The writer is professor, Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad
Educated followers may indeed read his texts and use his arguments and visions for the emancipation of marginal communities, but Ambedkar appears in many different ways in the ordinary life of Dalits
It has turned the heterogeneity of Hindu culture into its strength
The attempt by mainstream Hindutva politics is to over-emphasise these marginal and contested memories, establish them as sites for “believers” and use them as symbols of cultural nationalism .
The Bihar assembly election may have various implications for the long-term Dalit politics in the state. It indicates a transition which may yield a new leader.
Unlike in UP, Dalit politics in Bihar continue to be dependent on mainstream parties. The Ambedkarite radical consciousness is weaker in the Dalit politics of Bihar and Dalit assertion at the grass roots continues to be weak.
Hindutva politics, thus, is increasingly becoming influential due to its engagement with the non-political but socio-culturally and religiously powerful public spheres associated with the Hindu religion.
The social memories created by the Hindu religion, and the Hindutva version of Ambedkar’s symbol, are creating a situation where the Hindutva parivar is easily accessible to a section of the larger Dalit community.
The RSS and its various affiliates enter slums through running schools, organising medical camps, etc. RSS shakhas are also expanding their footprint among the urban poor by giving them a “Hindu” identity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is nudging electoral politics in a new direction.
The impressive success of the BJP and the failure of gathbandhan in UP may have far reaching consequences for Indian politics. Political parties may have to redefine the politics of social justice in north India.
Dalit-Bahujan alliance is a riposte to the BJP’s national security centred discourse.
Mayawati's sacrifice has elevated her stature above other leaders of the gathbandhan. Her decision is a signal of sorts to the partners that should the situation arise, they should support her candidature for the PM’s post.
By placing Priyanka Gandhi in UP, Congress is trying to reclaim an old bastion
Congress could prove to be a spanner in the works of the SP-BSP alliance
These efforts may lead to the formation of “samagra Hindutva” — the BJP’s recently-framed strategy for the 2019 election
Even as Mayawati tries to sideline him, Chandrashekhar’s Bhim Army is expanding
It’s part of the party’s strategy to attract Dalits and marginalised communities.
Song, drama and literature play a role. Ambedkar, the symbolism around him, is at its centre.
SP-BSP win in UP by-polls featured Dalits, OBCs, Muslims, disillusioned BJP voters
Memories can rouse a social group. And they can be a source of hurt to others.
Mayawati will need to reorganise her party and frame a new vocabulary to combat BJP-RSS overtures to Dalits.
Newly visible on social media, the party is more conscious of politics of perception.
Mayawati fears that if the BSP is portrayed as an exclusively Dalit party, she might lose the votes of other castes
Non-Jatav Dalits in UP do not find political representation because of their limited role in swaying state and national elections.
Mayawati aims to win over Muslims, other social groups to expand BSP base.