To Dalit or not Dalit

It has been quite some time since I have posted something political. So here goes.

Disclaimer: If you are offended by my views, you should know that you have just as much right to be offended as I have to express my views.

If you have been watching the recent headlines, you would be aware of the name Ram Nath Kovind (in picture below)

Ram Nath Kovind

He was the Governor for the State of Bihar, until recently. He is the Presidential nominee for the NDA government. Seems like ordinary news. So why even blog about it? Well, the answer will become apparent pretty soon.

The thing is, in India, it really doesn’t matter who you are. It matters who you were born as and where you were born. It so happens that Kovind here is a Dalit, who has been affiliated with the RSS, which is the parent organization of the BJP. This seemed like a political masterstroke by the BJP to lay aside its image as being anti-Dalit while getting a President who will do their bidding, and making it difficult for the opposition parties to oppose the nomination.

But what it has done is far more worse. It has stoked the Dalit/non-Dalit fire. Should a person become the most eligible candidate for the Presidency of the Country just because s/he is a Dalit, or should s/he be chosen based on merit? To draw a contrast, Obama was elected President of the US and he happened to be African-American. He wasn’t elected because he was African-American!

Within this week we have seen a lot of political parties opposing this move by the BJP, but not opposing the nomination because of the D-word. Everyone is praising the nomination because Kovind is a Dalit. This is basically the practice of political untouchability, and also the introduction of an unsaid reservation of the Presidential post. Because any nomination to contest Kovind will also have to be a Dalit, if s/he is to stand a chance to win. But we shall see nothing wrong in this.

Make no mistake, this is not a secular nomination. A secular nomination would not see the background of the person and the family s/he is born into. This is a nomination that is made because Kovind is a Dalit. Because Kovind is associated with the RSS. So to all the seculars out there, make note of the parties that are supporting the nomination while opposing the party that made the move. This will help clear the air on who is truly secular and who is not.

Then again, the Presidency is vestigial. It is said to be “the President’s government”, but in reality it is “the Government’s president”. It is a sham, a show to fool us all, exactly like the transparent glass houses of the corporate world working within opaque walls.

So let us learn to call a spade a spade and raise our voices in support for the meritorious, regardless of their caste/creed/age/sex/religion, and in protest of those who are selected because of their caste/creed/age/sex/religion.

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