Udit Raj, who is a big Dalit face in BJP, has said that dining with community leaders alone is not a solution to the problem. Raj said that he has no objection if any leader goes to some-place for dinner, tea and stay.
It seems that Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘dinner-at-Dalit-house’ campaign is not welcomed by many, including some leaders from inside the organisation. A day after Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat had slammed party’s act of dining at Dalit households, Udit Raj, party MP from Delhi has now criticised the move saying it will not help meet the aspirations of the community.
Raj, who is a big Dalit face in BJP, has said that dining with community leaders alone is not a solution to the problem. Raj said that he has no objection if any leader goes to some-place for dinner, tea and stay. “But is it the solution?…Had Dalit youths agitated in Bharat bandh on April 2 because they wanted others to visit their home for feast? They had agitated for their rights and protection of reservation,” Raj was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Raj’s comments come a day after Uttar Pradesh minister Suresh Rana’s dinner at the house of a Dalit man created controversy after it was reported that he brought his own food and water.
A day later, Anupama Jaiswal, another BJP minister from Uttar Pradesh courted controversy for defending her party leaders visiting Dalit homes and having dinner there, saying they do so braving “mosquito bites the whole night”.
On Friday, RSS chief Bhagwat had also made similar comments and asked BJP leader to “not to do drama” of taking food at the homes of Dalit families. Bhagwat suggested that regular measures are needed to get rid of caste barriers, not the occasional symbolic gestures.
Top BJP leaders, including party chief Amit Shah, had visited Dalit and tribal homes on several occasions and has had meals with them. It was reported that party leaders were instructed by top party management to interact and have meals at the homes of Dalits. Further, Bhagwat suggested that such interactions should be done both ways — Dalits should also be invited by upper caste people to their homes.
Raj is not the only politician to criticise the party over Dalit issues in recent times. Savitri Bai Phule, Bhartiya Janata Party Member of Parliament, has recently held a rally in Lucknow against policies of Narendra Modi government. Another Dalit BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Nagina, Yashwant Singh, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused the Central government of ignoring the Dalits of the country.