Signs of the return of the circle era… Is this uneasiness due to the sound of 3.0?

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New Delhi
Signs have started showing in the politics of the country. Political bets are going on one after the other to get their dominance in the form of ruling party and opposition board politics. Many regional opposition parties are trying to take initiative in backward politics by pressuring them to conduct caste census and implement the report of OBC commission. Leaders of most of these regional parties had strengthened their position during the Mandal era in the nineties. On the other hand, efforts are being made to counter it under the leadership of BJP with the same urgency. First, OBCs were given pending reservation in the NEET exam and now the central government is taking another big decision on the issue of OBCs. He is in the process of amending the constitution for this. According to sources, states will be empowered to identify OBC castes by amending the Constitution. The government may surprise by introducing this bill in the current monsoon session itself, but whether the new era of Mandal will be as effective as it was in the nineties in the changed social face, it is still in doubt.

how far will it go
The basic intention behind the re-emergence of OBC politics is that the opposition parties want to increase their interference in the OBC vote, which the BJP has snatched from them in recent years. But on the pretext of this, the issues related to OBCs are coming out, solutions will have to be found. It will be challenging for BJP to do this in the coming times. The regional opposition parties argue behind the demand for caste census that OBCs do not get representation according to their proportion in the population. OBCs get 27 per cent reservation in government jobs since the implementation of the Mandal Commission in the 1990s. But two years ago a report came out, which said that only 12 percent of the central employees are OBCs. Most of these benefits have been received only by their strong castes. Then BJP tried to divide the OBCs into different categories to find a way out. Said that now the government will divide OBC into 3 categories. The reservation of 27 per cent among the three will be divided according to their representation. It was considered as Mandal 2.0 of BJP. It was said that most of the backward castes have been demanding that their share in the 27 per cent reservation is negligible and only a handful of castes take advantage of it. After this, the government constituted the commission, accepting the old demand of many castes of OBC. Retired Justice G Rohini has been made the head of the commission. This commission has to identify the castes and sub-castes of OBC and divide them into different categories. The objective of the commission is to provide more opportunities in jobs to the weaker castes present in OBC. But the commission was to submit its report in 2018, it was repeatedly postponed. Till date its report has not come. In fact, later the BJP itself began to doubt its own master stroke. This is where the opposition parties got an opportunity to create pressure. On the other hand, ever since the reservation was given to the poor forward, there was a different protest on this issue within the OBCs and also the opportunity. Since then they have been demanding a fresh fix of reservation according to the representation of the population. Their argument came that the way their quota was fixed at 10 percent for the seniors, now their quota should also be increased accordingly. OBCs have the largest number of people in the country. After the upper caste reservation, there was a demand to increase their quota from 27 per cent. For this, there has also been a demand to make caste census public and give reservation to every caste accordingly. It is argued that since the way for giving more than fifty percent reservation has been cleared, now there is no impediment in its implementation. Obviously, it will not be easy for the BJP to accept or reject these demands now.

BJP’s Social Engineering
The BJP, led by Narendra Modi, did social engineering anew after 2014 and made OBCs its strongest vote bank. With Hindutva-nationalism, taking one step after the other for the backward castes made a strong inroads among them. Earlier, BJP was given the tag of urban or upper caste party by its critics and opponents. This made it difficult for the party to increase its support base. The campaign to bring OBCs together brought a big change in this. Particularly in states like Bihar-Uttar Pradesh, the challenge for the party was even bigger that leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav had already made their hold among them. But BJP did its social engineering to break their dominance. In both the states, the BJP put in full force and succeeded in bringing all the non-Yadav backward castes into one place. The BJP promoted leaders of the marginalized castes within the OBCs. The polarization of non-Yadav backward castes was considered to be the biggest reason behind the rise of BJP in both the states. Apart from UP-Bihar, most of the big states of the country have the highest number of these backward castes. The BJP won unilaterally in the 2014 and 2019 general elections with the support of the OBC sections, especially in the Hindi belt states. He also expanded his presence in the assembly elections. But at the same time, he had great support from the upper castes as well. This too had a major contribution in the rise of BJP. In such a situation, BJP would like to avoid taking the risk of any social change for now. Opposition parties see an opportunity in this dilemma. They are trying to revive the politics of the backward.

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[Attribution to NBT]

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