MANDAL LEGACY IN BIHAR TO STOP HINDUTVA'S HARSHNESS
The historical verdict of the Bihar 2015 election results have sent shock waves in the Hindutva camp while gladdening the heart of every Indian who believed in inclusive secularism and protecting the idea of India as enshrined in our republican constitution. The hero of this verdict is Lalu Prasad Yadav, a man mocked by the urban elite, even of the ‘secular’ variety.
News channels even today did not feel ashamed of commenting on him as ‘thug’, a word which they will never dare to describe those who are in power in Delhi. The nation remains thankful to this earthy man for what he has done in Bihar by repeating what he did on October 23rd 1990 at Samastipur where Lal Krishna Advani was arrested during his (w)rathyatra from Somnath to Ayodhya.
Today, Advani’s charioteer is the prime minister of India and Lalu and his Grand Alliance has given an unforgettable ‘gift’ to Lal Krishna Advani on his birthday. One does not know whether Advani is happy with the verdict in Bihar or remembering the happening of the things exactly 25 years ago. There are so many similarities here 25 years later.
Lalu put a break to the great designs of Lal Krishna Advani and standing rock like with the then prime minister V P Singh whose government was voted out in Parliament for protecting India’s constitution and providing rights to India’s Bahujan masses. It was for the first time in India’s political history that a government fell for fulfilling its constitutional obligation to the nation at a time when the entire nation faced the worst ever threat from the exclusivism of Hindutva which thrive for a theocratic state.
The importance of the present electoral victory of the secular alliance in Bihar is enormous for the country. Lalu and Nitish showed greater statesmanship by joining together ignoring all their minor differences and egos. Adding Congress to their side was another important factor which gave them strength to widen their base.
The message from Bihar is clear that forces of social justice will reject all kind of religious fanaticism. Ironically, none remembered VP Singh during this campaign and not even his old friends including Lalu and Nitish even when they ‘claim’ the ‘legacy’ of Jai Prakash Narayan. It was not shocking to hear because none wanted to antagonize the ‘upper caste’ votes and therefore V P Singh remained unwanted during the ‘campaign’.
The caste media would immediately tag all these people as Mandalites and casteists and therefore Jai Prakash became the most uttered word by not just Nitish and other Samajwadi leaders but by the BJP. Bihar’s results show that it is VP Singh whose Mandal legacy work and will remain more relevant than ever despite our aversion to the man. The forces of Social Justice must revive his legacy to make their presence felt everywhere. JP’s legacy would not work as it only strengthend the Sangh Parivar.
Bihar showed that secularism is essentially inclusive and has to include the most marginalized. It cannot be merely discussed philosophically but in pure terms of participation and representation of communities. These elections clearly showed that BJP can only fight with Congress using Communal-secular divide but can not really take on when the question of social justice and caste identities emerge. Everywhere BJP’s track record has been using the caste identities and then imposing a leadership of different community. Example of Chhattishgarh, Jharkhand and Haryana are well known where their tactics is well-known.
Bihar’s victory is the revival of Mandal forces who were definitely feeling isolated and outdated. During the elections, LaluYadav raised issues of caste discrimination, reservation of the Dalits and OBCs, issue of beef and communalism. Narendra Modi and his team tried to polarize the elections in different way by unleashing lies everywhere. Never in the history of India, we had seen a prime minister stooping so low in debate when he said that Lalu and Nitish were trying to ‘steal’ quota of SCs-OBCs and give it to Muslims.
How can a Prime Minister speak such a language which has blatantly communal in tone? It is not surprising for Narendra Modi as he has used ‘Pakistan’ to polarize the voters and presenting him and his party as the sole champion of Hindus and Hindu India and any one voting others means celebration in Pakistan. And such shameless rhetoric did not stop as AmitShah, the chief commander of Narendra Modi also spoke the same language suggesting that if BJP lost there will be favourites of Pakistan.
There is no denial of fact that BJP used money, media and mafia power to influence the voters. The enormous finance it has in its disposal is threatening democracy and it has emboldened those forces who feel they can buy people and circumvent democracy. During the last general elections we have seen the power of money, media and mafia as late Kanshiram would always warn his cadres to be weary off, as they are engaged in distorting and misinterpreting information.
It is also true that people may be illiterate but know well as that ‘king’ can ‘do’ ‘wrong’ and therefore need to be punished severely. People know everything about their leaders.
