Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Fate of political parties floated for Upper Castes after the Mandal wave?

After the Mandal Commission recommendations were introduced, there was an emergence of Upper Caste political parties in India.

I still remember the presence of 'Manuvadi Party' and the 'Sawarna Samaj Party' during the elections in North India, though there were a few other minor players. Most of them didn't get any electoral success.

There are still offices and banners of these parties. However, a look at these offices, are enough to give you an indication about fate of the parties.

See photo of the Sawarna Samaj Party office on the left. Its common knowledge that even being figure head president of a party, one can hold an office or government accommodation in many states.

Hence it suits the smaller parties ranging from the Anti-Mandal parties to the Muslim Majlis, Parcham Party or small RPI factions, whose jeeps and banners are visible once or twice every five years. Also, some people are bitten by this bug, and despite no chances of winning, keep the outfit to appear as "Neta ji'.

The Sawarna Samaj Party, which aimed at bringing back the Upper Castes to power, and put an end to reservation in jobs, had this slogan, "Jab tak na ho pratibha samman, Nahee banega desh mahaan" ie Nation won't attain greatness unless talent is recognized.

The national president, Archana Srivastava, continues to be at the helm. In fact, Savarna parties also kept one or two Muslim Upper Caste faces, during their campaigns. In some constituencies, they got a few thousands votes but never made a mark.

I still remember the fiery speeches of these parties, who promised to bring back the old golden era, when the Brahmin-Bania-Kayastha-Kshatriya (Thakur) and even Upper Class Muslim [Ashraaf] were at the helm, not the days of Dalit-Bahujans.

The anti-reservation SSP survives for namesake
So the party is still functioning! Though a bigger banner of the beauty parlour running from the premises, suggests that it failed to achieve its ambitions.

It was during the tenure of former Prime Minister VP Singh that Mandal recommendations were accepted.

Though BJP's Mandir wave was too strong and Mandal didn't work immediately, in the longer run, it was Mandal that succeeded. However, a few pro-Manuvadis or the anti-reservation voices remain on the ground, as seen in this photograph.