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Tag Archives: featured

Time to Internationalize Samjhauta Express case

Foreign Secretary briefed the Islamabad Diplomatic Corps on the historic injustice done to the forty-four Pakistanis killed in the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack in 2007 in India, with the acquittal of all four perpetrators, including Swami Aseemanand, the mastermind of the heinous attacks and an activist of the Hindu terrorist organization, RSS. A Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in India's Haryana state acquitted four individuals on March 20. Foreign Secretary stressed that the NIA itself had earlier charge-sheeted the perpetrators. Around 224 witnesses of the total 299 testified before the court. Indian media reported extensively about the connection between the Samjhauta Terrorist Attacks and Hindu extremists, including Lieutenant Colonel Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur who were subsequently arrested in October 2008, including for provision of (Research department explosive (RDX). On 18 December 2010, Swami Aseemanand publicly confessed before the New Delhi court that Hindu terror outfits were behind the blasts. Foreign Secretary stressed that despite repeated requests by Pakistan for a fair trial and expeditiously bringing the perpetrators to justice, after a lapse of more than 11 years. Nearly 70 people were killed in the train blasts, which took place near Panipat in Haryana on February 18, 2007. Indian approach of hatred against Muslims is crossing all etiquettes and norms. International community needs to intervene and ask India to behave in a decent way. One is surprised over the judgment. The very confessional statements of Swami Aseemanand, a key figure in the Hindutva terror network, and others of their involvement in Samjhauta terror attack were sufficient to sentence and award the culprits a strict punishment. Given the posture of Indian leadership, Pakistan should not expect that any justice will be done in the case with the victim families. The injustice meted out to the victim families of Samjhauta express must be taken up strongly at all the international forums including during bilateral meetings with the world leaders. If India can move the ICJ over the arrest of its terrorist-spy Kulbhushan Yadav who was involved in sabotage activities in Pakistan, then why cannot we do the same? If NIA does not file an appeal against the verdict, Pakistan should take the matter to International Court of Justice and United Nations Human Rights Council.

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Sufferings of Children: Ugly side of Afghan war

Afghan conflict is impacting the future generation in many ways. Of these, spread of polio virus and deaths through aerial bombing by occupation forces are more pronounced. In a recent telephonic interview with Reuters, Bill Gates was optimistic about the global plan to eradicate the paralysing viral disease—polio, but said Afghanistan’s conflict and power struggles hamper progress. Local Afghan Taliban leaders are hindering global efforts to end polio, but Afghanistan and Pakistan must continue their fight. Bill Gates’ multi-billion dollar philanthropic “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” is one of the biggest funders of the polio eradication campaign. The “only potential negative” in the region is instability in Afghanistan, Gates said, where Taliban leaders appear to have no single policy but “decide what they will and what they won’t allow” regarding polio vaccinations. “That’s what we don’t have predictability or control over,” he said. “Sometimes they stop the campaigns from taking place. But the ideal is when they allow house-to-house (vaccine) delivery.”The peace process in Afghanistan, jointly backed by Pakistan and the United States, is aimed at ending the longest war that the US has ever fought. Taliban and the US have negotiated a draft of the deal that revolved around the exit of US forces from Afghanistan and guarantees by the Taliban to not allow use of Afghan territory by terrorist organisations. While the peace process may take its own course, protection of children need to be taken care of by the belligerents.

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Swami Aseemanand Acquitted!

Seeing the pattern of justice delivery system of India currently it seems getting justice, punishing the guilty is not easy. The judgments come as an outcome of the evidence produced by the executive, police in front of the magistrates. The attitude of the ruling dispensation matters a lot in matters of the crimes related to the ideology being propounded and defended by the ruling party. Sometimes the assertion and strength of the ideologies, which are dominant but not in power also influence the delivery of justice. Times and over again this cruel fact has been staring at our face. In Mumbai violence of 1992-93 nearly one thousand persons was done to death, not too many convictions took place related to the heinous crimes committed during this carnage. In the aftermath of this carnage the bomb blasts took place, orchestrated by the underworld . In these blasts nearly two hundred people died. In these cases some have been hanged to death for the crime, many have got life imprisonment and many others got other punishments. This is what should happen in a democracy. The most glaring case has been the contrast between Rubina Memon who is in prison for life for being the formal owner of the car which was used In Mumbai blasts, while Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, whose motor cycle was used for Malegaon blast got the bail. All this comes to one’s mind yet again when the NIA Court has acquitted Swami Aseemanand in case of Samjhauta Express blast in which 68 people (43 of them from Pakistan) died. Incidentally Swami was granted bail in the Mecca Masjid blast case earlier and the factors influencing justice delivery became obvious as the main file, a key document containing the disclosure by Aseemanand, went missing from the Court’s custody. With this the question comes up who is responsible for the death of those 68 people, as usual it seems nobody did the blast leading to Samjhauta express tragedy! What we are witnessing is a sustained effort to undermine the process of justice in pursuit of sectarian nationalism.

