Who does this country really belong to?

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.

Courtesy - http://www.newzstreet.com
Uttar Pradesh Elections 2012

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.

Congress Party

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.

Bhartiya Janta Party

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.


11 thoughts on “Who does this country really belong to?

  1. Interesting revelations about the demographics. It is true that the ‘upper’ castes have been ostracized from the exercise of voting for a long time, but I really wasn’t aware that they held the sway in terms of population by that big a majority

  2. The 40% which you are talking about, is the community which votes as a collective community, seldom their votes get split. so the simple agenda is to conquer these 40% votes. The upper middle class will have a holiday in it’s hand, they will enjoy the election coverage with coffee and tea. The working class would work even that day, standing in the line waiting for their turn to vote. Celebrities would show their ink-coated fingers to media people-to motivate the same lithargiv-ignorant middle class to vote. Manifestoes focuses on that standing-working class.

  3. The dominance of the Upper Castes in smaller states is a known fact. Most parties tend to field candidates belonging to the upper caste in such conditions. It’ll be wrong to say that they’re an electorally ignored caste. I don’t fully agree with the fact that the upper castes vote as per their individual perceptions as stated by you. The previous Assembly Elections in Uttarakhand showed how the BJP was easily able to mobilize the support of the upper castes by fielding candidates from their community. Elections in India are always characterized by means of a complex caste calculus. The issue of Dalit empowerment or Minority reservation isn’t doing the rounds in states other than UP. I think every party looks at the SC’s/ST’s, OBC’s and Minorities as additional votebanks. The BJP has traditionally been a party gunning for the Brahmins but this time around they’re concentrating on the OBC’s because they know that the Brahmin vote is not consolidating behind any single party and is bound to get split among the various stakeholders. This is what usually happens during the General elections since no party is capable enough of mobilizing the support of the upper castes on the national spectrum. It is this inability of theirs which makes them reach out to the other castes and communities. Since they’re lesser in number it is far easier to mobilize them. Secondly, their backwardness also ensures that they get easily swayed by means of emotional sloganeering.

  4. I like the caption…… ‘Who does this country really belong to?’…. Before independence and even after about damn 65 years of independence.. this country belongs to the so-called intellectual elites who believe that they are god send to rule this country…. or some damn people who supposedly want to uplift masses which is an eye wash…. and i am really sick of the word ’empowering common man’…. why the hell they should care about because we don t form a vote bank.. rite… So lately i am just sick of Indian politics as it has really no way forward.. it will slip all the more backwards… in all the more darker realms!

  5. correct point with a balance report has been raised in ur words, our country has always taken a wise step like equality amoung masses,,,,or any other programme.but this has been so jumbled up that a good schemes turns bad. Idea was good in beginning but now its a big question on demoracy and results for the same equilitarian society in india has shown many many negative effects….. now ppl have more inner conflict over political issues.

  6. apart from Uttarakhand u cant sight any single state where upper castes are supported and that too because 60% populace of The State belongs to Rajput (the high caste Hindus). and Saif upper castes are lesser in number not other castes and communities…..

  7. beautifully written , but i would like to put forth a point, that why dont the contestants make women their vote bank which consist of 40% rather than fighting on the basis of castes . They are fighting for a particular caste which may include just 2 %. Why dont they talk about the concerns of women. Which is really needed in the interiors of UP. Which also lead to election of Nitish kumar in lucknow

  8. Exactly what I have been thinking for a long while, and why would ‘upper caste’ people turn up for elections when there is nothing for them in the manifesto- they will take a side-stand rather and enjoy the holiday. And I can’t help feeling bad… the sections which these parties try to lure through their long manifestos, even after being aware that it’s just the politics, give in. Of course, there might be a fraction which fails to adopt a critical mind on such matters and goes with the flow but before casting the vote, I think they should ponder upon, just for once, how the manifestos have somehow remained the same throughout the post-independence period. I belong from Jharkhand, and let me assure you, the people in power are not even matric-passed. But yeah, to quote Stuti, ‘so-called intellectuals’, indeed. Ironic.

    By the way, I am waiting for my Voter id to come so that I can vote too. But then, kisko vote karein, bhaiya? Andhon me kaana raaja scene ho jaayega fir.

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