by Khalid Anis Ansari
Any government, including right wing ones, are constitutionally expected to address the concerns of all citizens. If the Pasmanda communities face any issue—symbolic or economic—they are within their rights to approach the government of the day for redressal. Pasmanda movement believes in engagement and not withdrawal from the State. So they will engage with both the BJP government at the Centre and U.P.
However, the Pasmanda movement will continue to oppose fascist and manuwadi forces just like all major dalit, left and progressive/democratic forces do. But the people are open to other negotiations and influences and their electoral behavior cannot be really predicted. In Uttar Pradesh 2017 assembly elections a significant number of dalit and OBC votes went to the BJP (the savarnas obviously supported the BJP wholeheartedly).
Should we merely blame the voters for this without understanding what made the BJP attractive to them? If secular/social justice parties continue with their slumber with regards to Pasmanda demands then a significant shift of Pasmanda votes may happen towards the BJP in 2019 general elections. In such a scenario should the Pasmanda voters be held responsible for that? If the answer to this question from the secular/social justice camp is affirmative then they must simply pack up their bags and exit politics altogether.
[See also the news coverage of this note here]