Mon. Feb 26th, 2024


Is Rahul Gandhi slicing himself off from the youth along with his caste politics? For a while, he has been persistently speaking about caste and every of his public speeches is closely loaded with references, usually in a transparent provocative model.

He could also be believing that by speaking about caste blatantly, which his social gathering by no means exhibited so overtly, he’ll jitter a delicate nerve within the society and break the BJP’s ‘Hindu’ spell. But he appears to be overlooking the truth that this era is completely different.

For a majority of the younger inhabitants in India, the priorities are good training, a paying job, a sound social circle, a cell phone, laptop computer and sufficient area to take pleasure in and discover. For them, the circle contains these with whom the ‘vibe’ will get matched and which frequently transcends caste and faith. More youths need and aspire for a cosmopolitan life and caste appears to be the least concern for a lot of of them.

The political hawks could say that the inhabitants of such youths isn’t that massive and caste continues to stay one of many prime societal considerations. It could also be true in sure pockets and areas, however the latest state elections have confirmed that caste is not the premise for voting a candidate. Had it been so, the electoral ends in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan would have been completely different.

Even earlier than these three, the electoral outcomes wouldn’t have been so in 2014 and nearly each election after that. Had elections in India solely been caste-influenced, then Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) wouldn’t have been in such a foul state in Uttar Pradesh. So wouldn’t have been Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party.

The reality is that the Congress has been taking place persistently and the BJP’s vote share is ever on rise. The Congress social gathering gained 52 seats within the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, simply eight seats greater than its 2014 tally. Its vote share — 19.5 per cent — was nearly the identical as 2014. On the opposite hand, the BJP elevated its seat tally and vote share in consecutive elections, since its defeat in 2009.

After profitable a majority with 282 seats within the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP additional prolonged its lead by 21 seats to 303 within the 2019 polls. Even within the Assembly elections, the Congress efficiency has been dismal. Except Telangana and Karnataka, the place the victory was extra due to the efforts of the native leaders, the social gathering is nowhere else to be seen.

The Congress has not solely misplaced elections, massive or small, it has additionally misplaced various its leaders, each younger and veterans, and even these whose households for generations had been with the Congress. Most had been disillusioned with the highest management, together with Rahul Gandhi, and immediately or not directly blamed him for lots of ills which have crept throughout the social gathering.

Rahul Gandhi’s sudden curiosity in caste-based politics stems from the truth that it has been shedding out closely since 2014 in wooing the OBCs because the introduction of Narendra Modi, who’s himself from the backward caste, on the nationwide scene.

With Modi’s form of politics, nearly all castes are voting for him. And that is confirmed by the growing vote share of the BJP. The saffron social gathering’s all-India vote share within the 2019 Lok Sabha election — 37.6 per cent — was nearly double that of 2009 –18.6 per cent. This was largely as a result of social gathering’s inroads within the OBCs, Adivasis and Dalits.

While BJP appears to be rising past the caste-dynamics, Rahul Gandhi has pushed his social gathering into regression.

Whether inside Parliament or outdoors, he has been systematically making pinpointed references to caste equations.

During dialogue on the Women Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha final yr, he pushed for a separate quota for OBCs within the invoice and likewise pushed for the Caste Census information to be launched. In 2023 additionally, he mentioned in a conclave, “I was shocked that out of 90 people (Secretaries) who controlled the government of India, only three are from the OBC community.”

Gandhi’s caste references have change into extra aggressive of late because the elections to the Lok Sabha close to. In the western Odisha city of Jharsuguda on February 8, Rahul Gandhi throughout his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra accused PM Modi of mendacity that he was born within the Other Backward Class. “Your Prime Minister was not born OBC and he was born in a general caste. He was born in Teli caste in Gujarat. The BJP government had included his caste in OBC category in 2000. He keeps lying everywhere that he was born OBC.”

However, this allegation was trashed by the BJP which got here out with the details that the standing was granted to the neighborhood by the Congress supported authorities in Gujarat in late Nineteen Nineties.

Rahul Gandhi could also be beneath immense strain to show himself, however that doesn’t imply that he ought to resort to slim politicking. And, that is one thing which is just too apparent for anybody, together with the youth of the nation, to disregard. With 66 per cent of India’s inhabitants under the age of 35, can anybody afford to be regressive? The leaders and extra so Rahul Gandhi, want to grasp this.

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