Narendra Modi’s “two-caste society” is a facade to hide the BJP’s casteist politics – By Sagar
On the evening of 23 May, as it became clear that the Bharatiya Janata Party had secured a massive lead in over 300 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the incumbent prime minister Narendra Modi delivered a victory speech at the party’s headquarters in Delhi. Terming the mandate a “new narrative” of the twenty first century, Modi credited the country’s “poorest of the poor” for the BJP’s impressive tally.
Modi then proceeded to describe this purported narrative. “Only two castes will remain in this country. And the country is going to be focused on only these two castes.” He continued, “The first caste in India is the poor. And the second caste is of people who contribute whatever little to free the country from poverty.” The speech was telecast live on almost all mainstream newschannels. In the following days, many of these channels—such as Republic TV and Times Now, which are known to favour the BJP and Modi —helped peddle this “new narrative.”
Modi used his speech to target “people who play games in the name of caste” and advocated the realignment of society based on economic parameters. He did not acknowledge the social backwardness and untouchability that the Hindu caste system imposes on the marginalised communities from the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes.…
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- Caste Wasn’t a British Construct – and Anyone Who Studies History Should Know That – By Ananya Chakravarti (Jun 30, 2019, The Wire)