Lucknow: Politics over alleged atrocities against Brahmins is set to intensify in Uttar Pradesh as Congress leader Jitin Prasada has announced his decision to form ‘T-20’ teams in every district under his ‘Brahmin Chetna Parishad’ to offer assistance to victims from the community who are fighting legal battles.
Prasada will form teams of 20 volunteers in every district to provide legal aid to Brahmin families who are fighting court battles. He will also form an advisory committee (margdarshak mandal) of former civil servants from the state to guide the Brahmin Chetna Parishad.
The Congress leader started the body, which is presided over by retired IAS officer V.P. Mishra, on 6 July to work for the Brahmin community.
On Wednesday, he announced names of district presidents in as many as 25 districts for the body’s expansion across the state.
Speaking to ThePrint, Prasada said atrocities against Brahmins in UP has increased steadily over the last three years. “There have been several cases of murder, kidnapping and rape. Moreover, several impoverished Brahmin families neither have resources nor money to fight their legal battles. There is no one to provide the right legal counselling to them,” said Prasada.
“The government should have come forward to provide assistance to these families, but no help came from them. In such a situation, we will help such families and raise their voice for justice,” said Prasada.
He alleged that Brahmins are facing relentless persecution in the state, adding that they are being murdered in the name of “fake” encounters in some cases and are being implicated in false cases in others. “This is the opportune time to rise above the politics of divide and unite for the sake of society,” Prasada said.
He added: “We are forming a ‘T20’ team in every district which will have 20 volunteers. There will also be some lawyers in this team who will help the victimised families in that district to fight their cases.”
Prasada also said the advisory panel will consist of retired IAS and IPS officers. Several such former civil servants have been contacted and the panel will be worked out soon, he said.
The Brahmin question in UP
The Congress leader’s move comes at a time when a number of Brahmin bodies have expressed concerns over the Yogi Adityanath government’s functioning.
In July, some bodies had raised questions on the government after the encounter of gangster Vikas Dubey, triggering a Brahmin vs. Thakur narrative in the state. In August, Nishad Party MLA Vijay Mishra had expressed fear that he might be killed in an encounter as he was a Brahmin. Soon after, he was arrested and sent to jail in a land grab case.
The ‘resentment’ in the community against the Adityanath government has now pushed the opposition parties to come out in support of Brahmins.
“Over 500 Brahmins have been killed in UP during the last two years. This is the government of Thakurs only and Brahmins are completely insecure under this government,” alleged All India Brahmin Mahasabha (R) president Rajendra Nath Tripathi.
Brahmins constitute around 12 per cent of UP’s population.
Currently, all political parties in the state are trying to woo the Brahmin voters. Jitin Prasada in Congress, and Abhishek Mishra and Manoj Pandey in Samajwadi Party continuously raise issues related to the Brahmins. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati has also issued several statements on this.
Earlier this year, after the Samajwadi Party promised to install a 108 feet Parashuram statue in Lucknow, Mayawati promised an even higher statue if she returned to power in 2022. She also announced to name parks and hospitals after Lord Parashuram.
Now, for the 3 November bypoll in Deoria, all four prominent parties in UP — Congress, SP, BSP and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party — have given tickets to Brahmin candidates, with all four bearing the surname ‘Tripathi’.