The country is watching regularly how the Hindutva’s rabble-rousers are abusing the ordinary citizens, and dictating us how we should live, eat and behave. Everywhere we see their moral policing and worst kind of violent behavior. It was wonderful when Lalu countered them vociferously that Hindus too eat beef and that the Sangh Parivar was anti Dalit and anti poor. A number of cases have been filed against LaluYadav and we know it well how the Hindutva’s trolls have been threatening secular human rights activists everywhere from social media to public life. It is not just a threat of physical intimidation but also ‘legal action’.
Modi and all the samajwadis spoke of Jai Prakash Naraian but none of them uttered a word in the name of VP Singh. Frankly speaking Nitish and Lalu are not the product of JP but of VP. When did JP raise the issue of the most marginalized, Pasmandas and Adivasis? It is the Mandal revolution that brought leaders like LaluYadav, Nitish Kumar, SharadYadav and Ram Vilas Paswan to the fore and their voices became heavier and powerful.
Ofcourse, there was party like BSP and Ambedkarites who had been fighting this battle for long but not stronger that time to influence the parliamentary politics. So VP Singh’s Mandal decision is the most historical action of a political leader in Independent India and it created a huge lot of talented leader from the hitherto unrepresented sections. VP Singh put his life to risk fighting against Hindutva forces and perhaps it is time for the leaders of Mandal movement to carry forward that legacy and spread it across the country.
The massive mandate to Lalu-Nitish show that Mandal will always remain more powerful than Kamandal if used properly and educatively. If the secular forces try to become B or A team of BJP they will be wiped out. This is a warning to Mualayam Singh to mend his ways and stop flirting with the Hindutva. There is a message for Mayawati too to make proper alliance in UP and any attempt to hobnob with the Hindutva will throw her permanently out of state.
For Congress it is time to revisit those events exactly 25 years ago when they brought down a government for fulfilling its constitutional mandate to protect a religious place in Ayodhya. Yes, on November 7th, 1990, VP Singh government was brought down by the combined strength of BJP and Congress just because it stopped Advani’s hate yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya. Advani was requested to stop the yatra as it had unleashed a death train everywhere and LaluYadav, the then chief minister of Bihar stopped it and got Advani arrested in Samastipur on October 23rd, 1990.
Congress paid heavy price since 1990. It is not BJP but VP Singh who brought the congress to this level but the fact is Congress can not blame him for this unless it changes its party structure and current leadership of the caste Hindus and soft Hindutva people and create new young leaders of Dalits, OBCs, Muslims and Adivasis.
We acknowledge its wide base all over the country but it need strong ideological strength and dedication to social justice and secularism which unfortunately is questionable as it always played the brahmanical secularism or purely ‘multiculturalism’ strengthening the soft Hindutva line and got decimated. They made right choices in Bihar and now looking for revival in the state now but if they still look for the same social space as earlier the party will remain on the periphery in both Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Bihar has given a huge sigh of relief to all of us. It has also taught a lesson to those Dalit leaders who shifted their loyalties so easily. People like Jeetan Ram Manjhi have no future as they betrayed the cause. Sitting with corporate Hindutva these discredited people cant do justice to their own communities who are suffering because of the government politics. Ram Vilas Paswan will be used in Uttar Pradesh against Mayawati and so will be other leaders.
Lalu Yadav’s stoppage of rathyatra of Advani was responsible for the fall of VP Singh government but with this massive victory in Bihar he has avenged that defeat 25 years ago and given Lal Krishna Advani his ‘best’ ‘birthday’ gift as well as thrown a challenge to his ‘charioteer NarendraModi.
There will be efforts by the corrupt casteist media to deviate from the real issues of Bihar but the fact is that Mandal has shown its strength now and it is time to unleash those forces all over the country. Secondly, need to challenge Hindutva at all level by exposing them thoroughly as Lalu could do quoting extensively from Golwalkar’s ‘Bunch of thoughts’ and ‘we and our nationhood’.
Frankly more than BJP, it is the Indian corporate thugs who got defeated today. The poll survey conducted by IBN-CNN and also by Goswami, Pranoy Roy and others proved false and futile. Bihar has given its verdict but still the threat of Hindutva is not yet over. Let us be cautious in preventing the rise of Hindutva’s Brahminical forces.