The verdict of Bihar elections holds many lessons for the national mission to annihilate caste & gender inequality from Indian soil. During and after election campaign, for the first time in the history of electoral politics of independent India, RSSBJP (Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh Bhartiya Janata Party) has been stripped off the facade of communal politics. All credit must go to Lalu Prasad Yadav for catching the cat by the neck. Lalu with his stubborn focus on Brahmanical character of RSSBJP ensured that the true nature of this Manuvadi organization is firmly entrenched in the popular public discourse. In this process he also reinvented the politics of social justice as an anti-dote to the politics of hate, communal polarization and pseudo-nationalism.
Bihar proved once again that the poison of communalism can be stopped only by exposing that RSSBJP is not a communal organization! It is a purely casteist organization. Historical evidence suggests that RSS was establish to protect the interest of upper castes, be it Hindu or Muslim. How else can one understand the alliance of upper caste Muslim League and upper caste RSS in opposition to the Quit India Movement and in support of partition of the country? The spectacular convergence of ideology, approach and methodology of Indian Hindu right and Muslim right from the very beginning till eternity can be understood only in terms of their Manuvadi character.
It is a myth that RSSBJP or Muslim League/MIM-Owaisi/Azam Khan/Shahi Imam represent Hindu or Muslim elements of the respective communities. Both of them represent upper caste interests conniving to maintain the dominance, supremacy and preeminence of the upper castes in Indian politics and society. One has to fight both in order to make India peaceful, happy and prosperous. While the Manuvadi character of RSSBJP is well documented, the Manuvadi character of Muslim right wing is being gradually revealed by the Pasmanda movement going back to Muslim League and stretching forward to MIM-Owaisi.
Going forward, it is very clear that the politics of social justice has a great potential to trump the politics of hate by redefining ‘development’ agenda. The path has been shown by Nitish Kumar who gave new legitimacy and respect to the politics of social justice by giving the call of development for all and not just for upper castes! He enunciated and practiced the idea of ‘Sampurna Vikas’ in his model of governance which includes lower castes as well cutting across all religions. Nitish also demonstrated that annihilation of gender inequality is a complementary theme to annihilation of caste project. The strategy of RSSBJP to divide the majority 90% lower caste Indians on religious lines so that the 10% upper caste of total Indian population can continue to enjoy their privileges and fruits of development, has been defeated by Lalu-Nitish jugalbandi.
The key outcome of Bihar result is this, for the sake of unity and integrity of the country, time to stop the appeasement of upper caste minority known as Manuvadis and to empower the lower caste majority who can be termed as Hindustanis, has come. The great Indian dream can be realized only by unleashing the creative potential of the Hindustanis which includes women by empowering them through good governance and adequate representation. India can realize its full potential by utilizing the energy, vitality, courage, innovation, creativity and secular ethos of Hindustanis. Even after more than 65 years of independence Indian nation is struggling against tiny Pakistan and dictatorial China as Manuvadis have denied the country much needed invigorating energy of Hindustanis!
The tragedy of Indian subcontinent since time immemorial has been the imposition of Manuvadi socio-economic-political order in order to perpetuate the dominance of a tiny minority of upper castes who also happen to be the most privileged minority in the world. These Manuvadi forces continue to invent ingenious methods of hegemony and in the process break the spirit of inquiry, free thinking, creative imagination and social harmony. Even today Manuvad soils every substratum of Indian subcontinent in different forms and colors like a chameleon. The most visible symbol of Manuvad in modern India is RSSBJP which has brilliantly posited itself as communal/nationalist organization covering its Manuvadi face. Bihar elections will go down in history as a watershed moment of 21st century India uncovering the ugly face of modern Manuvadis. From here on, the fight between Manuvadis and Hindustanis will only intensify led by an alliance of SC, ST, OBC, and Women leaders like Lalu-Nitish-Mayawati-Mamta etc.
Here, I am juxtaposing the alliance of SC, ST, OBC, and Women instead of an alliance of SC, ST, OBC, and Minorities against Manuvadi RSSBJP for two reasons. Firstly, the upper caste among all religious minorities including Muslims are as privileged, if not more, as the upper caste of Hindus. Therefore, any political alliance of SC, ST, & OBC which includes the Manuvadi upper caste of Muslims is unlikely to be stable. The alliance of SC, ST, & OBC with the suppressed women folk cutting across religious boundaries will be much more robust and viable. Secondly, the alliance of SC, ST, OBC, and Women will take the sheen off the tried and tested formula of RSSBJP to polarize the electoral politics on communal lines as this alliance will have no element of religiosity attached to it.
After Bihar, it is very clear that the struggle against the Manuvadi forces will be led by SC, ST, OBC, and Women leaders like Lalu-Nitish-Mayawati-Mamta and not by the scions of Congress party. The grand old party continues to suffer from Manuvadi caste-blindness which is evident from Rahul Gandhi’s victory speech of a sort after declaration of Bihar result. Rahul declared that Bihar defeated the communal politics of RSSBJP failing to recognize what was more important in this defeat, the defeat of Manuvadi politics of RSSBJP!
Due to its cultural myopia, Congress is incapable of recognizing that the communal politics of RSSBJP is just a tool to practice Neo-Manuvadi politics. How often have we seen the Prime Minister of the country starting his election campaign with the Manuvadi tone, midway to the election mellowing down to become ‘Pichhda’, further begging to be identified as ‘Ati Pichhda’ almost claiming himself to be a Dalit by the end of election campaign! After all this, if Rahul Gandhi believes that Congress has only participated in the defeat of communal tool of RSSBJP in Bihar battle and as usual it has decided to play second fiddle to their Manuvadi politics and despite Bihar, Congress is not willing to undertake the project of annihilation of caste & gender inequality then I must proclaim, Congress is dead, long live Rahul Gandhi!
Ayaz Ahmad is an Assistant Professor at Glocal University, Saharanpur-UP. He had worked as Assistant Professor at National Law University Orissa, Cuttack, earlier and is also a former Member of AMU Court and the President of Post Graduate Law Students Union, Faculty of Law, DU. He can be reached at email@example.com
Picture courtesy: the net.