ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Three Dalit Rams Play Hanuman to BJP

Ramdas Athavale, Ram Vilas Paswan and Ram Raj (notwithstanding his renaming himself Udit Raj some years ago) will play Hanuman to Bharatiya Janata Party's Ram. Isn't it high time dalits ripped apart their masks and saw them for what they really are?

The three dalit Rams – Ramdas Athavale, Ram Vilas Paswan, and Ram Raj (notwithstanding his renaming himself Udit Raj some years ago) – the self-styled torchbearers of Babasaheb Ambedkar, shamelessly crawled to grab the impending crumbs of power by latching their apple-carts to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) chariot. Barring Paswan, who proved himself an astute player by staying as a union minister (railways, telecom, information technology, mines, steel, chemicals and fertilisers) in four successive governments from 1996 to 2009, headed by various prime ministers, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, H D Deve Gowda, I K Gujral and Manmohan Singh, the other two Rams have until recently been crying hoarse against the BJP’s communal character. Athavale’s spinelessness has surfaced ever since his outrageous ambition of becoming a minister at the centre was not fulfilled and he lost the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He began to accuse his mentors in Congress, those who had picked him up from a dingy room in Siddharth Vihar and installed him in an air-conditioned suite at Sahyadri as a cabinet minister of Maharashtra, of “humiliation”. But, Dr Udit Raj’s (yes, he has a doctorate from the prestigious Bible College and Seminary, Kota, Rajasthan) somersault from his well-reasoned anti-BJP position was quite amusing to say the least.

At one level, seeing the lows to which Indian democracy has stooped, such opportunist acrobatics of dalit leaders would not surprise anyone. After all, everyone has been doing it. Why then grudge if dalit leaders do the same? After all, many of them have so far been in Congress; what if now they go over to BJP? Indeed, while there may be little difference between the BJP and the Congress, the reason for the alarm stems from what they have professed so far, and consequently, the public perception about them. Unlike Congress, BJP is an ideology-driven party. Its ideological core of Hindutva, shorn of the verbiage surrounding it, is the ideology of fascism, which can be clearly seen as antithetical to what Ambedkar stood for. Although expediency demands their allegiance to the Indian Constitution, or wooing adivasis, dalits and Muslims, their ideological attitude is against them. One is therefore deeply pained by the abominable demeanour of the dalit leaders in betraying Ambedkar while singing paeans to him.

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