The Supreme Court’s recent order on the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, that is perceived as a dilution of the law of protection of SC, STs from upper castes, has got huge uproar from the SC, ST communities. The agitation has taken violent route and caused physical damage. If this is not enough, several Dalit lives have been lost in the agitation demanding the immediate attention of the Union Government given its sensitivity.
Even after eleven deaths were reported on April 2nd in the Bandh called of by Dalit groups across India, not a single arrest has been taken place since then. This is coming back to bite the Union Government and the respective state governments. Meanwhile, the situation in Kerala has taken many by shock. Kerala Dalit activists rejected the support from mainstream political parties for bandh or hartal held recently as they don’t want any political identity for their Dalit protest. This is clear indication that the outrage of Dalits is not backed by any political party or opposition parties but a genuine and sincere protest from Dalit communities over the dilution of the legislation that facilitates redressal for them when their identities become the cause of crimes against them.
BJP and RSS, which have been tagged as anti-Dalit from longtime, is now in utter shock over the unexpected outrage from the community over night. Since 2019 polls are fast approaching and several allies of BJP such as TDP, Shiv Sena, Biju Janata Dal have already declared war on BJP and another key ally LJP is likely to join the bandwagon, BJP-led NDA has turned out to be a sinking ship.
Amidst this, Narendra Modi has done an unthinkable – one-day fast – in order to divert the attention of media, people from Dalit outrage. But little did Modi or BJP gains out of this. The incident has got severe flak from all corners of the country against Modi who did it being a Prime Minister. While it is also one plan to gain sympathy from the people in the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections, this act of Modi has done more damage to the party.
All these indicate that Modi’s fear looms large ahead of 2019 polls as there is huge anti-Modi wave across the country, particularly in South India.