The BJP and dalits

Several stories recently. The Navsarjan trust revealed that the Gujarat BJP government are not spending money allocated for dalit welfare: in Gujarat "over the last decade nearly Rs 3,689 crore of funds for targeted programmes to uplift dalits and economically and socially backward classes, went unutilized". Meanwhile in UP the BJP is spreading the communal lie that "Ambedkar disliked Muslims" in an attempt to break Dalit-Muslim electoral alliances. And revealing the contempt which lurks beneath, Baba Ramdev said that Rahul Gandhi visits houses of "Dalits for honeymoon and picnic" and "had he married a Dalit girl, then his luck could have clicked and he would have become the prime minister". The BJP were quick to back Ramdev. Also a good moment to recall Modi's own belief that Dalits do manual scavenging work not because of oppression and discrimination, but because it is a spiritual experience (he has never apologised for this statement or suggested that he has changed his mind). And then TOI reported today on an RTI request which shows the high level of work-related deaths amongst Gujarat's manual scavengers, and the failure of many to get compensation.