic.in/html/speech7.htm-31k When I tried to revisit the page for another look, intriguingly the result showed: “404 - File or directory not found.” The media blocked this to reach the public at large.
14. Mehgnad Desai, “Out of my mind, Miles to go” The Sunday Express, June 8, 2014.
15. S. N. Banerjea, A Nation in Making. I regret my inability to quote the statement as I do not have the benefit of the volume by my side.
16. Justice M. N. Rao, former Chief Justice, Himachal Pradesh High Court and Chairman, National Commission for Backward Classes letter dated May 22, 2011 to the Chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
17. A.K. Biswas, “Dalit and Tribal Representatives in Chains: A Gift of Joint Electorate”, Mainstream, Vol. LI, No. 16, April 6, 2013.
18. Indrajit Ray, “Secularism deserves better champions”, The Hindustan Times, April 25, 2014 See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/analysis/secularism
19. Subhash Gatade, “Know your NaMo: Dalits in search of ‘Gujarat Model”’ in Mainstream, vol. 52, no. 22, May 24, 2014 http://mainstreamweekly.net/article4940.html
20. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, W&S, “What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables”, vol. 9, Government of Maharashtra, 1991, (1945), p. 195.