There were two articles in Indian Express, one by Meghnad Desai and the other by Tavleen Singh. Mr. Desai analysed how Dalits have been used by the mainstream political parties to gain electoral advantage. In 1977 Babu Jagjivan Ram, a Dalit politician in the Congress Party who resigned from Congress when Mrs. Gandhi imposed the Emergency, was considered for the prime ministers post in 1977. However, the jat leader Mr. Charan Singh was against it.
Now cut to the twenty first century and we see a sea change in the political climate. The mainstream political parties are wooing the Dalits. They have now fielded Dalit candidates for President. Meira Kumar is the daughter of Babu Jagjivan Ram. She is being fielded by the opposition. The ruling NDA is fielding present governor of Bihar, Ramnath Kovind. Mr. Desai says that this sea change is due to the fact Dalits form a huge vote bank.
Mr.Desai lauds the work of Kanshi Ram, he calls him the “most influential politician,” of the post independence era. Dalits form 18 percent of the population. Now let us take up Tavleen Singh’s article, “Good Speech but not enough,” July 2 2017, Indian Express. The article discusses the mob violence perpetrated by “cow vigilantes,” against the Muslims. Mr. Modi in his speech in Sabarmati recalled the Mahatma and said that he wold not have approved of the violence. However, Ms. Singh says that this will not cut ice with the present generation…she says, “does he not know that Gandhi is not a hero in “new India.”
That is true the mob that goes all out to lynch in the name of “cow protection,” would not be reigned in by reminding them of Gandhi’s non violent principles.
They mocked Narendra Modi for speaking of non-violence in the ashram of a man whose non-violence they blame for hundreds of thousands of Hindus being massacred by Muslims when India was partitioned. So not only is Gandhi no hero in the new India, he is a symbol of weakness. INDIAN EXPRESS
The mobs of infuriated gangsters have gone after Muslims and killed them even before ascertaining whether they were really in possession of beef. There was news about another lynching while Modi was giving his speech from Gandhi’s Ashram in Sabarmati.
Keeping Tavleen’s article in the backdrop let us now come back to Meghnad Desai’s article.
Other parties, the Samajwadi Party, for one, have divided up the Muslim vote among themselves. The Muslim vote is fragmented. But there will never be permanent improvement in the status of Muslims till they have a single party. India needs a Kanshi Ram for Muslims. INDIAN EXPRESS
Desai’s article has a pointer to why the mobs are able to target the Muslims. While this may not be empirically proven it bears a thought. The fragmentation has resulted in no leader or leaders taking up their cause. The Dalits have a voice since they form such an important vote bank. The same politics has fragmented the Muslims. So would the violence trigger a hunt for a leader and unification of Muslims? Persecution brings to the fore a catalyst who enjoins his flock to come together and fight for their rights…right to exist.