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New Zealand Massacre: ‘Clash of Civilizations’ thesis Stalks the World!

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The horrific massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15th March, Friday 2019 has shaken the World. The killer, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, is an Australian citizen. Nearly 50 People died in the attack as two mosques were attacked. Those killed include nine from India. Tarrant had fixed the camera on his head so as to live stream the massacre. What prompted him to undertake this violence was his ideology which holds that today Europe is facing the threat of Muslim immigration and violence. The Christchurch terrorist was consumed by intense racism and hatred of Muslims. He posted a long statement, “manifesto” on ‘white nationalism’ before undertaking the dastardly act. All over the World there were diverse reactions to this horrific act. New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern, who at 38 years of age is also among the youngest heads of government in the world, declared that the victims, many of whom may be migrants or refugees, “are us” and the shooter “is not”. The overriding theme of the Prime Minister’s statements was that her country represents “diversity, compassion and refuge”. “I want to assure people… that all our agencies are responding in the most appropriate way that includes at our borders.” The Pope in a very touching speech said, “In these days, in addition to the pain of wars and conflicts that do not cease to afflict humanity, there have been the victims of the horrible attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand… I am close to our Muslim brothers and all that community… ”Today we are facing the times where American politics of control over oil wells led to the formations like Al Qaeda and after 9/11 twin tower attacks; US media popularized the phrase Islamic terrorism. What we are witnessing today is the fall out of the policy which has been pursued to control oil wealth. The aftermath of this has been the White Nationalism which has resulted in Islam-Muslim phobia, which needs to be countered ideologically by promoting the inherent global tendency of alliance between diverse cultures. What is noteworthy is that there is strong parallels between Breivik’s manifesto and ideology of Hindu nationalism – or Hindutva – on the question of nature of Islam—Muslims and coexistence with Muslims. Much like European mainstream rightwing parties BJP in India does condemn the violence for name sake but does not condemn the underlying ideology which is based on Islam phobia.

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Glorifying Self: Maintaining status Quo

Gimmicks are a part of Modi style of politics. Rather they form the core of his strategies. His act of washing the feet of five sanitary workers and then tweeting it came as another of such acts. Irritated by his act many a social activists responded through tweets. Bezwada Wilson, our most dogged fighter against manual scavenging, who is convener of Safai Kamgar Sangthan, tweeted “105 people killed in sewer and septic tanks in 2018 alone. He kept mum.The deeper goal of RSS, Modi’s parent organization is to maintain the status quo as far as caste system is concerned. One of the major reasons for formation of RSS was rising assertion of dalits, inspired by Joti Rao Phule and Bhimrao Ambedkar. Dalits had started non Brahman movement in 1920s in Vidarbha region. This upsurge among dalits disturbed the upper caste; who rallied around to form RSS in 1925. RSS ideologue Golwalkar regards Manusmriti as glorious book which gave the laws to Hindu society, the laws which gives values for all the times to come. Ambedkar on other side went on to burn the same book as a symbol of opposition to caste and gender hierarchy. The system of manual scavenging began in early India, well justified by caste system and continued in medieval times as well. While the Muslim kings did introduce different techniques at places for water based disposal of excreta. As such the communal politics, as is its wont, is trying to propagate that since the Muslims used Burqua, women could not go out to jungles, they introduced manual scavenging. This is another way of putting the blame of internal problems to external source. This is far from true. Observation and research into the Mughal forts’ sanitation system shows that they had small outlets in the bathing rooms of Mughal forts which were used as toilets. The waste from these toilets was carried by gravitational force to the ramparts with the help of water. This technique has been seen in the Red Fort in Delhi, in the palaces of Rajasthan, in Hampi, Karnataka and in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

