ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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When Conviction Becomes Convenience

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Arguably, moral conviction does have a definite bearing on the need to learn the “use” of political means that are crucial in approaching, both intellectually as well as practically, the question of emancipation. The evocation of conviction has often been found in the political rhetoric overused by the leaders claiming that they invest conviction in the politics of Dalit emancipation. Their conviction that “we are the party determined to follow the teaching of Bahujan thinkers, and that our politics can be found compatible with the emancipation of Dalit and Bahujan,” however, seems to be seriously misleading. It is misleading because the consequence or the outcome of their political activism does not show any concrete movement towards the confirmation of such convictions. The claim to politics with a moral conviction seems to be derailed, particularly in the context of their failure to be part of the larger politics that seeks to provide a challenge to right-wing parties undermining the constitutional values.

At a more substantive level, their firm conviction does not carry any moral weight as these leaders do not see the widening internal inequality with the spectacular rise of millionaires, even within Bahujan and Dalit families. A reference to internal inequality might be problematic, particularly to the votaries of neo-liberalism. Put differently, the common demand for equality in material status, along with the rising Dalit–Bahujan millionaires, would look anarchic to those who share the ideology that inequality in a market society is natural, and that Dalits and Bahujan are no exception to this neo-liberal dynamic. The huge difference in terms of possession of positional goods makes it imperative to question their claims to a politics with conviction.

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Updated On : 2nd Apr, 2022
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