Please read the following Poster carefully, before proceeding to read my followed analysis.

MSF against Daniel of BSF

MSF against Daniel of BSF

 

MSF against BSF Daniel

MSF against BSF Daniel

This two page poster attracted me by raising some pertinent questions in myself. Primarily, this poster made me critical of both the Madiga and Bahujan politics. i.e. MSF and BSF on the University Campus.

First, let us look at the Madiga politics. During the early part of the 1990’s dalit political discourse emerged on the University Campus and took various directions either independently or as a response towards to the outside political or dalit movement.  Madiga students were part of various political streams at various points of time, primarily associated with the Progressive Students’ Front (PSF) and later with Dr B R Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA). While the former was an ideologically left oriented organization, the later was a dalit based organization, which predominantly has had membership emanating from the Mala community of Andhra Pradesh (which can now be recognized as Andhra Pradesh and Telangana due to bifurcation in 2014). The Madigas of the University Campus felt uncomfortable to associate with the Mala community dominated ASA and raised their own platform and named it as Dalit Students’ Union (DSU), asserting that they are the true dalits, as they are most discriminated, oppressed and backward among the dalits. Hence, they wished to provide a platform at this Central University to such ‘true dalits’.

Secondly, coming to the emergence of ‘Bahujan politics’ on the University Campus.

Since the academic year 2007-2008 systematic attempts were put forwarded, primarily by two M. Phil., Political Science students who belonged to Madiga and Mala communities of Andhra Pradesh respectively[1], in order to bridge the gap in dalit-Bahujan student politics left over by ASA and DSU by launching a platform Bahujan Students’ Front (BSF). BSF aimed at providing a national platform for ‘SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minorities’. In their view existing ASA and DSU became caste based and were failing to provide space to other sections of SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minorities. In addition to this, BSF also took inspiration from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its prime founder leader Kanshiram.[2] Thus, one of the prime targets of BSF is to be successful, politically.

In my view the leaders of the BSF brought new direction to the dalit/dalit-bahujan political discourse with their innovative approach. As a result a few students got attracted towards it. And, such a mode of BSF brought some change in the functioning of ASA too, primarily. But, then, BSF was unsuccessful in fulfilling its vision on a mass scale. Thus, this indicates, that the identity politics are asserting strong in due course of time independently, though they are emerging as a combined body for the ‘SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minorities’. In this sequence, in certain sense, BSF is also a failure. Because, BSF’s vision of providing a platform for all the SC/ST/OBC/Religious Minority’ students on a central University campus is short lived, at-least as of now. In other sense, one can clearly observe that the SC students were predominantly shattered between/among various dalit based organized like ASA, DSU and Tribal students’ too had their own platform/s and they are actively associated with Tribal Students’ Forum (TSF). Tribal students also carry regional identity and based on this identity they started their own platform North East Students’ Forum (NESF).  And, OBC students are highly volatile category politically and they primarily associate with the Akhil Bahartiya Vidarthi Parishad (ABVP), etc. Then, the question automatically comes is: whom exactly BSF is representing and how it was/is able to sustain and capture even the University students’ Union in the elections is an interesting point to know or/and explore.

As per my strong observation BSF attempted to establish itself strongly with the wave of Telangana movement since November, 2009. Primarily, BSF was able to attract a significant proportion of Telangana students under its platform at this particular point. Especially Telangana Madiga students got attracted to this platform for various reasons, like the huge void left out by DSU, etc.[3] And, a few OBC students’ too got attracted towards this platform. Though, for a few years the leadership of BSF remained with dalit students, in due course of time a few OBC students’ (basically two students) were successful in taking over the charge of BSF, with the passage of time – as the founders of BSF left campus for various reasons.

It is observed, in low voice and silently, as an open secret that certain kind of rift took place within BSF since 2011-2012 or so. Though BSF cause was championed by two dalit students, in due course of time another two OBC students wished to take over the charge from founder dalit students and wished to turn it as a platform for OBC’s and dalits as their followers to work under!![4] From this vantage point, the present crisis situation should be understood.    

                                                                             II            

The founders of BSF (dalits) thought ideology, strategies, techniques, etc to the BC/OBC students. And, OBC students learned such techniques carefully with utmost keen interest. But, in this whole process, dalits students’ who remained with BSF are lacking such leadership caliber. We have to observe, how long this can continue.[5]

Thus, the present crisis, as revealed by this poster seems to be having genesis in this course.

