Lucknow: The caste cauldron is simmering with rage in Uttar Pradesh, and this time, it is the Brahmins who are at the centre of this political churning.
The encounter of Vikas Dubey and five other accomplices – all of them Brahmins – had led to protests from the community.
Brahmin leaders in the Congress are being rather vocal about the ‘move to eliminate Brahmins in a systematic manner.’
Former union minister Jitin Prasada, in a video message, expressed concern over how the Brahmin community is being side-lined and targeted. He urged the members of his community to sink their differences and fight the challenges being posed by the state government.
Prasada is also heading a campaign under which he is connecting with Brahmin leaders in every district.
Another senior Congress leader Swayam Prakash Goswami, who is heading the Brahma Sena, said categorically that while they do not support the activities of criminals like Vikas Dubey, they are also opposed to their killing by the police.
“The courts should be allowed to decide the punishment. The police cannot be allowed to deliver justice with their guns. Every criminal deserves a trial in court. Six persons were killed in cold blood, and we were told the same story. The fact that all of them belong to one community, cannot be a coincidence,” he said.
A Congress WhatsApp group called ‘Shoshit Congress Savarn’ showcases the extent of rage within the community.
The group members have released a list of Brahmins killed in the Yogi Adityanath regime and the lack of action taken in most cases.
Sensing the Brahmin anger, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati was quick to play the caste card when she tweeted that the Brahmin community should not bear the brunt of Dubey’s misdeeds.
“They are terrorised and living in fear and this needs to be addressed,” she said in a series of tweets.
Mayawati advised the BJP to avoid politics in Dubey’s name and avoid doing anything that instils fear among Brahmins. “The state government needs to regain public confidence and act on the basis of strong evidence,” she said.
Brahmins were an important part of Mayawati’s social engineering formula that had catapulted her to power with a clear majority in 2007.
Apparently, the BSP wants to cash in on the prevailing sentiments and win back Brahmins who had deserted the BSP for BJP in 2014.
The Samajwadi Party, too, has been questioning the ‘encounter’ of Vikas Dubey – though not necessarily from the caste angle but a Brahmin leader in the party said, “We are certainly not opposed to the arrest of any criminal but the police cannot deliver justice with the gun. This is certainly going to become a major issue.”
A senior BJP leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, admitted that the ‘killing’ of Vikas Dubey has evoked a huge ‘sympathy’ in the Brahmin community.
“No one defended him till he was alive but the manner in which he was killed has led to outrage within the community. Our leaders will have to address the issue at the earliest or else it could work against us in the next Assembly elections,” he stated.