Dalit Youth Speak Their Minds On Mayawati and Chandrashekhar
The 2019 elections are going to be as important for the youth of Saharanpur.
Video Editor: Vishal Sharma
Is Mayawati’s influence in the Dalit community still ever-present? Will the Dalit community support PM Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections? Will Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad Raavan’s release from jail pose a challenge to Mayawati’s Dalit base? These are the questions on people’s minds as the 2019 Lok Sabha elections creep closer.
To get the answers and understand the minds of Dalit youths, The Quint reached Mayawati’s den Saharanpur and the surrounding areas.
‘Chandrashekhar is Our Hero’
First, we reached Chand Samand village in Muzaffarnagar’s Khatauli. We met around 20-25 youngsters there. When we asked them about Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar, nearly every person present there said in a bold voice that he was their hero.
Now the question was, why did the youth here consider Chandrashekhar their hero? Before the question ended, Ravi Kumar answered that Chandrashekhar was a young person who was working for creating awareness in society and was fighting against injustice.
These people are talking about the caste violence that took place in Saharanpur’s Shabbirpur village on 5 May 2017. According to them, Chandrashekhar raised his voice for the Dalits in the conflict between Dalits and Thakurs. He was jailed for the same reason.
‘Mayawati Thinks Only About Her Politics’
When we asked about Mayawati in the midst of the praise of Chandrashekhar, 22-year-old Kapil Kumar said that she never comes forward openly, and speaks out only to score political points.
“Only Chandrashekhar has supported us without any political purpose.” The youth here appeared to be unhappy with Mayawati. On the other side, we also met some people who urged Chandrashekhar to stay away from politics.
Chandrashekhar Called Mayawati His Bua
The next stop was Saharanpur’s Lakhnaur village. Here, we met Parul Kumar, who had completed his diploma in engineering. On the issue of Chandrashekhar and Mayawati, Parul said, “If Chandraskher calls Mayawati his bua (aunt) and she is welcoming him, then we will support both of them. Otherwise, we support only Chandrashekhar.”
‘Mayawati Is The Only One Who Has Done Something For Us’
After leaving Lakhnaur village, we reached the city of Sahranpur, where we met around 8-9 students of the Sant Ravidas Hostel. These educated youths regard Mayawati as their voice. We met Aditya Kumar, who was preparing for entrance exams to enter government service. Aditya said:
“Our full support is with the BSP. Mayawati is the only one who has done something for us. We have been represented by only the BSP. If Chandrashekhar enters politics by supporting the BSP, then we have no problem. But if he goes with any other party,we will not support him.”
‘Division of Dalit Community Will Benefit BJP’
When we talked to these people about Mayawati and Chandrashekhar, most of them agreed that they should fight the polls together.
“If the Dalit community gets divided between Mayawati and Chandrashekhar, then they will gain nothing. If Mayawati says she has no ties with Chandrashekhar, it’s wrong. They are of the same blood, they come from the same society.”Chattrapal Singh, Sant Ravidas Hostel
Should the Congress, SP and BSP Form An Alliance?
As the 2019 Assembly elections are coming nearer, there is talk of an alliance in Uttar Pradesh. The Quint tried to gauge the opinion of Dalit youths regarding this issue.
“An alliance should be there. The BJP has moved forward so much that it is difficult to stop them without an alliance of some kind. It’s not just difficult, it’s impossible.”Student, Sant Ravidas Hostel
Voted For BJP in 2014, Now Unhappy With the Party
The next stop was Kumhar Hera village. The village had earlier voted for Modi in 2014. They feel that all the promises they had believed in 2014 turned out to be false. Unemployment and security are issues here. We met Shivam here. Shivam had worked for BJP’s victory in 2014. But now he feels otherwise.
“We will vote for the BSP because we are associated with that party only. People say, ‘These are Dalits, they will vote for Mayawati’. In 2014, when Modi was campaigning for the general elections,his manifesto mentioned that he would help the youth progress. That is why we had gathered the youth and asked them to vote for Modi. Now, the BJP government has completed four years,but no progress has been made.There are very few jobs in the central government.”Shivam, Kumhar Hera Village
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