Why Modi sarkar's doublespeak knows no bounds
The case of state governments run by the BJP having already enforced the Supreme Court's order on the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is a classic demonstration of the BJP's double-speak.
Rattled by massive protests against the SC's order, the Narendra Modi-government has urged the top court to review it. Additionally, BJP leaders including Modi and several Union ministers have been on an overdrive trying to convince Dalits that the government will not allow the original law to be diluted.
On the other hand are three BJP state governments, which have instructed their police to strictly implement the SC's order. The order, announced on 20 March, forbids arrest under the Act without prior sanction. Dalits say this amendment has diluted the Act.
An investigation done by the Indian Express has revealed that governments of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have issued formal orders, directing the state police to strictly implement the SC order.
In stark contrast, the Left Front government in Kerala has independently moved court against the order. This is an option that was available to all state governments and yet, at least 3 of them run by the BJP have gone ahead and enforced the order.
The BJP, in any case, has had a duplicitous approach towards protection of Dalits. Historically, the Sangh Parivar has held deeply casteist beliefs and the record of the Modi government in the area has not been any different. Throughout the last four years, several major attacks on Dalits have taken place and the BJP has always been found complicit in either the act itself, or in supporting it later.
Tinkering with quotas has always been a priority areas for the BJP and the NDA government has now gone ahead and delivered a huge blow to the system by reserving seats for for SC, ST and OBC teachers department-wise and not calculating them based on the aggregate posts in a university.
BJP leaders in various parts of the country regularly manage to hit headlines for making casteist comments. The latest in this galaxy is Gopal Bhargava, a Cabinet minister in Madhya Pradesh, who has reportedly suggested that talent is being “insulted” in the country because of the quota system.
Ironically, Bhargava is the Minister for Social Justice in the state government.
Earlier, BJP MLA from Goshamahal constituency in Hyderabad, T. Raja Singh, had endorsed the flogging of Dalits in Gujarat's Una. Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde had also courted controversy after comparing Dalits with “barking dogs”.
Welfare of Dalits is not the only area in which the BJP's doublespeak has been evident. Its slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” has also been exposed to be hollow with the multiple attacks on Muslims in the last four years. The electoral representation of Muslims is also shrinking because of the BJP staying away from giving tickets to them.
“Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” also saw a similar fate, with several BJP leaders themselves having been found indulging in crimes against women. In an election year, this reputation of regular doublespeak is not a good portend for the BJP.