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Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2020 > Dalit Politics needs a New Radical Direction | S. R. Darapuri

Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 36, New Delhi, August 22, 2020

Dalit Politics needs a New Radical Direction | S. R. Darapuri

Friday 21 August 2020


by S. R. Darapuri

Till now Dalit politics / Dalit movement has been limited to saving reservation in government jobs only and Dalit leaders have been considering gaining power as the victory of Dalit politics. Their goal has been very narrow. It is well known that even if a Dalit becomes Prime Minister in today’s capitalist system, Dalits cannot be saved. In such a situation, the benefit will be only for those Dalit leaders who will get power and their number will be limited to a few thousand MPs, MLAs or some Board Chairmen only. Dalit migrant labourers and landless farmers / labourers who are still facing the brunt of poverty, will continue to suffer. There will be no improvement in their economic condition. Yes, there can be some reduction in violence against them. Therefore, this problem will remain until the system changes. Mayawati’s four-time Chief Ministership term in Uttar Pradesh is the best example of this.

Dr. Ambedkar In the Constituent Assembly had said how future governments without state socialist policies would ensure political, economic and social justice. His apprehension is proving right today. He said that Dalits have two enemies: Capitalism and Brahminism. But today’s Dalit leaders have befriended capitalism. There is no threat to the capitalists and Brahminists in power from such Dalit leaders as they will continue to own the wealth of the country and they will continue to determine the policies of the country on the basis of capital.

The example of America is in front of us where the black people suffered great atrocities at the hands of the whites and struggled against it and moved towards victory and finally got the right to equality in 1964 after Civil Rights Movement. But despite this, their condition has not changed much even today and most black people are still living in poverty in America. Not only this, even after, Barack Obama became President from 2009 to 2017, their poverty did not go away and right now, they are worst hit by Corona epidemic against which Obama also raised his voice.

In 1947, Dr. Ambedkar sent a memorandum in the form of a draft of the Constitution titled “States and Minorities” on behalf of All India Scheduled Castes Federation to the Constituent Assembly to ensure the rights of Bahujan Samaj in the future constitution. In this he suggested that the main and basic industries of the country should be with the government and agricultural land of the country should be nationalized and collective farming should be done on it. If that were the case, landless Dalit farmers, who had been deprived of ownership of agricultural land for thousands of years, would also have got the equal right in agricultural land and would also have got equal opportunities in national industries. But this did not happen and the exploitation of Dalits continues unabated. It is well known that those who already occupy land and capital have been taking advantage of this capitalist system and will continue to take it.
Now, with the privatization of government industries, the reservation opportunities of Dalits are also constantly shrinking. Land reforms have not been implemented in any state except Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala and Bengal, due to which 73% Dalits are still landless despite being connected with agriculture. In the village, their landlessness and manual labour position is the biggest weakness of Dalits. Therefore, land reforms are as relevant today as they were before.

It is also true that in the last few years, the Dalits had also gained some political power by adopting the politics of identity, but it remained merely a politics of power and none of their problem was solved. On the contrary, the result was that it strengthened the ideology of Hindutva and a large segment of Dalits fell into the trap of Hindutva. Today, the situation is that in a democracy, if Dalits could have expected to get some constitutional rights, but now they are continuously declining under the authoritarian rule of BJP. In place of Dr. Ambedkar’s state socialism, now the dominance of crony capitalism and finance capital has been established, due to which not only Dalits but also a large population of the country is going to be the victim of poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, hunger and exploitation.

Therefore, it is very important that the present Dalit politics should be freed from the politics of identity and should take a radical agenda and adopts pro-people and socialist politics and joins hands with the political parties working in this direction. Our party All India People’s Front (AIPF) has been working in this direction for a long time and it is successfully fighting the land question of Dalits/Tribals, rights of labourers and farmers and to promote collective farming. Therefore, you are requested to join our party in maximum number.

S. R. Darapuri IPS (Retd) and National Spokesperson, All India People’s Front

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