This election season, one thing is certain. If Narendra Modi’s ‘Mission 272’ for the Lok Sabha polls in summer has to go beyond just aspirational value, the complex electoral mosaic of Uttar Pradesh must be painted saffron. After all, with 80 seats—the most from any state—the Hindi heartland state could well pave the BJP’s road to the Centre.
If any party gets UP sewed up, it will do no harm to its prospects. No one knows that better than the BJP and Modi, its prime ministerial candidate. On March 2, therefore, when Modi descends on Lucknow to kickstart the final phase of his Lok Sabha campaign in the state, everything is being projected in larger-than-life fashion. Modi’s trusted lieutenant Amit Shah has been tasked with collecting an audience of 15 lakh for the Sunday rally. Sources say it’s being planned as the “biggest rally UP has ever seen, with details being worked out over many knowledge exchange sessions between local leaders and Shah”. In fact, the blueprint for the rally was prepared a month and half back in Delhi by Nand Kishore Yadav, the party’s leader of the Opposition in Bihar, and Laxmikant Bajpai, its UP unit chief. An insider says the Bihar unit of the party had explained the methods used to mobilise crowds for Modi’s Patna rally. “That’s why Nand Kishore Yadav was asked to help out the team working in UP. Every little detail has been taken care of.” According to sources, some Rs 3 crore has been collected to fund the rally.
The focus is on “consolidating the non-Yadav OBCs, who make up 36 per cent of the state population and 38 per cent of the voters, in favour of the BJP”, explains a source. Says an insider, “If UP has to be won, the BJP must woo the OBCs. With Narendrabhai as our PM candidate, we already have an edge, because in UP, Modi is being projected as the tallest backward class leader in the country. We only need to consolidate this votebank.” Another salient angle being worked on is to erode the rld’s Jat base in western UP; post the Muzaffarnagar riots, this seems to have worked. And Modi is trying to reach out to non-Jatav Dalits and Paasis.
Internal surveys by the party show that, with Kalyan and Uma’s return, the BJP is better placed among the Lodhs, besides the Jats, Gujjars and Kushwahas in the state. “For the first time after the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, we are looking at a scenario where upper castes will back the BJP along with the OBCs. It’s a social engineering plan that has been well thought out and meticulously executed in the state by Shah,” says a source close to senior leaders. Clearly, the party is banking on a post-Muzaffarnagar polarisation in UP; the leadership seems comfortable that the upper castes and Jats will back the party.
It is with this in mind that, led by Shah, the UP unit is focusing on OBCs, having logged some 160 OBC sammelans over the last two months, egging them to voice their anger against the UPA and the Samajwadi Party’s “minority appeasement”. “They feel the Ranganath Misra committee report puts them at a great disadvantage. This anger against the ruling parties is being tapped and channelised,” says a senior leader. Eyeing the OBC vote, a social justice programme is on; and khaps are being wooed by giving them more say at BJP meetings.
So far, the BJP has held five major rallies in the state and over 220 sammelans, which include those for OBCs, intellectuals, working professionals and cadres. Insiders confirm the state unit also has the sanction of Shah to work closely with RSS units to mobilise people at the ground level. RSS and ABVP leaders like Krishna Gopal and Sunil Bansal have been roped in to enthuse the cadre at the grassroots. Not just that, with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat devoting time in UP to meet office-bearers of the Sangh and BJP leaders, massive attention is being paid to “mobilisation at the poll booth level”. The RSS cadre therefore is being used to do what it is best at—mobilising public opinion at the grassroots through door-to-door campaigns.
“This time, we are taking a bottom-up instead of a trickledown approach. Workers in every district have been asked to prepare a list of candidates for panchayat elections instead of Lok Sabha polls and tickets will be given to those who have greater hold at the ground level,” says a source. What’s more, taking cue from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the BJP unit has asked ticket-seekers to back their claims for candidacy with serious numbers. So every aspirant has to furnish the Lucknow office with a list of at least 10,000 party workers, along with their signatures and photographs, as proof of support at the ground level.
Not just that, the party unit plans to carpet-bomb the state with Modi’s presence. Another 80 rallies have been planned, with Modi addressing at least six rallies per day from April 1. Shah, meanwhile, says he has toured 71 out of the 80 constituencies himself, spreading Modi’s message. In the days to come, sources confirm, they’ll field both Modi and Rajnath from eastern and western UP respectively to ensure that the saffron hue in the hinterland runs a shade deeper.
Apropos A Bit of Caste Too, the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah model of development for the hinterland: they’ll take your land, sell it to the corporates and tell you to go and live in the slums of the big cities.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Crash course on why the West hates RSS.
Looking through the eyes of the WEST one thing they all hate is COMMUNISM. 'Cos it distributes wealth from Rich to the poor. But still why do they care about it.. Here is the secret.
Foreign corporations want to own the natural resources and the Indian markets for profits.
An organization like RSS teaches nationalism. In theory Nationalism hates foreign investmentss. So in theory RSS is anti-business. But after looking at MODI they are all getting confused. MODI is probusiness and also RSS.
Foreign money was pumped into Indian elections since ages. Russian always contributed to Gandhis, there is evidence on that. Kangress was ONLY ALLOWED TO GET ELECTED BY FOREIGNERS FOR DECADES. How, foreigners owned Indian English media for a long time until recent history. After Internet they cannot control the thought process of common Indians.
So foreign people DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE MINORITIES IN INDIA. They just want access to the Indian markets at a cheaper price. And they want Indian governments to not be a hurdle to their interests.
So Muslims, Chriatians and Left leaning Hindus, understand how you(and your parents) have been brainwashed for many years. SO VOTE BASED ON WHAT YOU SEE AND FEEL. NOT WHAT YOU ARE TOLD TO DO. You can go to the rallies of both Kangress and BJP and listen to their messages and vote based on that.
The parivaris have become good at smearing and vilification.
All the combined Pariwaris are no match to Faruki's smearing and vilification campaign.
>> which political party is not communal?
Communalism is the raison d'être of the BJP/RSS/VHP parivar's existence. They try to label Congress as communal whenever Congress attempts any amelioration of discrimination or backwardness of minorities. The parivaris have become good at smearing and vilification.
>> Don't give us lectures on divisiveness and communal politics.
Read this article and see who is spreading the communalist poison in U.P. to enlarge their votebank. It is the BJP and its partners in evil, the RSS and the VHP.
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