But then, if this is so the situation, it would be interesting to know the response of the founders of BSF, who happens to be dalits (now this allegation is coming from a section of dalit category, i.e. Madiga). Has this incident come to the notice of the founders of BSF? If yes, are they in a position to guide this organization properly, even now? And, what is the response of other dalit students who are still within this BSF against this allegation? Why BSF or Daniel Bandi is not in a position to reply to this open allegation? What made them to be silent? Should we assume their silence as acceptance of this allegation? Beyond all, is BSF able to initiate action against Daniel for this kind of behavior and set right its discourse?

And, at another level, we should also attempt to know: what is the legitimacy of Madiga Students’ Federation (MSF)? Who is behind this Federation? Is there a Committee to this Federation on the University Campus? Is the present poster released by MSF only or any other person/Organization? What is the position of Madigas on the Campus – with which student organizations are they associated with – MSF or DSU, predominantly? Why Madigas are having two organizations? Is DSU taking this situation seriously? Is there any relation between MSF and DSU on the University Campus?

 III

I came to know about the present poster at the University Men’s Hostel – E (NRS) entrance on August 08, 2015, and immediately posted about this on my facebook account, in the following manner:

Just observed a poster by Madiga Students’ Federation (MSF), at University NRS Hostel against the Students’ Union General Secretary Daniel, who is affiliated to the Bahujan Students’ Front (BSF) on the Campus. But, the content of the poster did not surprise me!!

Mr Mari Muttu, who recently submitted his Doctorate to the School of Management Studies, University of Hyderabad and who is awaiting for viva-voce examination responded in the following manner to my above post by sharing it on his facebook wall as a status on August 09, 2015:

MSF posters are more favourable to Dominant dalits (Anti-Ambedkar Students Association-ASA) which is running by dominant dalits-Mala/Parayars/Pulaiya, etc. Who are threatened me at many times in the campus. Who are created lot of atrocities directly and indirectly on me. Where went at that time this MSF? When the discourse happen between Mala favourable mala faculties and me, regarding the categorization and mala/parayar atrocities on oppressed dalits in India, especially in Tamil Nadu, majority of the dominant dalits are targeting on me to kick, where u went MSF candidates? If I die also, main reason would be by dominant dalits and not by any other reason mind it first. Who are the real victim/issues created to my submission of thesis, When I struggled lot by dominant dalits and not by another in the campus. Up-to my death I never forget the dominant dalits mala/parayar atrocities/untouchability activities on me and my people.

In the above paragraph Mr Mari Muttu is expressing his displeasure against MSF, in addition to ASA. Muttu’s open displeasure against ASA is well known. Muttu belongs to Arunthathiyar community within SC category of Tamil Nadu. The predominant sections of Tamil Nadu SC category like Parayar’s are well known in committing atrocities against this Arunthathiyar community, though both belong to SC category. Most importantly, Parayars of Tamil Nadu considers Arunthathiyas as migrants from Telugu region and inferior to them on various grounds. Thus, continues atrocities on various grounds against Arunthathiyars. Muttu is one of the most vocal person is voicing and highlighting such atrocities on various platforms, and became a victim to various persons or/and organisations like the present ASA on the University campus. Moreover, Muttu, considers Arunthathiyars and other marginalized communities like Madiga’s within SC category should come together and face predominant sections within SC category. In this sequence, he is expressing his displeasure over MSF, which did not save / support him at the time of his most crucial encounter with ASA.

If Muttu’s challenging encounter with ASA is considered seriously, then, it indicates that the DSU / MSF which should work for the larger marginalized sections within SC communities are getting failed. Such a failure also entails that the noble ideology of DSU / MSF[6] is not met with. Thus, DSU / MSF cadre is not only getting failed in maintaining their unity under a single platform of their own, but also getting failed to find space in other organisations like BSF!!

End Notes: 

[1] But, interesting both these persons belonged to the Telangana region of erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh before 2014.

[2] But then, BSF is not affiliated to BSP in any way. One can observe BSF organizations at various parts of India, without any direct affiliation.

[3] A separate article is required to know about the up’s and down’s in the history of DSU. Thus, presently, it is beyond the scope of this article.

[4] Some others also observe that one of the founders of BSF wished to make it as a prime platform for his own community!! But, he was utterly unsuccessful, though BSF as a student body sustained so far.

[5] OBC’s are religiously (Hindu) more conscious than dalits. So, basically, OBC’s associate with non-dalit organizations. If this dynamism is taken into consideration, it should be observed, how long OBCs of UoH can associate with BSF, whose ideology is framed and attached to dalits historical figures, along a few OBC personalities.  As OBC is a politically volatile category, it basically a challenging task to attract them towards dalit-bahujan ideology.

[6] I assume that the ideology of both DSU / MSF should be standing ‘for Social Justice….’ Within dalits, if the situation so warrants.

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