RSS-BJP Model: From Killing Reservation to Unrestrained Atrocities on Dalits

Bhima Koregaon Protest
Mumbai Protest after Bhima Koregaon violence/Photo courtesy-Amit Chakravarty

 Let us look at few snapshots of ABVP – RSS – BJP concern for the “underprivileged” and the model for “social justice”.

RSS-BJP-ABVP Model of “Social Justice” in the Sphere of Higher Education

Scuttling Reservations in Students’ Admissions in Higher Education:

  •  The UGC had issued a notification dated 5th May, 2016 regarding M.Phil/PhD admissions. In the name of maintaining student-teacher ratio, what the regulation effectively has resulted into is massive seat-cut and decimation of reservation in M.Phil/PhD admission. Further, the notification arbitrarily asks for 50% in written tests as minimum eligibility marks without any relaxations for reserved category candidates. The consequences of this notification are there for all to see:
    • In 2016-17 JNU offered 996 seats for admission in M. Phil/PhD and in 2017-18, after the forcible implementation of UGC Notification the offer reduced to a mere 159 seats. The condition of reservation is further horrible. Of the 159 seats offered, only 31 seats were reserved—reservation is therefore just 20.75%, in complete violation of the CEI Act and Constitutional provisions.
    • This year 2018, it is Delhi University’s turn, as a consequence of 5 May 2016 UGC Notification:

No. Of Candidates Who Qualified for M.Phil. Admission in DU 2018

Departments Seats Gen SC ST OBC
Modern Indian Languages and Literary Studies 16 8 0 0 1
Adult Continuing Education and Extension 13 5 0 0 0
History 25 13 2 1 2
Botany 14 0 0 0 0
African Studies 20 8 2 1 3

No. Of Candidates Who Qualified for Ph.D. Admission in DU 2018

Departments Seats Gen SC ST OBC
Modern Indian Languages and Literary Studies 35 7 0 0 1
Adult Continuing Education and Extension 23 2 0 3
History 30 2 0 0 1
Psychology 25 14 0 0 3
Botany 18 0 0 0 1
African Studies 10 2 0 0 0

5th May 2016 UGC Notification–A Dangerous Formula to Kill Social Justice in Multiple Ways:

Apart from the formula of direct seat cut, the adoption of UGC notification destroyed the potential for social inclusion in higher education in multiple ways.

For example, In JNU, before the implementation of this UGC Notification, in order to be called for the viva voce for M.Phil admissions, students needed to obtain a minimum marks (35% for unreserved categories, 31.5% for OBCs and 25% for SC/ST/PH out of 70) in the written exam. Thus, students from PH/SC/ST/OBC categories used to get legally mandated relaxation in the minimum eligibility criterion for clearing the written exam. According to the UGC circular, now all students have to obtain a minimum of 50% marks in the written exam to be eligible for appearing in viva, with no mention of relaxation to students from marginalised backgrounds. Clearly, this drastically reduced the number of students eligible to even be called for the viva! Seats reserved for SC/ST/OBC/PH will obviously see the heaviest casualties. This is absolutely clear from the above mentioned data of both JNU and Delhi University M.Phil and PhD admission.

The RSS-BJP loyalist JNU VC also misused his power to impose 100% weight to viva-voce and scarp the unique deprivation point policy in the name of implementing the UGC notification causing further discrimination against students coming from marginalized backgrounds in the admission.

Further, it was a battery of well-known pro-BJP lawyers who defended this anti-reservation UGC Notification in the Court, when the JNU students challenged it. The lawyer team included the likes of Monica Arora (former ABVP leader in DUSU and BJP candidate in Delhi Assembly election) and Tushar Mehta (the BJP govt appointed Additional Solicitor General and close associate of Modi-Shah duo)!

Scuttling Reservations in Faculty Appointments in Colleges and Universities:

  •  In April this year three universities advertised for faculty positions. The Central University of Tamil Nadu offered 2 posts for OBC category out of 65 total faculty positions advertised. The Indira Gandhi National Tribal University offered 1 post under OBC category out of total 52 posts advertised. In both the cases no SC/ST reservation has been offered. And in Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hindi Vishwavidyalaya no reservation has been provided for SC/ST or OBC out of 18 posts advertised.

