The Government of UP has released figures on the caste profile of offenders who have been eliminated in encounters over the past three years. This has been done to counter allegations that there has been an anti-Brahmin bias to such killings. The figures indicate that this is not the case, at all, with those eliminated being more or less proportionate to their numbers in the population. If anything, the percentage of those from the ‘minorities’ has been a little higher. This probably can be explained by the socio-economic marginalisation of these sections.
While this allegation on caste bias could be refuted by the release of actual figures, it is tragic that it had to be done at all in this day and age. It is extraordinary that political parties are trying to undermine Yogi Adityanath’s political base by playing the caste card to this level. After all, the narrative of the Left and caste based parties like the SP and BSP for decades has been that of Brahmins being the oppressors. Now they have suddenly become the ‘oppressed’, needing the protection of these very sections! Ironically, all of this has been sparked by the killing of the gangster Vikas Dubey, who was responsible for the deaths of eight police personnel!
Is it not an insult to UP’s Brahmins if they are believed to be hurt by this act? Does it not reveal the mindset of these political parties – that they think people support criminals as long as they are of their caste? Is it reflective of their mindset when they were in power? And are the people of UP so gullible that they can believe the Brahmins have been alienated from the BJP because of this?
Some legislators of the BJP in UP actually seem to be subscribing to this storyline and have begun to put pressure on the Chief Minister. While they are obviously doing this to increase their nuisance value, there is a limit to how much they should be tolerated. It is a critical moment for Yogi Adityanath – he can display leadership by rising above such politics and not pandering to it by issuing clarifications on every such allegation, or succumb to these tricks. The mandate given to the BJP in important states like UP has been for transformative governance, of which strict maintenance of law and order is an essential part. It is a mind game being played by unscrupulous and desperate dynasts – it should be countered with even better public relations.