BSP supremo Mayawati on Thursday charged the Narendra Modi government with attempting to strip AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia of their minority status and termed the move as “communally and politically motivated”.
“The BJP-led Central government is out to strip these institutions of their minority status which they got after a lot of struggle and this narrow mentality lowers the prestige of the country...this is like an attempt to make students belonging to religious minorities orphans,” Ms. Mayawati told reporters here.
“This communally motivated step of the BJP government is actually politically motivated,” she said, adding it was aimed at polarising its vote bank before the coming Assembly elections in some States, including Uttar Pradesh.
By dividing the votes on caste and communal lines, the BJP wants to serve the purpose of Samajwadi Party along with its own, she alleged, contesting the rationale being given for depriving these institutions of minority status.
“We disagree with the logic that by doing so Dalits and OBCs will get reservation in these institutions,” she said, adding Dalits consider religious minorities as their own because they are the ones who had converted in protest against the disparity in Hindu system and the BSP always favoured reservation for them.
The BSP chief said if the BJP government is so concerned about the welfare of Dalits and OBCs, it should improve the condition of primary and secondary schools all over the country so children from these sections get education.
“If they are so concerned about children of these sections they should introduce reservation in private sector schools so that they are uplifted, but, instead of taking positive steps they are out to follow the policy of confrontation with a view to polarising votes,” she said.
It is unfortunate and shows the difference between “kathni and karni” (words and deeds) of the prime minister and the BJP government, she added.
Meanwhile, referring to the agitation by women against ban on their entry in Shani Shinganpur temple in Maharashtra, Mayawati said it was reflective of “wrong mentality”.
“It is because of wrong mentality that women are not allowed entry in some temples and an agitation is going on in Maharashtra,” she said.
It is an irony that priests and pujaris opposing this forget that they too were given birth by a woman, she said.
“Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar had wanted to pass Hindu Code Bill for providing equal rights to women but failed,” she said.
Mayawati alleged that while on one hand the prime minister is making announcements in the name of Ambedkar, on the other Dalits are being humiliated in the country.
“Atrocities on Dalits have increased ever since no action was taken against Union Minister V. K. Singh who made objectionable comments on Dalits. RSS and other saffron organisations are playing their game from the background,” she alleged.
“A Dalit student, Rohith Vemula, was forced to commit suicide because of this...if he does not get justice even after a judicial probe was ordered, it will be taken that the Prime Minister getting emotional in a Lucknow function over this was merely a political move and he had shed crocodile tears,” Mayawati said. The BSP chief expressed apprehension that Rohith’s family will not get justice, alleging that the government has been trying to save some people connected with the case since the very beginning.
She claimed that BJP ministers having RSS background have anti-Dalit, anti-OBC and anti-minorities and especially anti- Muslim mentality which is “most dangerous, casteist and inhuman”.
The BSP leader claimed that it is for the first time that such an atmosphere has been created in the country where BJP MPs are openly making a mockery of the Constitution.
“The prime minister who has taken oath to protect the Constitution has let them loose...such conduct of the BJP is not in the interest of the country,” she said.
Referring to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s statement on reservation, she said: “She has openly come out against reservation...this is reflective of her anti-Dalit stance.”
“She should know that in India where at every stage casteism is the dominating factor, talking about ending reservation amounts to encouraging injustice and atrocities on Dalits and other weaker sections,” she added.
She also warned Dalits, OBCs and minorities against falling prey to allurements.