rss_icon

Caste-aways of India’s politics: From Mandal to Modi

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

mayawatiThey are the new castaways of India’s politics. The massive Modi tsunami has swept away mascots of caste politics in India, tossing these so-called messiahs of backward castes into oblivion. Samajwadi Party, led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose son Akhilesh Yadav, is currently the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has seen his fortunes hitting an all-time low with his party getting only 5 seats in India’s most populous state which sends 80 MPs to the Indian parliament.

For Mayawati, the chief of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), this could be the most crushing humiliation of her career, with the BSP drawing a complete blank in the state which is seen as the citadel of the backward caste politics in India.

Lalu Prasad Yadav, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and a star politician of the Mandal era, also stands utterly humiliated, with his wife and daughter losing the elections. His party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), has got only 3 seats.

The 2014 elections mark a nadir for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is lauded for re-engineering the fortunes of Bihar and credible development work in his state, but has lost out badly, a crushing defeat that is attributed to the flawed decision to part ways with the BJP after the saffron party nominated Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate last year. The Janata Dal (United), led by him, was bested decisively and managed to get only two seats out of 40 MPs Bihar sends to India’s upper house of parliament. Latest reports indicate that Nitish Kumar has resigned from the post of chief minister after owning up full responsibility for the poll debacle.

lalu-yadavThe spectacular drubbing of caste-based parties in the 2014 elections in India has been interpreted by pundits as a potential paradigm shift in India’s political landscape with the politics of vote banks giving way to development-centric politics, blended with a dose of Hindutva, which has been exemplified in the overwhelming victory of the BJP and Narendra Modi.

Some analysts contend that the decisive routing of caste-based parties in Uttar Pradesh, specially SP and BSP, which have alternatively ruled the UP for the last two decades, promises to end the decades-long spell of caste politics. “This is the demise of the Mandal politicians and it’s poetic justice that Narendra Modi, a lower-caste OBC, and one who has never played the caste card and indeed vehemently argued against it, should be the one to provide a death blow to Mandal politics,” opines Surjit S. Bhalla, a political commentator and chairman of Oxus investments, an emerging markets advisory firm, in a column in the Indian Express.

 


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Comments are closed

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS) | Receive follow up comments updates: RSS 2.0

© Copyright 2012 IndiaWrites.org. All rights reserved except for book/publication extracts. Write to us for details.