Call for alliance against ‘Hindutva hegemony’

Harish S. Wankhede, writer and commentator on Dalit politics, has called for the formation of social alliances to counter “the Hindutva hegemony” that is “demolishing all institutional structures” in the country.

Opening an event in memory of late writer and playwright Pradeepan Pambirikunnu here on Thursday, he said such alliances should also have a clear political vision.

Mr. Wankhede, who teaches at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, said the right-wing had for some time been trying to appropriate B.R. Ambedkar and the Dalit question in a bid to have a larger Hindu consolidation. “Three years ago, on April 14, the birth anniversary of Ambedkar, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh came up with a memorial volume on Ambedkar, in which it suggested that Ambedkar is a nation builder, reformist, who was never anti-Hindu like what is being claimed by some Ambedkarites. The RSS is keen to uphold Ambedkar as a great Indian figure, not different from their legacy of social reformers such as Golwalkar,” he said.

There was also an effort to break the Dalit unity, suggesting that the radical sections of Dalits were “Naxalites and anti-nationals”. Another categorical campaign was also against some Dalit sub-castes, suggesting that they were not part of the large Hindu parivar. There was a feeling among the new emerging Dalit middle class that the BJP was a better alternative to others. Some Dalit political leaders such as Udit Raj and Ramvilas Paswan are also joining hands with the BJP too.

Taking random quotes from Ambedkar’s important note on Partition, the right-wing also suggested that he was anti-Muslim. “Through these moves, the RSS now believes it is part of an impressive larger collective, and it can go against minorities and declare India a Hindu nation State. This is a big threat to Indian secularism,” Mr. Wankhede said.

However, movements such as the one spearheaded by students of central universities and Jignesh Mevani in Gujarat, the Bhima Koregaon uprising, and the struggle against the Supreme Court order that diluted the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were posing a challenge to the Hindutva forces.

But there was no political map as to how these massive struggles can be integrated with a political imagination. The labour struggles, farmers’ struggles, women’s struggles, students’ struggles, and Dalit struggles should have a unified forum to challenge the RSS hegemony, and it should have a political vision, he added.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 2:21:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/call-for-alliance-against-hindutva-hegemony/article25682879.ece

Next Story