दलित-मुस्लिम चुनावी एकता से कैसे बदल जाएगी भारत की सियासत

Why Dalit-Muslim electoral unity is a mirage

Cunningly cobbling caste/religious alliances is the shrewdest move on the chessboard of contemporary electoral politics in India. Uttar Pradesh has probably been the laboratory for formulating and testing new caste/religious equations of political chemistry. Ever since Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen won five Assembly seats in the Bihar elections, talk about an electoral alliance between parties that represent Dalits and Muslims has got a fresh life. The AIMIM and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had joined forces in the Bihar polls and many now say this partnership will extend to Uttar Pradesh, where the Assembly election is due in 2022.

In Maharashtra, Owaisi allied with Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi in the 2019 election. The Bhim Army and its chief Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ kindled another hope of Dalit-Muslim unity during the anti-CAA protests. According to the Pew Research Center, there were around 213 million Muslims in India in 2020, 15.5% of the population. Dalits form around 16.6%. In Uttar Pradesh Muslims are 19% and Dalits 20.7%. Together they make up about 40%. A combination of these two sections would be a formidable electoral alliance. Nonetheless, a Dalit-Muslim electoral alliance is only a pipe dream thanks to many socio-political reasons.



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