Friday, Aug 19, 2022
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politics: gujarat

The Patel Directory, Revisited

The Patidar quota stir may yet spin off in dangerous directions

The Patel Directory, Revisited
PTI
The Patel Directory, Revisited
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Quota Vadis

  • Hardik Patel’s agitation for OBC status to Patels has drifted into violence
  • Other OBC groups and SC/STs are threatening to oppose the Patels, on the streets if necessary
  • Patels, on the contrary, are planning to take the debate national, calling for a rethink on reservation per se
  • The consequences could be dangerous, with groups like Jats and Gujjars already demanding reservations
  • Anandiben has a tough problem on hand, going beyond the forthcoming local self-government elections
  • Nationally, the debate could prove volatile. The situation is fraught with complexities that may spin out of control.

***

A cartoon in the Indian Express said it all: Amit Shah in caricature, being told that he had promised to make a Gujarat out of Bihar and had instead made a Bihar out of Gujarat. Indeed, an agitation for caste-based reservations by the powerful Patel community has roiled a state that used to be held up by former chief minister Narendra Modi as a model of development. His protege, present CM Anandi­ben Patel, is having to contend with a quota agitation by her powerful Patel community that threatens to spin out of control. It evokes smoke-billowing pictures of past protests: buses burning, mobs rioting, police going berserk with lathis, teargas and bullets. Already, some ten people have died in police firing. Some 150 buses were burnt or damaged and government offices attacked by protesters. The targeting of policemen and the burning of police stations has forced Anandiben to call for central forces and army reinforcements.

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