Growing farmer-Dalit bond may not portend well for BJP
Jalandhar: The decision of the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha to celebrate Guru Ravidas anniversary at Singhu border and then farmers participating in anniversary-related events at different places is likely to help improve relations with Dalits. This may not augur well for the BJP, which has been talking about Jat Sikh dominance in the state to woo Dalits.
During Ravidas anniversary functions at different places, speakers and singers expressed support for the farm movement. At Guru Ravidas gurdwara in Jandor village near Dasuya, those who went to Delhi borders to participate in the protest were honoured. Here, Kandhi Kisan Sangharash Committee vice-chairman Jarnail Singh Garhdiwal addressed the gathering. In the religious function at Chak Laadian village near Bhunga in district Hoshiarpur, it was announced that more people from the Ravidasia community would participate in the morcha.
The same sentiment was visible at the Ravidas anniversary function at Khothran village in district Nawanshahr, where farm protest figured in the speeches. The protest was also mentioned at the religious function in Burj Kandhari village in the same district. Ravidassia/Adi-dharmi community activists and leaders said this would help improve relations between farmers and Dalits and attempts to drive a wedge between the two would become more difficult. Punjab BJP organising secretary Dinesh Kumar went on record saying that in Punjab, Jat-Sikhs have been dominating politically till now and what happened in Haryana politics could be replicated in Punjab where 82% (that is non Jat-Sikhs) did not get proper share in power.
“When it became Jat versus all others in Haryana, BJP formed government. If this can happen in Haryana, (where Jats dominated politically and most of the CMs were also Jats) Punjab is not different. Here also 82% non-Jat Sikh people never got the opportunity to have a proper share in power,” he told TOI in December.
The party has been trying hard to woo Dalits and has been meeting former bureaucrats or other prominent persons from among Dalits. However, there has not been much success. Appointment of former MoS Vijay Sampla as chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes is also being seen as an effort in this direction. The party has been focusing on wooing Dalits since 2014 when Sampla, a first time MP, was not only made MoS but also appointed Punjab BJP president. In the 2019 parliament elections, Sikhs and Dalits played a crucial role in blocking the Modi wave in the state. This worked at the two seats of Hoshiarpur and Pathankot, which have considerable Hindu population.
Courtesy : TNN