Lok Sabha Election

Playing a multiplication card: on BJP and a OBC vote

In a ongoing elections, a Congress’s electoral plan continues to be formed on a age-old Nehruvian plan of ‘politics of accommodation’. In contrariety a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh plan thrives on a ‘politics of polarisation’. As has been transparent in a final 5 years, amicable tensions among several amicable constituencies opposite caste, religion, and segment have been brewing. These tensions have underpinned a domestic plan of a BJP for 2019. It has mobilised support by polarising in sequence to delineate amicable differences and prejudices in amicable relations. As partial of this strategy, there has been a postulated try to sequence eremite groups between Hindus and Muslims, to keep Kashmir as a indicate of reference, and with increasing assault and domestic tongue to fall a eminence between communalism and nationalism.

Sum of all tactics

With courtesy to standing groups, one has witnessed a postulated marginalisation of Dalits, commencement with a death of Rohith Vemula in early 2016, attacks in Una, Gujarat, to attempts to intermix a Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and well-laid out supplies for reservations. The try seemed to be to go to polls by consolidating a votes of standing Hindus and a Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The standing Hindu votes were sought to be cumulative on a basement of a due 10% reservations for a economically diseased among a top castes. Though tiny in number, combined voting of a top castes would make a difference, yet a BJP’s fortunes in 2019 count on a OBCs.

BJP’s U.P. plan focuses on isolating Yadavs


Though a OBCs are a extrinsic organisation internally divided opposite mercantile and amicable location, there has been a postulated transformation of a OBCs to a overlay of a BJP. This change was rather combined with a climb of Narendra Modi in 2014 and his tongue of belonging to a back caste. This change of a OBCs will continue to conclude in critical ways a electoral prospects of vital inhabitant and informal parties. In a 1980s, a OBCs combined behind several informal parties. After a 1990s, and post-Mandal, it is intriguing that a politics of amicable probity and a ‘second approved upsurge’ inaugurated a OBC change towards a BJP. It was also typified as a ‘secular upsurge’ as a OBC reservations had a intensity to move a Hindu-Muslim OBCs together by conjoining their interests and intensity mobility.

The change towards a BJP has to be accepted in terms of a particularistic plcae of a OBCs in a standing sequence and a relations mercantile mobility they have enjoyed in a final 3 decades. The reduction widespread OBC castes currently conclude a aspirational era of India, imprinting mobility from farming to civic areas, and they consecrate a bulk of a lower-middle classes in civic and peri-urban areas. In farming areas, with a postulated agrarian crisis, a farmers’ transformation of a 1970s and 1980s got converted to OBC temperament politics, putting importance on fasten a grave preparation and practice sectors. The BJP binds a clever guarantee to such amicable constituencies by a tongue of ‘New India’, origination of jobs, fast urbanisation and intelligent cities. After a mercantile reforms of a 1990s, a OBCs have benefited from larger inter-generational mobility; today, some-more than contemptible poverty, they understand themselves to be exposed to slipping into poverty. Such a unsafe plcae attracts them to a processes of corporatisation and a guarantee of new opportunities that a globalised economy offers.

Hindutva’s appeal

Further, in terms of their standing location, a OBCs never had a programme of relocating out of a Hindu fold, distinct a Dalits. This becomes partly transparent in a disproportion between Ram Manohar Lohia, who has come to symbolize OBC politics in a Hindi heartland, and B.R. Ambedkar. While Ambedkar was assured that standing is inextricably related to Hindu sacrament and acclimatisation was a usually approach to save Dalits, Lohia elite a critique of caste-based taste though never related it to a critique of a Hindu sacrament itself. The BJP’s strong Hindutva mobilisation that symbolises a jubilee of Hindu temperament offers it a prepared entry-point to interest to a OBCs, including in many of a southern States. It also signifies a internal informative jargon that was progressing articulated by parties such as a Samajwadi Party (SP) in a campaigns opposite English and introduction of computers. OBCs also turn a ‘natural’ subdivision for a BJP’s debate to make Hindi a solitary central language, that also allows for a optics of an anti-elite domestic rhetoric.

In addition, a BJP has been during a forefront of a ‘movement’ to sub-divide a OBCs in sequence to yield illustration to a some-more retrograde among a OBCs. The celebration had succeeded in doing this in Uttar Pradesh, one of a categorical reasons for a miraculous feat in a Assembly elections in 2017. This allows for some-more back OBCs to come out of a border of clientele of widespread OBC communities such as Yadavs and Kurmis in U.P. and Bihar. The BJP has a singular advantage of providing some-more seats for people from a smaller and reduction widespread OBCs given it is a comparatively younger celebration still expanding a care ranks in many States. Further, a BJP in a plan of not charity seats to Muslims, distinct any other party, keeps some-more seats indifferent for OBCs. Paradoxically, while a widespread OBCs such as a Yadavs changed to a socialist-brand of politics, other standing groups among a OBCs have changed towards a robust Hindutva code of politics.

The BJP’s electoral prospects count on this new directionality of OBCs and how a plan fares in a face of a Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party fondness in Uttar Pradesh.

Ajay Gudavarthy is with a Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University


Article source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/playing-the-division-card/article27109871.ece


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