Tuesday, 17 May, 2022
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Why ThePrint is wrong about the BJP being an upper-caste party

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The article was a desperate attempt to divide society along the lines of caste and to instigate a section of the community against the BJP.

ThePrint on 1 August, published a report written by Ruhi Tewari and Pragya Kaushika titled We analysed 1,000 BJP leaders and found the party remains a Brahmin-Baniya Club. I have severe objections to this desperate need of Indian journalists and intellectuals to view and analyse anything and everything through the prism of caste.

Viewing organisations through a lens of caste is an extremely dangerous endeavour as the very subtext behind such an exercise is very divisive. It is such a divisive thought that we ought to fight against if we want to eradicate the caste system in India. The BJP and the RSS have been fighting against the caste system for decades and to see such an article was shocking. The timing of this article along with its divisive and dubious methodology makes it more questionable.

I believe that the article was a desperate attempt to divide society along the lines of caste and to instigate a section of the community against the BJP in the run-up to 2018 state elections, and the 2019 general elections.

ThePrint looked at the BJP only as an organisation but forgot to take into account the number of elected representatives that the party has from the backward classes — be it SC, ST or OBC. I fail to understand how one could analyse the world’s largest party by just looking at 1,000 leaders while ignoring the elected representatives that the party sends to the Parliament, state assemblies, municipal corporations and panchayats. This in itself proves that the sample was skewed and thus, biased and any analysis based upon such a sample cannot be relied upon.

Also read: We analysed 1,000 BJP leaders & found the party remains a Brahmin-Baniya club

Let me put the record straight: Analyse the BJP’s elected representatives across time — the party sends the maximum members of parliament from the SC, ST and OBC communities. But the BJP does not do it because they are SC, ST or OBC; it does it because it believes in equality of opportunity and picks candidates based upon whoever would be able to win the confidence of the people.

It may be an argument by ThePrint that elected houses have seats reserved for SC, ST but then the BJP as a percentage of total OBC elected representatives is a substantial percentage from OBC. One also needs to question why is it that on reserved seats, the BJP has a better strike rate than the others. It is because the BJP has empowered the backward classes over time, unlike other political parties of India. Remember, the BJP is the only party which has a fully functional SC, ST morcha.

Let us look at the caste-wise representation of the BJP in the Lok Sabha for the states of Bihar and UP.

Caste-wise representation of BJP MPs in Lok Sabha

A similar comparison can be done for all other states and we will find similar results. But as discussed, the BJP does not decide on the basis of caste and I have never witnessed or heard about any candidate being discriminated against on the basis of his/her caste or gender.

On the larger question of representation, I respond by highlighting the high percentage of SC, ST and OBC leaders in elected assemblies on BJP tickets. I then wonder does the BJP not empower and ensure that marginalised sections of society are adequately represented.

The article rightly mentioned that the Hon’ble Prime Minister of our country is an OBC but he has never used his caste for politics. The BJP has also had the privilege of nominating the late Dr Abdul Kalam, an able scientist and a true inspiration for the country, as India’s President. It was his ability that was considered more than his caste or religion while furthering his nomination.

Similarly, the BJP nominated a Dalit as the President of our country and a kisan as the vice-president. We’ve also given the nation several SC, ST and OBC leaders — Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti to name a few. The BJP does a great job of upliftment for the marginalised sections and it is demonstrated by the consistently high strike rate that the party enjoys thanks to the good work of our SC, ST morcha and the entire organisation as a whole.

Also read: Maratha protest shows Maharashtra is no better than casteist Bihar or Uttar Pradesh

This entire narrative is aimed at showing that the BJP is against the marginalised sections or that it doesn’t represent them much but the narrative is based on a skewed sample, a biased analysis based on inherent prejudices and preconceived notions. With a flawed methodology, I was bound to respond with facts and a robust analysis to demonstrate how the media has faltered in doing the job it was supposed to do. Rather than fight the caste system, such articles strengthen it and make it more rigid by dividing society.

As a concluding note, I ask ThePrint and my friends in the media, would they care to tell us what percentage of their employees come from SC, ST and OBC backgrounds? If the question seems too absurd then you get the point that I was trying to make in this article.

Bhasin is Director at Public Policy Research Centre, New Delhi.

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  1. Sir
    Views expressedby common man and perception in society is correlated.
    Caste system is persist in the society.
    Brahimical thought and culture has adopted by BJP after Independence.
    As far as, winning Loksabha seats are purely caste management and election strategy of BJP.
    It is fact that BJP is group of Brahians and Banias.

  2. Why Mr.Dhanvir Singh Ji You are questioning about the OBC/ST/SC participation in the Election by the BJP. Why you raising the castism in politics.Why dont5 you take every body as Indian having equal rights .Why this discrimination? Why you want to divide the society? Forget about Reservation & Castisim. Let the country be united to become powerful

  3. Ruhi Tewari and Pragya Kaushik had taken an exhaustive sample covering all states and districts presidents. Their sample cannot be called as skewed.

