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BJP–PDP alliance: A forced marriage destined to doom?

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By Harshmeet Singh

Abdul Malik (57), a resident of the Kashmir valley, voted for the PDP in the recent state elections.

When asked about his reasons for choosing PDP, he said “to keep the BJP out of power”. Malik’s fears aren’t unwarranted. BJP’s allegiance to programs such as ‘Ghar Wapsi’ has done little to resurrect its image of a hardcore Hindu party.

Opposites come together

Coming together of the BJP and PDP in Jammu & Kashmir stands true to the theory of ‘opposites attracting each other’. The results of the recent state elections divided the state into two different segments. While the BJP came up as the representative of Hindus and the Jammu region, the people of Kashmir region chose to go with the PDP. Now with both parties joining hands, it is difficult to decipher if any voter is excited about this unparalleled idea.

A closer look at the individual performance of the parties would indicate that PDP, the single largest party in the state, didn’t have many options other than warming up to the BJP. The two parties that were up in arms against each other before the elections suddenly changed their stand to “keeping all the options open”. The PDP, once dismissive of BJP’s chances in the state, was seen as accepting BJP’s growing stature in the valley.

j&k

Article 370 & AFSPA

The major bone of contention between the two parties remain the Article 370, which gives a special status to Jammu & Kashmir and the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) which grants special powers to the armed forces deployed in ‘disturbed areas’. While the BJP had always been vocal against the Article 370 and made it a major election agenda in the state, it readily dropped the idea in return of a hand in the state Government. When asked about his party’s changed stance on Article 370, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that “As far as divergence of views is concerned, to agree to disagree is a part of democratic practice which the two parties have decided to live up to,” As if to return the favour to the BJP, the PDP softened its stand on AFSPA. Once a strong opponent of AFSPA, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed took it upon himself to tackle the army when he said “I know how to ensure that Army is made accountable. Being the chief minister, I am also the chairman of the Unified Command.”

Common minimum program

Soon after the oath taking ceremony in the state, the Government came out with a common minimum program that highlighted its stand on all the key issues related to the state. The major postulates of the program include revising the need and desirability of AFSPA in the state, discussions on Article 370 while taking into account the views held by both the parties, dialogues with Hurriyat and Pakistan and measures for settlement of refugees from West Pakistan.

 Off to a shaky start

The newly appointed CM in the state kicked off a storm on the first day in office when he spoke to the media and commented that “I want to say on record and I have told this to the Prime Minister, that we must credit the Hurriyat, Pakistan and militant outfits for the conduct of assembly elections -in the state.” While the BJP soon dissociated itself from the statement, its alliance with the PDP makes it answerable to such statements coming out from the CM’s office. If the PDP continues to walk on its own merry path, the Prime Minister and the BJP may have a lot of explaining to do in the coming days.

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Interesting Life Facts About Dr BR Ambedkar

Dr BR Ambedkar came from a middle-class Dalit family and barely had money to make ends meet but still, he didn’t budge on his efforts against social injustices.

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Dr BR Ambedkar efforts to eradicate untouchability and the caste system were phenomenal. Wikimedia Commons
Dr BR Ambedkar efforts to eradicate untouchability and the caste system were phenomenal. Wikimedia Commons
  • Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar
  • Dr BR Ambedkar inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement in India
  • In 1924, Dr BR Ambedkar formed a community for removing difficulties of the untouchables and placing their grievances before government

“I do not want that our loyalty as Indians should be in the slightest way affected by any competitive loyalty whether that loyalty arises out of our religion, out of our culture or out of our language. I want all people to be Indians first, Indian last, and nothing else but Indians.”

These were the words from one of the greatest social reformers of our nation and the most influential name who worked against social discrimination. Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar. He was an exceptional leader that modern India has ever seen. Dr BR Ambedkar had multi feathers like that of a jurist, politician and an economist in his hat.

Also Read: Savitribai Phule: The Pioneer Of The Women Education In India

Dr BR Ambedkar was independent India’s first Law Minister and known to be the author of India’s constitution. He used education as a means to rise above all odds and envisioned India to stand on the ladder of prosperity and development. He inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement in India and pioneered campaigns against social discrimination against Dalits, women and labour. He wanted India’s to be a real democratic country and even quoted:

“Democracy is not merely a form of government.It is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. It is essentially an attitude of respect and reverence towards our fellow men.”

Dr BR Ambedkar was elected as the first Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly.
Dr BR Ambedkar was elected as the first Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly.

Dr BR Ambedkar was born in 1891 in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh and died due to severe diabetic neurosis on 6 December 1956 at his home in Delhi. After his demise, his political party was renamed as Republican Party of India in 1957 by his followers. This visionary’s birthday is celebrated as Ambedkar Jayanti in India, every year. He came from a middle-class Dalit family and barely had money to make ends meet but still, he didn’t budge on his efforts against social injustices.

Also Read: Swami Vivekananda’s Quotes That Will Inspire You To The Fullest

The legacy of one of India’s brilliant leader should be noted down well and hence; we have taken up few of the facts about his life and struggle, take a look:

  1. Dr BR Ambedkar ‘s real name was Ambavadekar but his teacher, Mahadev Ambedkar, who was very fond of him, changed his surname from ‘Ambavadekar’ to his own surname ‘Ambedkar’.
  2. Ambedkar was very much against the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gives a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He even offered his resignation for his condition of removing Article 370 from the constitution.
  3. In 1924, Dr BR Ambedkar formed a community for removing difficulties of the untouchables and placing their grievances before government. He named it ‘Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha’.
  4. In First Round Table Conference which was held in London on November 12, 1930, Dr BR Ambedkar and Rao Bahadur Srinivasan represented the depressed classes in the assembly.
  5. In 1936, Dr BR Ambedkar formed the Independent Labour Party and participated in the provincial elections of Bombay. In that election, he won 13 seats out of 15 seats reserved for scheduled castes. The Party was transformed by Ambedkar as the All India Scheduled Castes Federation in 1942.
  6. Dr BR Ambedkar was against the strikes and protest by civil servants. In his views, the strike was nothing more than a breach of contract of service.

    Dr BR Ambedkar strongly campaigned against Caste System in India. Wikipedia Commons
    Dr BR Ambedkar strongly campaigned against Caste System in India. Wikipedia Commons
  7. Dr BR Ambedkar was appointed the member of Executive Council of Viceroy as a Labour member in July 1942 and he resigned from this post in May 1946.
  8. In January 1920, Dr BR Ambedkar started a weekly paper called ‘Mooknayak‘(Leader of the Dumb). Through this, he wanted to spread the cause of depressed classes in India.
  9. Due to differences with Jawahar Lal Nehru on the Hindu Code Bill, Dr BR Ambedkar resigned from the Cabinet on September 1951.
  10. Dr BR Ambedkar was elected as the first Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly. He is also referred as the father of the Indian Constitution. However, K.V. Rao portrayed Ambedkar as the mother of the Indian Constitution because according to him, the vital decisions about the Constitution were taken by Nehru and Patel, and Ambedkar followed the same.
  11. In 1952, Dr BR Ambedkar was defeated in the election mainly due to his advocacy of partition of Kashmir. But later in March, he was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra.
  12. It was Dr BR Ambedkar, who changed the working hours in India from 14 to 8 hours.

Also Read: Jamini Roy: A True Rebel Artist

Dr BR Ambedkar efforts to eradicate untouchability and the caste system were phenomenal. Also Being a writer, he wrote many famous books including-The Untouchable: Who are They and Why They Have Become Untouchables, Buddha and His Dhamma, The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women and many more.