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

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The Alliance Matrix: Dalit-Muslim Unity or Dalit-Pasmanda Unity?

There have been discussions on the possibility of an enduring alliance between Dalit and Muslim community; however, in most of its attempt, it failed to bring both groups on a single platform at community level because of the presence of real or perceived prejudices among both communities. There is a need to reconsider the approach through which these social justice parties as well as civil societies are striving to achieve this objective. India is the land of caste, not religion, and caste is the basic unit of analysis for every aspect of individual life. Therefore, the article argues that there is a real possibility of alliances between socially marginalised groups of various religious communities. Instead of wasting time for seeking alliance between Dalit-Muslim we shall rather emphasise on the Dalit-Pasmanda alliance based on the shared feeling of lived experiences of subjugation and discrimination.

Redressal or Reconciliation?

The history of local alliances forged between caste groups and the state is interrogated, through the colonial period leading to current day west Uttar Pradesh. The recent farm acts threaten to supplant such alliances, with the state aligning with the interests of big capital. It has necessitated the Jat khaps in west UP to offer resistance by adopting a language of communitarian solidarity that can be traced to the 1980s. However, the shadow of the riots of 2013 has meant that talk of solidarity has veered towards “reconciliation” and “redressal” towards the minorities. As a result, the agitation has revealed new political possibilities while exposing earlier fissures within west UP’s political economy.
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