New Delhi: With the belief that casteism is dividing Hindus and can impact the outcome of the 2019 general election, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat is trying to consolidate Hindu votes.
In February, Bhagwat spent 10 days in Bihar and one week in Uttar Pradesh to reiterate the need for a monolithic Hindu entity. It must be noted that UP and Bihar are the two populous states where caste fissures run deep. Addressing the largest-ever congregation of cadre in UP’s Meerut on Sunday, the RSS chief exhorted Hindus to overcome caste differences. He termed divisions in society over caste and violence over the issue as the biggest hurdles in achieving this unity which benefit other forces.
The emergence of political entities such as Jignesh Mevani following the attack on a Dalit family in Una and the rise of the Bhim Army, following the clash between Dalits and Rajputs in UP’s Saharanpur, have raised concern among the saffron outfit and stemmed the need for consolidation of Hindus. The possibility of a Dalit-Muslim alliance has created deep anxiety among RSS men.
While taking Samajik Samarasta initiatives like celebrating festivals in Dalit households, the appointment of Dalits and OBC priests in temples, and pushing for common temples, crematoriums and wells in villages, the Sangh is reaching out to the economically backward castes such as the Koris and the Kurmis.