‘Every act of creation is first an act of destruction’ a famous quote by a world renowned painter Pablo Picasso. Pablo may have thought of this quote in the context of his art but in today’s Indian polity if you apply these same lines, one gets a sense of negativism. And I say this today after watching the three most talked about youth in Gujarat political climate i.e. Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani sharing stage with the Gandhi scion and targeting just one man, Prime Minister Modi.
Hardik Patel rose from the Patidar agitation which erupted in mid-2015 demanding reservation for the community in education and jobs by including them in the OBC list. Patidars can be classified in the same Socio-Economic bracket as the Patils in Maharashtra or the Jats in Haryana. Basically they are not from the backward castes and lie above in the Hindu caste hierarchy. Hardik Patel was making an argument for the Patidars that they should get reservation. But if Patidars were to get reservation then the OBC’s or the SC’s reservation quota would have to be decreased and this shouldn’t go well below the throat of Alpesh Thakor, the OBC leader and Jignesh Mevani, the Dalit leader.
In fact what I noticed was that they were sharing a very good bonhomie with each other while loathing the Prime Minister and the BJP. Forget empowerment of the communities they were representing, it just looked like they have rededicated their life in showing Modi the exit door. Their voices only resonated as if they were the B team of the Congress party which by the way has not made its stand clear on the reservation issue. Congress could have easily come out in the open and said that they would be providing reservation to the Patidars but that would have angered the other vote bank i.e. OBC’s.
Alpesh Thakor, himself a Kshatriya founded the OSS Ekta Manch which according to him represents OBC’s, SC and ST under its pool. A few days back he recently joined the Congress party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and latter is even in talks with Hardik Patel. Hardik has not joined the Congress as yet even after meeting with Mr. Gandhi in Ahmedabad but everybody in Gujarat knows who he is batting for. Alpesh Thakor had held a rally of OBCs to counter Hardik Patel’s Patidar agitation just some months back but today they both are ready to share the bed with Congress just confirm the ouster of BJP from the state. Jignesh Mevani, a self-proclaimed Dalit Leader with Left leanings who rose to fame after the Una agitation should socially be opposed to the Kshatriyas and the Patidars as the latter two hold a high position in the Hindu Caste hierarchy but today one can very well notice the sociability between them and the Congress just to show the door to Modi.
Opposition to leaders or political dogmas is acceptable in a democracy if it is solemnly meant to empower people but here in their political provocations regarding caste, one can easily smell perilous strategies to launch their political careers. And why I use the term perilous is because these three youngsters come from the age bracket which forms the largest part of the demography of our country. Today when there is a wave in the Indian or rather Hindu society under the current ideological dispensation to amalgamate the backward castes into the larger Hindu fold by making them a very relevant part of Hindutva politics and paramount in current power structure, people like these three are again hell-bent on taking us to the dark days of a divided Hindu society for their petty politics. This may have a severe aftermath on the Hindu Society in futurity.
Presently the Jats, the Marathas, the Patidars to name a few are becoming isolationist among themselves and if such casteist young leaders start coming out of every caste or region and carries on with their trivial politics, there is a fear that instead of one religion having different castes, we might have many religions instead of castes. This would be a blessing in disguise for the missionaries of Abrahamic religions especially Christianity and Islam who just wait to smell an opportunity of caste turmoil in Hinduism. One may argue that I may be digging out too much into an insignificant issue but even if a fragment of it is true than this will cause enough damage to the further worsen the caste disparity of the large Hindu society.
Further concern is about the end of meritocracy. Today when the youth thinks of moving and should rightfully towards meritocracy these people are hell-bent on becoming the apostles of reservation which is the antonym of the former. There is a growing angst among the open categories (people outside the ambit of reservation) that the system of reservation should be done away with. Let me specify that I completely agree with the reservation to the SC’s and ST’s as they rightfully deserve it for the prejudices they have to go through even today in remote parts of India. But with every other community champion coming up and demanding reservation for scoring political brownie points, this will in turn increase the malaise in the minds of the general category. This would in future amount to tensions in the institutions and would increase more caste discrimination among the youth.
One would have totally understood or even more agreed if these so called caste champions would have demanded more educational and medical institutions, jobs, etc. but their demands of reservation are a fiendish recipe of creating feeling of loathe and distrust among communities and instilling pessimism among the youth of this country. I just hope better sense prevails from among the populace of these castes and communities and they disregard such evil designs of these so called pioneers of casteism.