After the Dalits’ countrywide bandh on April 2, the Congress leaders fast on April 9 led by the president Rahul Gandhi to champion the cause of Ambedkar’s followers and to oppose the communal and divisive policies of the BJP, has shaken the ruling party at the centre. The fast also highlighted the non-functioning of Parliament, atrocities against Dalits, caste politics, communal violence allegedly by the Sangh Parivar for BJP’s political gain and the failure of the Modi government on all fronts. Congress leaders in all states organized the fast to strengthen the hands of their president.
It is a fact that the BJP came to power in 2014 in a massive way only due to big support from Dalits on the false promise of Narendra Modi that the suppressed caste would be promoted whole-heartedly, but after coming to power, the Prime Minister did little to fulfill his promises. The youth, another key factor to the BJP’s victory are today a disappointed lot that no job avenues were created for them and they are running from pillar to post for government or other employment. Market prices of consumer goods are skyrocketing, diesel and petrol being at the record highest. Demonetisation and GST not only made the life of people woefully miserable but also slowed down the economy. The slogans of eliminating corruption and “Na Khaonga Na Khanedonga” proved hollow when BJP president Amit Shah’s son indulged in corrupt practices and the government rejected the probe demand. Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi looted banks of thousands of crores and fled the country. Among many high-sounding schemes like Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Skill India and others none could click. States like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana are up in arms against the central government.
Dalits and Muslim minority are harassed and hounded by Gau Rakshaks who are beating and even killing them when found carrying cattle on the pretext that they are herding them for slaughter. The government played spectator when the Supreme Court diluted the STs and SCs (prevention of atrocities) Act and almost snatched the protective cover constitutionally given to them. The delayed remedial action by the government angered Dalits who organized a bandh across the country and it turned violent at many places. Had the government taken action in time the situation would not have turned worse. Consequently the ruling party is now deprived of the big support of Dalits. Even the Dalit MPs belonging to the BJP have written a letter to the Prime Minister about the discrimination meted out to their community. The bias attitude against Dalits peaked since the BJP came to power. There is an apprehension among Dalits that the BJP that is following the RSS is against their reservations which is their lifeline.
The first and foremost target of the BJP is Muslim minority which is mostly hit by the Gau Rakshaks. It is reported that about 28 Muslims were killed by the cow vigilantes. Only few cases were booked by the police and only in one case the accused were punished. For the first time, the government paved the way and persuaded the court to intervene in the Muslim Personal Law. Triple Talaq Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha despite Muslim women’s stout and strong opposition. This is the first step of the BJP’s agenda to bring about the Common Civil Code. Communal violence erupted in an organized way on the Ram Navami festival and opposition parties said that it was the BJP’s old strategy to inflame communal feeling to win the elections. It is a time tested practice of the BJP and it is repeated now on the eve of assembly polls of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The recent Parliament session was washed out as the ruling party was hesitant to discuss the no trust motion. The blame for the non-functioning of Parliament is put at the door of the opposition which is far from the truth.
Rahul Gandhi sitting on fast at the Raj Ghat blasted the government for its failure on all fronts. He said the government policies had distanced the people from the BJP which is certain to lose the 2019 elections.