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Together for Peace: Aman 2019

Together for Peace: Aman 2019 Aman 2019 was the 6th exercise of a multinational naval initiative hosted biennially by Pakistan Navy since 2007. Twenty eight countries had participated in the first Aman exercise in 2007; number rose to 46 in Aman-2019. Exercise radiated a strong message to Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi, who has been dreaming of isolating Pakistan internationally …

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Where is the “Reset”?

“Reset” is an American way to cover up a stupidity under the garb of ambiguous misnomer without admitting its failure. Pakistan and the US are following divergent interests in the region; hence, space for any meaningful course corrections to achieve convergence of interests is rather limited. The US needs Pakistan to sustain its presence in Afghanistan. With President Trump’s folly of walking away from Iran nuclear deal, availability of alternative supply route to Afghanistan via Iran has become a pipedream for American leadership. Thus the US does not want to lose Pakistan in totality. Nonetheless, Pakistan cannot continue cosying up with the US as long as it continues to shift Pakistan-India strategic balance in latter’s favour. While US officials tried to keep the meetings focused on Afghanistan, Pakistan pointed out American favouritism toward India and bias against their country. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went straight to New Delhi to sign another strategic agreement.The billion dollar question is where is the Reset? At best there is a stalemate, but no one seems to be affirming. Any way, it is essential to build a national consensus on foreign policy.

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Selective Assessments of Human Rights Status

These times are witnessing increasingly selective assessments regarding Human Rights status across the World. And slogan of Human Rights has become a tool for furthering hidden strategic objectives. In response to the letter, written by HRW Asia Director Brad Adams to Prime Minster Imran Khan, on August 24, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari responded: “I hope that you would also raise your voice against a massive human rights violations, carried out in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, Palestine and in some European States against Muslims citizens.” Minister also urged HRW to take up the issue of the violation of human rights by some European states against their Muslim citizens in the form of curtailing their right to practice their religion freely and in the form of abuse of Islam and its Prophet (PBUH), in direct contravention of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. “Since HRW claims to monitor human rights across the world, I would like to be informed on how you are ensuring the rights of Muslim citizens to have their mosques and be able to dress and practice their religion freely and without ridicule in European states,” she added. She went on to ask that since the HRW claims to monitor human rights violations in over 90 countries, “I hope that would include the massive human rights violations being carried out as a matter of state policy by India in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Minister also said that she would like to be informed on how the NGO is “ensuring the rights of Muslim citizens to have their mosques and be able to dress and practice their religion freely and without ridicule in European states”, which have seen an upsurge of xenophobia in recent years. Pakistan government would always welcome positive suggestions, but “an NGO’s institutional credibility will rest on its commitment to ensure human rights across the globe and not just in selective states.” She added. In a blatant violation freedom of information norms, India’s home ministry abruptly withdrew the security clearance granted to Qatar’s Al Jazeera network after a documentary on Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) was aired by the channel. Now, matter is under consideration at appellate level. According to Times of India, the report leading to this action had highlighted the protests after the killing of Burhan Wani in 2016 and the brutal use of pellet guns against protesters amongst other Human Rights violations in IoK. Report was deemed by Indian government as biased. The Economic Times has added that “the television channel will be taken off air if the Home Ministry strikes down the review petition filed by Al Jazeera”. Moreover, Indian government has also rejected recent reports by Amnesty International and Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) on atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces in IoK. “Once again we find out that Kashmiris are the ones having to pay the price for the political battle”. In a related development, Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), has “urged the Indian leadership to admit that human rights violations are taking place on their side of the Line of Control (LoC), and they must work with Pakistan to find a solution that puts the interests of Kashmiris first”. She said it is about time leaders in both India and Pakistan realized that Kashmiris are living in a conflict zone and suffering human rights violations. “They must understand and acknowledge this and ensure that human rights of these people are not violated anymore. It needs to happen right now… this should be about Kashmiris who are suffering.” When asked to comment on misuse of special powers given to the Indian military, Ganguly said that not only the UN but also other groups and commissions, including those, formed under the Indian government have also appealed to the government to repeal such laws. Commenting on the role rights groups like Amnesty and OHCHR could play to make India more accountable over Kashmir issue, especially when Modi government is targeting almost all minority ethnicities in the country, she commented that the voice of dissent should not become the political tool. “Unfortunately this is what happens way too often”. Commenting on increasing communal violence by pro-BJP vigilantes against religious minorities in the country, Ganguly said the environment of an extreme form of nationalism violates religious freedom. Prime Minster Imran Khan has recently said that little noteworthy progress has been made in the past to find a solution for the Kashmir issue. He said so while meeting Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi before assuming office, adding that through the UN resolutions on Kashmir a solution must be found for this intractable issue. Now an extraordinary situation is developing in IoK in the wake of BJP government’s attempts to abrogate Article 35-A of the constitution that grants special status to the occupied territory and its citizens. India is using all cheap tactics from brute use of force to political and constitutional aggression for forcing the occupied territory completely to its fold. The Kashmiri leadership has made it clear that they will fight with full resilience to foil the nefarious designs of India. Pakistan government must approach not only the International Court of Justice (ICJ) but also the United Nations Security Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to prevent the Indian government from going ahead with its plans of changing demographic nature of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Blasphemy issue needs a permanent solution

