OPINION

Caste politics

The article, “BJP’s caste politics and the Gujjars” (May 31), is enlightening. It is clear that politicians maintain double standards, and counting on them is nothing short of a gamble. They make a volte face when it comes to implementing their promises. However, destroying public property and creating a ruckus is no solution to any problem.

Amit Tripathi,

Hyderabad

The Gujjar agitation has stemmed from not only the community’s misconceptions about the benefits of being included in the list of Scheduled Tribes but also the attitude of our politicians who woo voters with false promises. It is, clearly, the result of the rash promise made by the BJP in its 2003 election manifesto.

M. Senthil Kumar,

Chennai

The article seeks to put the entire blame for the Gujjar unrest on the BJP, ignoring the game the Congress and other parties have played over the years. Except the communists in West Bengal, all the parties have been mobilising support on the basis of caste and community — a strategy that is extremely myopic and negative in nation-building. The Gujjar demand for the ST status actually means lesser benefits. As part of the OBCs, they stand to gain more.

The agitation is tragic and a sad commentary on the political leadership of the country. So many lives have been lost, innumerable people put to trouble and property worth crores has been destroyed for a cause that makes little sense.

P.K. Misra,

Mysore

The Gujjar agitation that has spread from Rajasthan to various other States in the north is a classic example of a disgruntled community’s desperate but well calculated attempt to achieve its ends by disrupting law and order. The violent protests and the wanton destruction of public property bear ample testimony to the same.

The unsavoury incidents are also a grim reminder to political parties to be more careful and realistic in making election promises. The Gujjars need to realise that there is no place for violent protests in a democracy.

B. Suresh Kumar,

Coimbatore

The Gujjars’ claim that if the Meenas could be given the ST status why not they is unimpeachable. But the solution to their problem cannot come from the Rajasthan government or a political party. There has to be a national consensus on the issue of granting them the ST status. Nothing can be more unfair than punishing the police for their handling of the agitation. It is they who bear the brunt of agitations caused by others’ follies. They toil 24 hours a day, face brickbats, stones and criticism on matters for which they have no solution.

Harshita Choudhary,

Jaipur

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