Moditva and the Adivasi Development Vision: Jharkhand Elections and the Growing BJP Influence

February 1, 2015

Editorial note:

[The following article in Hindi, written by a group of students at JNU, DU, and IIMC at the onset of the Jharkhand elections, attempts to understand the reasons behind the BJP’s increasing influence over states with high adivasi population (in Jharkhand, adivasis constitute more than one-fourth of the state population), despite it’s dangerous policies for adivasis. It starts with a critique of the mainstream media and discourse, which did not discuss the problems with the “Gujarat model” of development even during the Lok Sabha elections, and can not be expected to raise the question of adivasis’ welfare now. The article also emphasizes the need to look beyond riots and fake encounters and into the day-to-day attacks on the welfare of dalit and adivasi populations. It substantiates this attack through data to show that the adivasi population has been facing worsening living conditions, falling health indicators and increased poverty under Modi’s rule in Gujarat. A comparison with Tamil Nadu is drawn.

The article concludes that communal riots (engineered by BJP) between adivasis and Muslims has played an important role in the phenomenon of the rising influence of the BJP in states with large adivasi populations. It claims that post 1991, the business class of these areas began moving to cities, leaving space and opportunity for the economic rise of Muslims – in retaliation, Hindu upper castes that were left behind in rural areas began inciting adivasis against Muslims. RSS and Hindu Mahasabha supported the process.

In the end, the article raises a question at the silence of the Leftist parties on this issue and urges intellectuals to venture beyond their limited spheres and raise the concern of adivasis. ]

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