The good sense has prevailed, an imminent catastrophe has receded. In a written statement issued on August 30, Geert Wilders announced "not to let the cartoon contest go ahead.” The contest was to be held at the tightly guarded offices of his Party for Freedom in the Dutch parliament building. Meanwhile, the Netherlands government had been at pains to distance itself from the contest. Prime Minister Mark Rutte questioned Wilders' motive for organising the contest. Pakistan’s foreign minister congratulated the nation and Muslim Ummah on their moral victory and termed the cancellation of the contest a victory for Pakistan on the diplomatic front. Cancellation announcement came within days after Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a statement saying the act was hurting the sentiments of Muslims living all around the world. Condemning the blasphemous cartoon competition in the Netherlands, Prime Minister Imran Khan had blamed the recurrence of such incidents a collective failure of the Muslim world, saying he would take up the matter at the United Nations General Assembly’s upcoming session. After the publication of Salman Rushdi’s blasphemous book ‘Satanic Verses’, it has become very easy to malign Muslims in the West, the prime minister said. “And they have been successfully doing it.” If they [Western countries] feel pained discussing the Holocaust, why haven’t we been able to convey to the West how much we feel pained when they do blasphemous things against Islam and our beloved Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)?” Pakistan’s foreign office is undertaking a hectic diplomatic campaign to avert the exhibition of profane cartoons in November. Hopefully the good sense would prevail. Time and again, Western Christian countries purposefully hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims through public display of profane audio-visual and print material about Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), under the pretext of their so called doctrine of freedom of expression. In a stark contradiction, same very European States immediately imprison anyone questioning the veracity of ‘Holocaust’, while Muslims and their religion don’t get the similar preferential treatment. While earlier such incidents in Netherlands were an act of non-state actors, this time parliamentary permission to hold the forthcoming exhibition inside parliament premises had made the government of Netherlands a party to this nefarious act of religious extremism. Opposition leader Greet Wilders has a track history of airing anti-Muslim sentiment. In December 2017, he proposed that European countries should adopt Donald Trump-style travel bans to counter a wave of Islamisation, according to him, sweeping the continent. Wilders also urged Europe to adopt Australia’s tactics in turning back migrant boats and to build new border walls, as Trump had vowed to do along the US frontier with Mexico. Wilders is the parliamentary leader of his party in the House of Representatives. During his election campaign, Wilders had published a one-page election manifesto calling for a ban on all asylum seekers and migrants from Islamic nations, and urged his country to leave the European Union. Wilders also stands for banning the Quran and closing all mosques and Islamic schools. Political environment in Netherlands is quite murky and thoroughly mired in populist rhetoric, where both the government and the opposition are, more often than not, competing to appear more racist and exclusionist. Wilders was defeated in March 2017 elections by Mark Rutte. According to Guardian “cost of latter’s victory against Geert Wilders’ anti-EU, anti-immigration, anti-Islam Freedom PVV party was a pyrrhic victory”. Mark Rutte’s VVD party had adopted the very rhetoric of Wilders to beat him. Rutte had said: “something wrong with our country” and claimed “the silent majority” would no longer tolerate immigrants who come and “abuse our freedom”. Close to end of his previous tenure as Prime Minster, Rutte thought