BJP’s Presidential candidate Mr. Ramnath Kovind belongs to “Koli/Kori” community which is predominant in Gujarat, apart from other states in our country. They intermixed with Rajputs due to the practice of Hypergamous Marriage. During British rule, some Kolis also held small princely states. The Rajputs viewed them as kshatriyas. However, over a period of time, Kolis lost their equal standing with the Patidar community.
Mr. Ramnath Kovind’s father Mr. Maikulal used to run a kirana shop in their village. He was an expert in Ayurvedic herbs and used to treat the villagers free. Mr. Maikul would feed Brahmins while also distribute books to children with chants of Ram Ram among children (The Hindu dated 21.06.2017).Do you give credence to the fact that Brahmins had taken food from a Dalit?
The primary criteria upon which a community was included in the list of Scheduled Castes was “Untouchability”. When it is so when Mr. Ramnath Kovind’s father Mr. Maikulal – a KOLI was feeding Brahmins, is there a meaning in calling Kolis as Scheduled Caste – Dalit? Thus, by any standards, Kolis are not Scheduled Castes and hence Mr. Ramnath Kovind is not a Dalit. [Overall situation of Koli/Kori might be miserable but not true for Mr. Ramnath Kovind.]
As of 2012, various communities bearing the Koli/Kori name appear in the Central list of Other Backward Classes. The Govt. of India classified the Koli community as Scheduled Caste inh the 2001 Census for the states of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
The dominant Thakurs and Brahmins of this caste sensitive village were reported to have presented him with 12 precious mukuts (ceremonial crowns), 11 made of silver and 1 of gold to him on his visit to his ancestral village in November 2001 (The Hindu dated.21.06.2017) in his honour – how many times you have seen such an honour for a Dalit? Such an honour to a Dalit is unimaginable.
Now, please tell me as to whether Mr. Ramnath Kovind, who hails from a village near Kanpur, UP and living in Delhi after his graduation, belong to a Dalit community as portrayed by the BJP and the whole Brahminical print and electronic media equally. BJP’s President Mr. Amit Shah’s move of projecting Mr. Ramnath Kovind as a Dalit for the presidential election has been hailed as a masterstroke, paralyzing the move of the gullible and ill-informed opposition parties and they stand paralyzed wondering as to what to say or do next.
In the last 3 years of its rule at the centre, the BJP has only been making tall promises with no tangible results to the nation so far. Now, they have made a false claim to the nation and the ill-informed political parties, including Dalit parties BSP, VCK and PT, are blinking.
I recollect Dr. Ambedkar’s “Educate, Organize and Agitate” slogan and wish our countrymen awake and protect ourselves and the generation to come from the impending disaster.
Author – K. Somasundaram.
The information given above is as extracted from various sources and The Hindu, Chennai City Edition dated 21.06.2017.
Image Credit – Economic Times