10Th March, 2018, Mumbai: The future of identity politics could be very loud and assertive if the sparks marked by charges and counter charges that flew at a debate on the subject at the India Today Conclave 2018, Mumbai, today, were any indication. Demogoguery was as its best as JNU leaders Kanhaiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid and Gujaratís pro-reservation and anti-BJP leader Hardik Patel on one side and ABVP leader Rohit Chahal and RSS-oriented Writer Shubhrashtha , on the other hand , traded charges on ideological issues.
The riot of allegations and counter allegations forced moderator Rahul Kanwal to intervene several times as the entire debate became a slanging match between the proponents of Left and Right ideologies and the truthfulness became a casualty.
Countering allegations that he was taking the politics to ugly old days of caste-ridden polity by playing caste identity politics Hardik said asking for jobs and fighting for cheaper education in a corrupt education system was not identity politics but fight for justice as enshrined in Indiaís Constitution. The Gujarat Government has made a law to restrict schools from charging exorbitant fees but still schools are not following it, he said.
Shubhrastha reacted to Hardik by seeking an assurance from him whether he will restrict his fight only on the issue of unemployment and not change his stand later looking for wider political platform. Kanhaiya Kumar said the constitution guarantees equal rights and to fight for the rights of those sections who havenít got justice is also a true path for making a strong nation and therefore there was nothing wrong in it. ' WE have a right to deconstruct the title of the pledge we have read in schools days Ď WE, the people of India Ď, he said.
Responding to allegations from Kumar and Rashid that the BJP was not a party for justice Rohit Chahal said that the BJP stood for Ď Nation First, Party second and self third Ď. He said his organization truly talks for the poor, women and marginalized sections of the society and doesnít play lip service to these ideals as the Left parties do. Rashid said when the JNU students union agitated for Nirbhay they knew neither the caste of a rapist not of the raped. She also asked when only 10 or 12 per cent of women were in the parliament why canít we call it male identity politics.
Shubhrashtra said that the Left and Hardik patel were playing divisive politics of of the worst kind while she was proud to say that she was from a mall village from Nalanda district in Bihar and her only identity was of a Hindu and a nationalist.
When Hardik attacked BJP and Modi saying that the BJP and its leaders were changing their goalpost to suits their objectives Chahal responded by questioning the alleged expense of Rs 10 crores in Hardik's sisterís marriage recently asking him to specify from where the money had come ? Hardik shot back : Ď Your Government has ED and CBI. Why donít you take action against me Ď.
AS personal allegations dominated the debate it continued to swing from one to another direction bringing frequent interventions from Kanwal. - Ends