that being tough on Turkey would fetch him more votes, therefore he “happily sparked a mini-international crisis for the sake of votes”. While during the electoral campaign, Rutte said stopping Wilders was about stopping the “wrong sort of populism”. Situation is akin to India where both BJP and Congress compete to articulate more pro Hindu rhetoric to encash Hindu vote bank. Pakistan had approached Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to lodge a protest against this planned cartoon competition in Netherlands. Former caretaker Foreign Minister Abdullah Haroon had set the dice rolling by writing a letter to the OIC Secretary General seeking his leadership for a collective action to register a protest of OIC countries with the Dutch authorities, who in turn had written to the Dutch foreign minister, on behalf of 57 Muslim countries, protesting against this abominable event. It is not the first time that the Netherlands is holding such competition. In the past also such acts have frequently been committed by this country with a malicious intent to target the noblest personality of the Holy Prophet (Pbuh). Pakistan has called upon the Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan and the EU Ambassador, who represents 28 European countries, to register the protest. “We have conveyed our condemnation of this deliberate attempt to vilify Islam. Such incidents should not go unpunished,” Foreign office spokesperson said. Pakistan’s new government had taken forth the process. During its first meeting, cabinet decided to take up the matter at bilateral level. Pakistan lodged a strong protest with the Netherlands over an announcement of holding a competition of blasphemous caricatures. “The charge d’affaires of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was summoned to the Foreign Office on August 13, and a strong protest was lodged”, Foreign office stated. Deep concern was conveyed at this deliberate and malicious attempt to defame Islam. “Pakistan’s ambassador in Hague has been instructed to forcefully raise the issue with the Dutch government along with ambassadors of OIC member states,” the Foreign Office went on to add. Foreign minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi also spoke to his Dutch counterpart. Pakistan’s permanent representatives to the United Nations in New York and Geneva were directed to take up the matter with the UN Secretary General, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN bodies and procedures. The issue would also be discussed in the forthcoming meeting of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers, scheduled to be held on the side-lines of forthcoming 73rd ministerial session of the UNGA. Though the triggering issue is behind us, OIC should not lower its guards, it should firm up an action plan if any individual or government attempts such a misadventure in future. During this meeting the Muslim countries should send a loud and clear message that the despoliation of Muslim holy personalities is not acceptable to them. The silver lining is that there have been saner voices from within Dutch civil society. Demonstrations were held by Dutch nationals to show solidarity with Muslims. During March 2017, Dutch citizens gathered at a mosque in Amsterdam, to show solidarity with the country’s Muslim population. People representing a broad coalition against racism gathered at the central Al-Kabir mosque to show opposition to anti-Muslim sentiments in the country. “We as a Muslim community pose no danger whatsoever to society,” said Najem Ouladali while addressing the gathering. “We believe that what Wilders is doing is very dangerous to our society,” Ouladali added. Najem was one of the organizers of the gathering. Pakistan should continue to work closely with all the OIC member states to find a permanent solution to this recurring issue. Matter should be persistently raised at the relevant international fora until a sustainable way is found by the international community for preventing such abhorrent acts.

