US-based writer Sujatha Gidla, the author of ‘Ant Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and The Making of Modern India’, took a dig at Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and said the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh had herself become Rich but failed to uplift the Dalits in India.
The 53-year-old, a Dalit writer who now works as a subway conductor in New York, was speaking at a session titled ‘Narratives of Power, Songs of Resistance’ on the concluding day of JLF on Monday.
Criticising the Dalit movement and BSP, she said, “Everyone says BSP has given rights to untouchables, gave them selfconfidence and dignity. But nothing really has come out of it. Mayawati made herself very, very rich; her brother made himself very, very rich. And that is all that happened to Dalits.”
Lauding the efforts of Jignesh Mevani, who led the protest march called ‘Dalit Asmita Yatra’ from Ahmedabad to Una, Gidla said, “Jignesh Mevani right now seems militant and his protest against Una flogging are very admirable. But then again, he has chosen to operate within the framework of electoral politics and there is only so much he can do from within it.” She also accused the young Dalit leader for empty rhetoric.
“Untouchability has its roots in the agricultural structure of India and there is need to restructure Indian economy. Landowners need plenty of reliable labour and that’s the reason why they deny these people any other opportunity. In rural areas, when untouchables send their children to schools, it makes the landlords very unhappy. This is the reason behind some mass murders.”
Terming the Congress party a “pioneer of communalism”, she said, “Congress or any other party that ruled before BJP was not different from Modi. Like in the US, where the Democrats are not really different from Trump… Congress is shy about their communalism. But Congress was the pioneer of communalism.”
Recalling the 1984 storming of the Golden Temple and the subsequent riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi, which saw over 3,000 Sikhs massacred in Delhi, she said, “It was communal. And Congress was the one that did it. Not BJP.” Modi is open about his communalism, she added. Source : timesofindia