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SYNERGY OF DALIT AND THE LEFT
Annihilation of caste is important for progress in any political system. The recent Dalit rally on September, 2016 in Parliament Street near Jantar Mantar witnessed a lot of speakers from the Left. The aftermath of Una incident, in which Dalit youth were assaulted by cow vigilantes, saw mobilization of dalits and protest movements resulting in two substantive victories. First, State government acceded to Dalit protestors demand of distributing 220 bighas of government land to 115 landless Dalit families of Saroda village in Ahmedabad. The second achievement was acceptance of demands of Safai Karamcharis of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for regularization of contract workers, guarantee of minimum wage, provision of provident fund scheme and health benefits, safety equipment for workers etc. Permanent employment and land ownership makes a big difference to material existence of dalits. The Left has never seriously taken up the caste issue, neither the casteism nor the atrocities against dalits. It has restricted itself to caste politics and that has resulted in its marginalization. Identity politics in an electoral system can at best extract certain concessions without challenging the caste order and pass off self aggrandizement as empowerment of community. The Dalit-OBC unity for identitarian politics is full of class contradictions within itself. Moreover, with privatization and increased public sector disinvestment, reservation is not an answer for dalit upward mobilization anymore. Presently, Dalits need Left to put up their social demand on the political platform and Left needs Dalits for their very survival politically. This partnership between Jai Bhim and Lal Salaam is for mutual benefit.

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