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Which party cares for Dalits Today?

Post from India: by Ram Puniyani. Recently anti-dalit atrocity laws were first diluted inserting the clause of anticipatory bail. Following this there were serious protests all over. In these protests, the anti dalit nature of present ruling dispensation, BJP led NDA was highlighted. Under the pressure of the protests, the government had to bring in a bill to restore its previous provisions. The Lok Sabha on Monday (August 6, 2018) unanimously passed a Bill to reverse the effects of a Supreme Court order concerning certain safeguards against arrests under the SC/ST law. The amended ‘Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018’, now rules out any provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against people from SC or ST communities, as it stood before the revision. Ram Vilas Paswan, part of NDA, thanked the Prime Minster and also criticized the Congress on the occasion. To show that Congress is anti Dalit he raked up the elections in which Congress had contested against Ambedkar. Ram Vilas Paswan’s own allegiance to Ambedkar ideology is strongly under cloud, as he is allying and empowering BJP, the party with agenda of Hindu Rashtra, something which was an anathema for Ambedkar as he stood for social justice, secularism and democracy. As Paswan was well described as Mausam Vaigyanik, (Scientist predicting weather) who in order to remain in power always twists and turns and makes the ideological compromises. His own ideology is that of hunger for power and his words in a way should not matter much except on electoral chess board. His projection of the electoral battle between Ambedkar and Congress is a very selective presentation of the relationship between Congress and Ambedkar. While he points this out he forgets that Ambedkar was not a member of Congress party any time. Also that it is the same Congress party in whose government he was made the Cabinet minister. He needs to be reminded that not only was he minister in the first Cabinet of India, he was also made the Chairman of Drafting Committee of Indian Constitution, in which Babsaheb played a pivotal role. To cap this it was he who was requested to draft the Hindu Code Bill, a major step to reform the family laws towards gender just society. While the likes of Paswan, hankering after power do mouth the name of Ambedkar, they deliberately forget that the major opponents of Constitution drafted by him, the major opposition to Hindu Code bill came from the stable of RSS, the parent organization of the party, in whose alliance he is enjoying the perks of power. One can say that his ally BJP’s agenda of Hindu Rashtra is polar opposite to the dream of Babasaheb, the dream of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the dream of secular democratic India. RSS never hesitated in criticizing the Indian constitution, calling it Western; BJP never severed its umbilical cord to the Hindu nationalist RSS. Lately from within BJP itself from top down, Hindu nationalism is being propagated and practiced. On the eve of 2014 general election Narendra Modi, the Prime Ministerial candidate himself pronounced that he was born in a Hindu family; he is a nationalist, so he is a Hindu nationalist. Another minister in the Center, Anant Kumar Hegde stated that BJP is there to change the Indian constitution and that secular identity should not be used by the people. To cap it all the UP Chief Minster Adityanath Yogi stated that Secularism is the biggest lie of Independent India. BJP itself is very consciously walking the rope, balancing the phrases and actions as for as dalits are concerned. On one hand power-lust of some dalit leaders like Paswan, Udit Raj and Ramdas Athwaley are used to give a pro dalit veneer to BJP’s actions, on the other hand likes of Hegde and Yogi are forthright about their political agenda. It is also true that for the sake of electoral equations even BJP has to pay obeisance to Ambedkar, despite having and agenda totally opposed to his political ideology. At ground level the impact of BJP-NDA, of which likes of Paswan are members, has affected dalits in a very serious way. While through social engineering they are also trying to woo a section of dalits through manufactured icons likeSuhel Dev and Shabri Mata among others, they have unleashed policies which affect the dalits in a very adverse way. The merciless beating of dalits in Una, which Paswan dismissed as a minor event, the emotive issue of Holy cow has affected the livelihood of dalits in a big way. We also remember that it is during this period that institutional murder of Rohith Vemula and the anti dalit attack at Bhima Koregaon tormented the dalit community no end. Even Modi Government on its own did dilute the Anti Dalit atrocity act, only once they saw a serious opposition to their move that they were forced to retreat for electoral calculations. While BJP pays tribute to Ambedkar on one side, at the same time it presents Lord Ram as the central icon of its politics. What Ambedkar has said about Lord Ram in his various writings like ‘Riddles of Hinduism’ is well known to us. For BJP, what is important is to garland Babasaheb; it is of no consequence to them to take the issues of social justice in any serious way. The attempt to selectively present the electoral battle of Congress and Ambedkar is a deliberate ploy to undermine the efforts which national movement and Mahatma Gandhi-Congress did to fight against untouchablity in particular. We have miles to go as far as Babasaheb’s dream is concerned, but one thing which Ambedkar pointed out was that Hindu Raj will be a big tragedy for dalits of the country. It is too much to expect that likes of Paswan will realize their folly of allying with BJP-RSS whose very agenda is inherently anti-dalit, as they are blinded by lust for power!

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