Friday, 25 November 2016

Scrapping of BMDC signals the end of identity politics

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council (BMDC) is dead and is a part of history now. We are fortunate that we have seen the complete life cycle – its birth and its sudden death. However, the short tenure of the body has highlighted how we as a community respond to such development. 

Today, when we go back and read some of the writings on BMDC, we find serious questions were asked about the inception of the body. Here is an article, where Ramlal Sinha had doubts about the body’s financial viability and its objective. And at the same time, the role of NBMM against BMDC was questioned.

In parallel to Ramlal Sinha’s views, Rebati Mohan Sinha who was elated with the formation of the body, he too asked many questions to the very existence of the body. Reading his series of articles on BMDC, today, I believe, many of his questions have gone unanswered!

Out of many things that we have seen, it is suffice to say that we can be played upon by anybody, and in this process we can go a long way. Everything takes a backseat when it comes to power and money. The series of news items prove it.

If the BJP government’s decision of scrapping all the minority councils in Assam is concerned; I guess the party has sent a signal and made the point straight that minority politics, identity politics, and caste politics that are deep-rooted in the construct of India will not be entertained. Political games that are played on the name of development across jatis not only create vote banks, but it creates bitterness and hatred amongst jatis. And north-east is rife with fear and mistrust between different ethnic communities. And the party will do another surgical operation by scrapping / diluting all the minority (religious / linguistic) appeasement schemes that takes place in the name of development. Synthetic ‘Development’ would be replaced by ‘Empowerment’ of the minorities.

We see many reservations pronounced by writers like Ramlal Sinha and Rebati Mohan Sinha on BMDC has indeed come true. And the change of guard in Assam and in the Centre has indeed changed the political playground.
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