With the state elections more specifically the Uttar Pradesh elections round the corner one can help but notice the essence of politics that is crowding the conscience. Various political parties have declared their election manifestoes and further made eloquent promises to the masses.
The now rhetoric anti-corruption stance and claims of uplifting the state from the shambles of under development flowed through the dreams woven for the voters.
A novel inclusion to these manifestoes was the concept of promising reservation for minorities and backward castes. The SP manifesto promises to implement all recommendations of the Sachar commission, including job reservation on basis of population ratio. The Communist Party of India’s manifesto promises reservation on the basis of Ranganath Misra commission and Sachar committee further that they would continue to pursue the demand for the women reservation bill.
The Congress and the BJP are yet to publish their election manifestoes but it is plausible to assume that they would not be mentioning or considering any other section of society post the elections. Congress heavyweight Salman Khurshid has already declared that he would propose a reservation within the already implemented reservation system for Muslims. The Bahujan Samaj Party has since its’ inception been a mouthpiece for voicing the atrocities against the Dalit sections of society. The BJP has their vision document focused on development and a corruption free government.
When analysing the manifestoes already released one can easily concur that electorally the most neglected section of society is the one who ‘dominates’ it. Now that the cat is out of the box it is mandatory to mention that Scheduled Castes constitute just 21.1 % of the state’s population. Further Muslims that are considered as major stake holders in the UP elections comprise of not more than 20% of the total populace.
Why is it so that political parties prefer to focus of just 40% of the population? Is it an assumed fact that the remainder has no political relevance?
No matter how one advocated electoral governments, it is evident from Uttar Pradesh that democracy a sport of factions. Those sections of society that are considered to ‘caste’ their votes in bulk are the ones that are preferred by the political class. The ‘Upper Caste’ and subsequently ‘Upper Class’ has been rigged with years of neglect and hypocrisy. The vote wooing attempts by political factions give away the perception that Upper Caste Hindus are the least relevant division in electoral politics.
The reason for the neglect of the larger bulk of the populace is not adhering to the herd mentality. Upper caste vote across Uttar Pradesh is largely dependent on individual perception or rather the most democratic in essence. If the populace adheres to this pattern of voting, a completely decentralized government would come into existence wherein each representative would be responsible to the voters and not to the party in command.
When considering the scenario in the polling booth, an individual hailing from the Upper Caste would not have any preference and might even have to just go for a random punch the buttons. It is the absence of attention from any political faction that has led to further alienation of these voters from the election process.
It is not that the upper caste is absolved of all economic and social discrepancies. The sub-factions within these castes coupled with political ignorance have further led to silent oppression of this portion of society. The policy of reservation under the excuse of uplifting the scheduled castes, tribes and other backward castes has forced the remainder section of society to rethink its stance and perception towards democracy at large.
In a country that claims to be a republic for 63 years now the absence of a basic social equality is a deplorable truth. The system of reservation instead of eliminating the caste barriers has further widened the rifts. It won’t be long before the Upper Caste will refuse to apply for any government jobs and in return may even alienate the system.
The framers of the constitution never planned democracy to be run as per the whims of just 20% of society.