The Bihar Government’s survey to establish the caste of its residents opens up a pandora’s field that can create a social divide and unrest that can reverberate lengthy after Nitish Kumar is gone. The caste survey weaponises information by the State to create caste-based fissures in Bihar once more. While the occasion says that it’s for social justice, everybody is aware of that it’s a weapon to be used for political battle within the coming elections.
The rule e book may be very easy for Nitish Kumar and his alliance associate. They will cite the survey and preserve insisting that the backward castes have been denied their share in welfare schemes and Government jobs. And this has occurred as a result of the Central Government didn’t do a caste-based survey to perceive the extent of the issue. This would ostensibly divide the core voter base of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has benefited from its welfare schemes. This division is the target of the social justice narrative which is as false because it has ever been. Politicians have been speaking about social justice since they turned netas. Social justice and fairness is the promise that retains the votes coming. Hence, it is crucial to preserve inequity alive as as soon as that occurs there are not any extra votes.
Creating Resentment Against Centre
Now, to drive the message strongly, Nitish Kumar will create a wave of anger amongst those that have been denied their rights by the Central Government. However, as a ruling occasion, it will likely be tough for him to create this wave because the widespread man solely sees him because the ruler. To flip the election battle right into a struggle in opposition to injustice brings the pressure of righteousness again into the fold of dynastic politicians, who’ve lengthy benefited from manipulating the general public.
When dyed-in-the-blue politicians together with dynasts go to the widespread man with the enchantment that they’ve been denied their rightful declare, will the voter see them in another way? Just as a result of they’ve managed to spotlight that the inhabitants of backward castes has grown greater than it was assumed. Will the widespread voter settle for the credibility of an alliance as a result of now it has caste information to clarify the financial divisions? This is just not a simple narrative to set up for the widespread man. The solely means for it to be established is thru avenue violence. This signifies that this election, if it has to be fought alongside caste strains at the very least in Bihar, can be bloody and violent.
Caste-based teams can be activated throughout the State or throughout the nation to demand their rights. Though the INDIA coalition has little or no time to make this potential throughout the nation, it is going to attempt to do it in constituencies the place there’s backward caste domination,
The rise of the backward castes into the political hierarchy, post-Mandal, and successive welfare schemes focused at them have created financial prosperity among the many choose few. While the State claims that it additionally has financial information, it has not launched any such information on the press convention. Even the survey information was launched in such a way that it can’t be utilized by researchers. The app, which is developed for amassing the caste information, is principally a one-way information assortment utility. It doesn’t give entry to a standard citizen to see the information in his district or space. This signifies that rival political events won’t have entry to the complete database. The Bihar Government has reportedly spent Rs 500 crores on the survey.
To make the caste information an efficient device for electioneering, the Bihar Government may also announce a collection of reservations to mirror the brand new information of the survey. The present information exhibits that OBC make up greater than 27 per cent of the inhabitants, whereas the extraordinarily backward castes (EBCs) make up 36 per cent of the inhabitants. Hence mixed, they make up 63 per cent of the inhabitants, whereas the reservation for them is simply 30 per cent. EBCS is given an 18 per cent reservation, whereas OBCs have a 12 per cent reservation quota. Now if this reservation has to meet the brand new survey information, it might have to greater than double to 63 per cent, even breaching the norms for the general reservation quota arrange by the Supreme Court.
The subsequent essential step for Nitish Kumar could be to begin asserting new quotas for the EBCs and OBCs in several jobs and welfare schemes given out by the State Government. These bulletins won’t be simply met however they are going to change into guarantees with which he’ll go to the voters promising them that if the alliance comes to energy on the Central Government degree they are going to change the general restrict proscribing the growth of those quotas.
Promising increased reservation quotas is all the time seen as an essential election plank and the Government has been made and misplaced on this situation. This would lead each member of the INDIA coalition to make related guarantees in their very own State first promising a State-level caste survey after which realignment of the reservation on the upper facet for the EBCs and OBCs within the State. There will quickly be a Bihar method for reservations and this can be introduced earlier than January 2024, the mannequin will change into the operational mannequin for reservation-based guarantees of the INDIA alliance.
The goal could be to divide the Hindu vote and take the OBC and EBC voters away from the BJP. These voters have been essential for the BJP because the Prime Minister has introduced the Centre as a Government for the poor.
Now, a number of new dimensions can be added to the election in 2024, at the very least in Bihar. This can be carried out to alter the arithmetic for every of the 40 seats in Bihar. Maybe the candidates in among the seats can be aligned with the brand new caste information for the constituency. But a very powerful change would be the election plank in every of those constituencies. If it’s left to Nitish Kumar then the election can be fought on caste strains, a throwback to the bloody caste wars of the previous within the State. If it’s left to the INDIA coalition then the election for the following Parliament in 2024 can be fought on caste strains. The goal is to divide the voters sharply alongside caste strains, and divide the Hindus as per the Britishers’ coverage of divide and rule.