Dr BR Ambedkar made his final, stirring speech in Agra by which he expressed his anguish at educated Dalits taking over authorities jobs
Editor’s be aware: On this sequence on up to date historical past, consulting editor Ajay Singh takes us to locations and talks about individuals who left yesterday’s indelible mark on at the moment’s politics.
Dr BR Ambedkar made his final, stirring speech in Agra by which he expressed his anguish at educated Dalits taking over authorities jobs. He requested them to desist from working as self-seeking authorities clerks with out bothering in regards to the travails of their fellow Dalits. Agra can be a centre of Dalit consciousness, in addition to being town well-known for the Taj Mahal.
The reason being not far to hunt. Given the preponderance of the Dalit inhabitants within the area, a major part of them took to training, discovered authorities jobs and a few even turned entrepreneurs. The flourishing leather-based trade within the area supplied avenues for enterprise enterprise. Ambedkar was fairly keen on Agra as his occasion, the Republican Celebration of India (RPI), discovered strong footing right here. The RPI was preceded by the Scheduled Caste Federation (SCF), fashioned by Ambedkar solely to take up the Dalit trigger.
In his final speech on 18 March, 1956, Ambedkar sounded a bit dejected as he couldn’t see any worthy successor amongst his followers to take up his mantle. And he was completely proper. Though Ambedkar had acquired a tall stature amongst Dalits, his politics couldn’t get ample traction within the Hindi heartland. Within the caste-ridden society, to individuals in north India, he appeared distant as a result of he got here from Mahar caste from Maharashtra. Alternatively, the Congress with leaders like Jagjivan Ram on the forefront had captured individuals’s creativeness.
The seek for Ambedkar’s successor got here to an finish when Kanshi Ram emerged on the scene within the Seventies and floated two organisations, Dalit Shoshit Samaj Sangharsh Samiti (DS4) and All India Backward and Minority Communities Staff’ Federation (BAMCEF) — a precursor to the Bahujan Samaj Celebration (BSP). Agra remained a fortress of Dalit consciousness and emerged as a robust bastion of the BSP.
However it will be fallacious to surmise that Agra represents just one strand of politics. Removed from it. Town is a veritable microcosm of India, containing inside it numerous strands. It was equally a citadel of the Hindutva ideology that had struck deep roots even within the pre-Independence part. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had a robust presence within the area that is named “Braj Kshetra”. Many high leaders of the Sangh Parivar hailed from this area, essentially the most outstanding amongst them being Deendayal Upadhyaya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Upadhyaya belonged to Mathura whereas Vajpayee’s ancestral village, Bateshwar, is in Agra district.
On the peak of the Ayodhya motion in 1990-92, Agra turned a outstanding centre for mobilisation for karsevaks. For the reason that district is bordered by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, town noticed the most important inflow of karsevaks from these two states marching on to Ayodhya. Town virtually turned a battleground between the police and the Sangh Parivar volunteers in 1990.
Lower than 60 kilometres from Agra is Mathura, Lord Krishna’s birthplace and thus the fabled land. The Braj area comprising Agra-Mathura occupies a singular place in Hindu sacred geography. After Independence, Mathura emerged as a robust centre for the motion towards cow slaughter. Hindu seers made Mathura a base to launch a militant agitation towards the federal government within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties. The deep-seated religiosity within the area was fairly disconnected with politics that charted its personal course.
Together with Dalit consciousness and Hindutva, the area was additionally stronghold of socialist politics represented by Chaudhary Charan Singh’s Lok Dal. Charan Singh fashioned a formidable rainbow coalition of castes/communities referred to as MAJGAR (Muslim, Ahir, Jat, Gujjar and Rajput) to dominate the political scene within the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties. Mulayam Singh Yadav turned the true heir of Chaudhary’s legacy and sometimes occupied that house. In the present day, this legacy appears to be mere nostalgia and irrelevant to the current.
Within the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the BJP seems to have consolidated its place over time by efficient mobilisation of its cadre though it bears the brunt of anti-incumbency once more in case of particular person legislators. Because of this the sitting BJP MP from Agra was changed by a contemporary candidate. In your complete area, the Samajwadi Celebration-BSP-RLD coalition has been resisting the march of Hindutva with a singular mixture of caste and rising Dalit consciousness. Town of which Ambedkar was extraordinarily fond is quick evolving right into a battlefield of political concepts.