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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    May 28, 2008

    Will politicians be more wary of election-time promises?

    In the span of a year, there have now been two violent agitations by Gujjars, led by the Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti. These have resulted in loss of lives and destruction of public & private property.

    Nitin rightly points out that the BJP and the UPA are both responsible for the state of affairs since the BJP did nothing to oppose the UPA's policies of "doling out entitlements based on group identities."

    Lest we forget, all this started when the BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate, Vasundhara Raje, during the 2003 elections to the Rajasthan legislative assembly, promised to get the Gujjars included in the list of Scheduled Tribes. This was a promise that she had no business giving, since only the Union government is responsible for (and empowered to) make changes under the 'Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950'.

    When the Gujjars started questioning her about the election promise, she conveniently pointed out that the Union government had to decide on the matter. Obviously the Gujjar leaders got pissed off. This does not obviously mean they have the right to wreck Rajasthan over the issue. If anything, the leaders of the Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti, including Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla, should be jailed under the appropriate section of the Indian Penal Code.

    Hopefully one end-result of the Gujjar agitation is that henceforth, politicians will be wary of the promises they give during election rallies. Imagine if the voters started violent uprisings for every single commitment that was not satisfactorily acted upon after the elections!

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