A 200 year old alleged historical win of British over the Peshwas in the Anglo-Maratha war is being celebrated in Bhima Koregaon as a commemoration of Dalit victory over Brahmins as many Mahars sided with the British army against the Peshwas even when some of the historical journals reveal that it was more of a retreat on both sides. It is a known fact that until Independence most kings and communities either sided or fought against their local rivals by aiding or aligning with the British/Mughals in various permutations and combinations which had been the reason for a prolonged British rule but to milk it now for political mileage by casting cards of divide amongst communities under the mask of fighting for Dalit rights and honor is not only shocking but simply alarming as these acts of deliberately instigating communal hatred and rioting is nothing but absolute ideological terrorism in the name of political narratives. Even if the Dalits had been oppressed as repeatedly alleged by historians and history text books how does it help restore their social dignity by instigating them against another caste or resorting to violence and damaging public property? By provoking and pitching the Dalits of the nation against another community the organizers of the protests are only creating a reverse oppression where the so called oppressed are instigated to turn oppressors. This is only becoming evident in the unabashed predatory polity of the Congress and all its subsidiary alliances that engage in rabble rousing speeches which are nothing short of hate speeches that are detrimental to our pluralistic society.
The British Army was mostly reluctant to recruit Dalits in their armies as they deemed them as non-martial races hence Ambedkar who belonged to the Mahar community had highlighted this aspect of Koregaon where Dalits too had fought along the British and that they should not be castigated as non-martial races. He had sought the inclusion of Mahars in the British army who were otherwise reluctant until the world war when they were forced to recruit them in order to save some white lives.
It’s been 7decades since the British left and in all these seven decades mostly Congress rule in its varied Avatars with their many populist schemes and caste reservations, and all those chants of ‘Garibi Hatao’, if Dalits are still feeling neglected and discriminated then there needs to be a serious reflection into the aspects of providing reservation systems based on castes as these quotas have done more harm by pinpointing their caste than uplifting their social status in the society.
Amongst the many Anglo-Maratha battles fought, Koregaon is one of the last few battles before the end of the Maratha regime and all Maharastrians take pride in being a Maratha but for anybody to be celebrating the defeat of the native rulers against foreign invaders in these contemporary times is a new low in the vulture polity practiced today. That the Congress party supports and outsources the riot mongering protestors at the cost of disrupting communal harmony and breaking the social fabric of the nation is telling of the ideological terrorism that is brewed today in the name of rights and honor of the oppressed. A closer look at recent riots, be it in the Una, Pattidar or Jat reservation riots or Panchkula riots and now the Chembur protests blaringly reiterates one aspect _ that that these engineered social disorders have mostly occurred in BJP ruled states making it for an open case of suspect on the Congress party’s role in it as it has been very vociferously supporting any and all forces that could embarrass or oppose the BJP in the most vicious form even at the cost of breaking India. For all their temple running attempts at transforming to shun the ideological image of a Congress that is apparently soaked in a history of minority appeasement politics with an obnoxious manifesto of communal and caste divides often cheering by the side of anti-India elements like Umar Khalid, one wonders if there really exists any ideology at all in this melee of political hooliganism that gets passed off as political strategy in the erudite corridors of English speaking hubs and concocted media panels. What is even more shameful in this whole episode is that the rightwing is naively engaging in rebuttals of egalitarianism and reiterating real history when the fact of the matter is that the Koregaon protests is no protest for Dalit integration or Dalit celebration but a blatant ploy to break India along with some vote shares if possible, and all those lengthy academic English pieces of history and rebuttals do not reach the Dalits on ground. The larger point is this_ a Congress with a miniscule parliamentarian presence still owns and runs the entire political ecosystem with no obligation towards nation building hence there is an urgent need to conceptualize a constitutional legislation extending the virtues on the lines of prevention of atrocities act against SC/STs to all other communities and criminalize the use of the word ‘Dalit’ or any other suggestive caste names by media and political parties and precautionary arrests of riot causing forces. The Koregaon incident is a deliberate attempt to break Shivaji’s legacy of Maratha pride which is almost synonymous to the Maharashtrian identity irrespective of whether one belongs to Dalit or any other community, and the presence of the Muslim Personal Law Board member Moulana Abdul Hamid Azaari and anti-India elements like JNU student Umar Khaled along side Jignesh Mevani in the rioting platform should ring a bell.
In the wake of upcoming elections in Rajasthan and Karnataka the hate brewing industry will only grow shriller in its political splitsvilla of casteist divides unless they are dealt with iron hands of law much against political correctness.