Caste and the Cabinet: What BJP don’t propagate?

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Representational Image, Courtesy: Goseefeel

Soon after the President elections, Narendra Modi led BJP government has reshuffled the cabinet on 3-Sep-2017. But this time, none were projected as Dalit cabinet ministers unlike president Ram Nath Kovind’s caste.

It is not necessary that one’s caste be projected. But if it is done, there is certainly an intention behind it. We’ve seen how the undeclared official campaigns of governments are widespread whenever there is an opportunity. PM Modi called himself backward before elections; President Ram Nath was projected as a Dalit. There are several instances as such!

When a single post is filled with an OBC/SC/ST are propagated, why not other castes given such publicity? Is it to hide the common and hype the rare? Let us observe the main cabinet list and their castes after which one can draw his/her own judgments.

1 Sushma Swaraj : Brahmin Brahmin
2 Arun Jaitley : Brahmin Brahmin
3 Nitin Jairam Gadkari Brahmin
4 Suresh Prabhu Brahmin
5 Nirmala Sitharaman Brahmin
6 Ananth kumar Hegde Brahmin
7 Jagat Prakash Nadda Brahmin
8 Prakash Javadekar Brahmin
9 Dr. Harsh Vardhan Vaisya
10 Piyush Goyal Vaisya
11 Raj Nath Singh Rajput 
12 Uma Bharati Rajput 
13 Radha Mohan Singh Rajput
14 Narendra Singh Tomar Rajput
15 Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati Rajput
16 Ravi Shankar Prasad Kayasth
17 Smriti Zubin Irani Khatri
18 Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal Jatt
19 Chaudhary Birender Singh Jatt
20 Anant Geete Kunbhi
21 Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Sikh
22 DV Sadananda Gowda Vokkaliga-OBC
23 Dharmendra Pradhan Sudi - OBC
24 Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Muslim
25 Thaawar Chand Gehlot SC
26 Ramvilas Paswan SC
27 Ual Oram ST

The new cabinet, in a way depicts a conscious effort by Narendra Modi-Amit Shah regime to promote the upper caste. The upper caste push comes amid the ruling party’s constant effort to wash their Anti-Dalit image as alleged by the opposition.

Uttar Pradesh, a state that already has Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey, Thakur and Brahmin respectively, has got another Brahmin Shiv Pratap Shukla as central minister.

With the inclusion of Shiv Pratap Shukla, a Brahmin from Uttar Pradesh, the state becomes an upper caste dominant with key positions in hand. The state already has Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath , a Thakur and BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey, a Brahmin, both from upper caste. Notably, both Adityanath and Shukla are from Gorakhpur. Pandey has recently resigned as junior central minister and was made Uttar Pradesh BJP chief, replacing backward caste leader Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Waman Meshram, a noted leader of Backward Classes said “There is no reservation in the cabinet; and where there is no reservation, the ruling parties dominated by the Brahminical mindset reflect their true nature. Same thing has happened in spheres like the judiciary where reservation is consciously set aside despite constitutional guarantee. More than 90% of judges belong to Brahmin and other upper caste”.

Out of other 37 ministries of state, most of the ranks were given to the upper caste or regionally dominated castes with an exception to couple of SC/ST’s. It is high time that the voters have to identify the caste politics of the parties and make their decisions. Political parties should also be responsible in discouraging caste politics walk towards social justice in practice.