Missing Reservations in Faculty Posts in TWO Central Universities

Institution Posts SC ST OBC
Central University of Tamil Nadu 65 2 0 0
Indira Gandhi National Tribal University  52 1 0 0

  •  This comes as an aftermath of UGC’s 5th March, 2018 letter to all universities directing them to implement reservation based on total strength of individual departments rather than of the whole College/University. If the new formula continues to be implemented, in large universities like the BHU posts reserved for SC will be reduced by half, those for ST by almost 80 percent and for OBC teachers by 30 percent.
  • ‘Autonomous’ and ‘Institutions of Eminence’ which are free from the responsibility of fufiling constitutionally mandated reservations in admissions and appointments: On 20th March 2018, the MHRD unilaterally held a press conference declaring 60 educational institutions ‘Autonomous’. The 12th February UGC Gazette notification which is the basis of the MHRD declaration mentions that this autonomy to start new courses without the approval of the commission is meant only when no demand for funds is made from the government! It will only result into massive fee-hike under self-financing courses completely excluding the marginalized sections from the sphere of higher education.This is saffron brigade’s idea of “social justice” – killing reservation in educational institutions and employment opportunities!

BJP-RSS Scheme of “Social Justice” Unfolding across Country

  • In 2016, Dalits were flogged in full public view in Una, Gujarat.
  • In 2017, a Dalit village in Saharanpurwas burnt down by feudal goons from upper caste just after the Yogi government took charge of the UP government on Maharana Pratap Jayanti. Exactly one year after this incident, a Dalit activist of the Bhim Army Sachin Walia was shot dead by upper caste goons in the same Saharanpur. Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad has been put behind bars and National Security Act charged against him because the Dalits of Saharanpur fought back against the burning down of Shabbirpur village.
  • On 1stJanuary, 2018, Dalits who gathered to commemorate the Bhima Koregaon war were violently attacked by goons patronised by the saffron brigade. The masterminds of the Bhima Koregaon anti-Dalit attack Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote are well known acquaintances of the RSS-BJP. And it is a reality that when both these masterminds roam free in BJP ruled Maharashtra, a young Dalit girl who was witness to the Bhima Koregaon violence on Dalits was found dead in a well.
  • Every 15 minutes a crime is committed against a Dalit in India. According to the data from the National Crime Records Bureau, the rape of Dalit women has doubled in the last 10 years.
  • A strong structural and legal protection against discrimination the SC/ST Act – was diluted. It was only after massive protests that the government was forced to take some steps to reverse this dilution.
  • When the order to dilute the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act came, the Dalit community came out in large number for the call of Bharat Bandh on 2nd April. On the day of the Bharat Bandh, hundreds of Dalits were arrested, assaulted and charged with criminal cases. In BJP ruled states like MP, UP and Rajasthan Dalits were killed in gunfire for participating in Bharat Bandh. Not only were Dalits killed on the day of the Bharat Bandh, but marked and killed later by feudal goons in the aftermath of the Bharat Bandh in UP.

Overall, when there is intensifying violence against the Dalits, the Modi government is systematically dismantling all institutional safeguards to protect the marginalised against systemic oppression. The pattern is very clear. From killing Dalits to finishing off reservation in jobs and admission, the present regime is out with a very clear model of “social justice”!

But this is nothing new. Just after independence, RSS mouthpiece Organiser wrote an editorial on 30 Nov 1949, declaring anti- Dalit and anti-women Manusmriti better than the Indian Constitution:

“But in our constitution there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.”

Organiser, 30 Nov 1949

RSS even denounces the idea of equal rights to citizens enshrined in India’s Constitution. In the pamphlet “Why Hindu Rashtra” (1960) RSS chief Golwalkar wrote:

“Unfortunately…our Constitution has…given equal rights to everybody, just as a person without understanding may give equal rights to his children and to the thieves in his house and distribute the property among all”.

Why Hindu Rashtra ,1960, Golwalkar

The marginalised communities are the mainstream of our country, the oppressed are the “99%” of the country. We all know about saffron brigade’s eternal love for the “1%”, the Adanis- Ambanis – Modis– Mallyas and their allied feudal brahminical upper strata, which they think is the “mainstream” and who have come to corner 73% of India’s wealth under Modi rule! But the real mainstream, the oppressed, has said it loud and clear – we have enough of your jumlas, we don’t need your pity or charity, and we will snatch our rights – from Una to Bhima Koregaon, from Saharanpur to Araria, from HCU to JNU! 

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