    Also, for example, UP assembly has 400 seats. How many tickets were given to Muslims in UP ??
    How many cabinet rank ministers belong to SC/ST/OBC/Muslim/Sikhs/Christian communities ??

    How many chief ministers are from these communities ??

    Only one. Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

    Is it commensurate with there share of population ??

    This is the reason that leftout people are demanding their share in body politick via reservations.

  4. By publishing such biased to hide the reality would only undermine your credibility among the readers. Why are Brahmans and banias are hidden in “others” group. Whom do you want to fool? Enough fooling the public.

  5. BJP is more on negative side than what one can think. Being a cadre based party it has all departments handling dirty jobs which a family based can’t think of.Topic raised is a very small issue and it is true that it is a Brahmin Baniya party. All other components are there only ad show pieces and rarely given higher posts. BJP know that even there political leader is Baniya and shrudly managed to get a n OBC tag but basically he is a Baniya. No need to give example. Since their parents organization is a highest cast organisation opposite will never happen.

  6. BJP is more on negative side than what one can think. Being a cadre based party it has all departments handling dirty jobs which a family based can’t think of.

  7. The author clearly has no idea of how caste or positive discrimination works. The story effectively equates closing our eyes to caste to fighting against caste which is just what the privileged always want.

  8. Why should bjp have to feel ashamed for sabka satha sabka vikas , instead divisive politics of opposition , who are always keep trying vote bank politics for their family political bussiness ?

  9. Why not political parties distribute tickets to SC/ST Candidates in General parliamentary as well as assembly constituencies to contest the elections.In SC/ST constituencies , all the parties has to necessarily distribute tickets to SC/ST CandidatesCandidate only. In the SC/ST RESERVE constituencies, SC/ST vote gets divided & winning electorate vote remains with generals.To whomever this electorate vote goes enmass , he/she wins the elections.

  10. After reading this I understood ThePrint or it’s editors dumbass fuckers. Look at charts and over representation of upper castes in all the positions. Still given space for an article. May be ThePrint is also owned by bjp-upper caste fellow.

  11. 1. PM has used his OBC card several times during 2014 election on video records so don’t lie that he don’t use caste.
    2. His OBC status is a fake propaganda since traditionally Modi community is named so as they are Modh… Which is Gujarati equivalent of Seth or Lala in Hindi belt. Modi belongs to trader class who deals in Perfumes and oils… Not a ‘Teli’ who produce oils. Modi community was later added on OBC list so that it can be used for bluffing poor people.
    3. If you have any doubt on BJP being Baniya party just look at the shooting video from recent dalit agitation where BJP supporter upper caste man can be seen abusing and shooting three people in front of media. They openly flaunt that it’s their party and dalit will be enslaved now.
    4. I’m myself a Brahmin but I oppose injustice anywhere in the world… I raise voice when Kashmiri Pandit are targeted and when Dalits are killed like wild animals.

  12. Thoroughly misrepresentation of fact by this author. Reservation for identified seats are constitutionally mandated, and that means a party has to field a candidate from the reserved category there; there’s no other option but to be out of the race. So compliance to the law is compulsion and not a matter of choice!

  13. Why this BJP bhakt is given to write post on such unbaised platform? So if one is at High position in some organisation then does that mean, he will give rational view?
    The Print please don’t allow to post such things here.

  14. A very poor defence by Mr Bhasin. Can Mr Bhasin provide all India data of total elected members of BJP. The data of only Bihar and Uttar Pradesh can’t justify that BJP is not a Brahmin-Baniya Party.Majority of Upper Castes in Central Cabinet also proves that BJP is a upper castes party mainly Brahmin.

  15. What about key posts or key ministries like home, foreign, finance etc which are exclusively allotted to the upper castes. Who ever are the ordinary elected mlas are the just the puppets tamed by bjp.

  16. Correct me if I’m wrong, initially you posted it as a brahmin party and now your saying it the other way around, so which is the truth. Secondly please don’t post such twisted news, because public rely on you for truth.

  17. Mr. Bhasin, the chart you showed can be used to prove just the opposite. The others, meaning the upper caste Bania Brahmin are almost half of the total elected representatives while their ratio in population is 15 to 20 percent at maximum. So they occupy two to three times their numbers. OBC numbers are high because of electoral arithmetic. But do these people enjoy power. What about a similar chart for council of ministers for both up and centre. That would throw very interesting shades.

  18. Absolutely wrong attempt to guard BJP.
    1. BJP gives tickets to OBC in OBC dominated area they have options to avoid defeat, have they ever gave any tickets to OBC for Lok Sabha in Delhi since independence, though they have significant population.
    2. How many OBC are sent in Rajya Sabha.
    3. How many obc governors made by BJP.
    I think it’s enough to enlighten you.

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