Today we are observing a Bharat Bandh. CBSE exams have been disrupted in Punjab, buses have been vandalized in Ahmedabad, curfew has been imposed in parts of Madya Pradesh, reports of violence are coming from Jaipur, police posts have been burned in Uttar Pradesh and rail traffic has been hindered in National Capital Region.
All this after Honorable Supreme Court in its judgement dated March 20 ruled that mere complaint under the SC And ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989; arrests cannot be made without enquiry. It further ruled that the said would have to be conducted by an office of the rank Deputy Superintendent of Police to ensure the allegations are not frivolous. Basically, the court just said that an accused is innocent until pronounced guilty.
The decision, while judicious in nature has given ample ammunition to segments of society that have vested interests in upcoming election season. Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan are to through their five-year exercise of find popular mandates. The campaigns for these elections will actually blend into the general elections to be held early next year (if not together).
The protests are going to help local caste leaders at two levels. As in case of Hardik Patel, such protests can build up a massive personal profile. This profile will be openly for sale in the upcoming elections to the highest bidder.
The second is the obvious beneficiaries in form of opposition parties in India. BJP with Modi at its helm has taken away too much-too fast from regional parties like SP-BSP. Even the champions of divisive politics, the Congress is looking forward to get back at the government with some issues that can help them reconnect with their SC/ST/OBC base.
BJP government on its part too is not helping the nation by asking Supreme court to revise its judgement. With massive vote bank on line common sense has again become rare and India is expected to vote is caste instead of casting its vote.