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Bhima-Koregaon violence: Congress-backed leaders like Jignesh Mevani and Umar Khalid threatening India's social fabric
Undeniably, caste fault lines have existed in the Indian society since time immemorial. But recent incidents like the Bhima-Koregaon violence in Pune district show that these fault lines are now more prominent than ever.

While at one end of the social circle are the forward Hindu castes like Jats, Patels and Marathas, at the other are backward communities like the Dalits, who have been victims of social neglect for decades. While the Dalits aren't ready to part with their share of reservation in education and jobs, the upper castes too now want their slice in the pie.

But to be completely honest, both have their own fears and frustrations to counter, and more so, when there is lack of job opportunities and the agrarian sector continues to reel under darkness and gloom.

The government of the day despite its macho rodomontade has miserably failed at not only tackling farmers' issues but also in creating ample employment opportunities for the youth of today.

In an environment which is steadily deteriorating and becoming non-conducive for peaceful co-existence of various communities, BJP's political rivals are hell bent on replicating elsewhere the caste-division formula that had been experimented with during the recent Gujarat Assembly election.

In Gujarat, the Congress had heavily relied on the 'Patidar Andolan' to portray that there was social unrest in Gujarat, but the move backfired. The Patidars, Dalits and OBCs, all voted for development rather than caste.

Standing at the forefront for exploiting this situation is India's Grand Old Party, the Congress. The tweet from Congress President Rahul Gandhi posted barely hours after reports emerged of violence in Pune, clearly highlights his party's roadmap for 2019.

On January 2, Rahul Gandhi wrote in his tweet, "A central pillar of the RSS/BJP's fascist vision for India is that Dalits should remain at the bottom of India society. Una, Rohith Vemula and now Bhima Koregaon are potent symbols of the resistance."

Monday's caste-based Bhima-Koregaon violence which left one youth dead, a police constable injured; resulted in damage to hundreds of government and private vehicles was seen as a "symbol of resistance" by Rahul Gandhi.

Even the stooges of the Congress weren't far behind in exploiting this rift and inciting violence from the Dalit community. The Pune city police today registered an FIR against Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and JNU student leader Umar Khalid for giving provocative speeches in Pune. Both had been invited for the bicentenary celebration of the Bhima-Koregaon battle being held at Pune on Monday. According to the police, Mevani in his speech asked the "people to come on the street and retaliate".

It wouldn't be out of place to mention here that Mevani had recently won from the Vadgam constituency as an independent with support from the Congress in the Gujarat Assembly election 2017.

And as far as Umar Khalid is concerned, he was arrested on charges of sedition in February 2016 and is a known criticizer of the ruling Modi-led government. In fact, Rahul Gandhi, who was the then vice-president of Congress had visited the JNU campus just after the incident for lending support to students like Khalid.

The battle lines have been drawn for the 2019 general elections. On Wednesday, the BJP accused Congress President Rahul Gandhi for working on an "incitement model" to provoke caste violence for cynical gains, further saying that his party would again lose to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's politics of development.

Although it still remains to be seen who is held guilty for instigating the Bhima-Koregaon clash, the bottom line is that this politics of division threatens the very idea of a 'unified India'. The Hindu vote bank today stands battered. If such divisive politics is not checked, such violent incidents would be repeated in every nook and corner of the country.

So it's time to shut out this new breed of leaders, the likes of Mevani and Hardik who thrive upon the politics of hatred for vested political interests.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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