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The Young Turks:The Future of Identity Politics at India Today Conclave

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5 Dariya News

Mumbai , 10 Mar 2018

The future of identity politics could be very loud and assertive if the sparks marked by charges  and counter charges that flew at a debate on the subject at the India Today Conclave 2018, Mumbai,  today, were any indication. Demogoguery was as its best as JNU leaders Kanhaiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid and Gujarat’s pro-reservation and anti-BJP leader Hardik Patel on one side and ABVP leader Rohit Chahal and RSS-oriented Writer Shubhrashtha , on the other hand , traded charges on ideological issuesThe riot of allegations and counter allegations forced moderator Rahul Kanwal to intervene several times as the entire debate became a slanging match between the proponents of Left and Right ideologies and the truthfulness became a casualty.Countering allegations that he was taking the politics to ugly old days of caste-ridden polity by playing caste identity politics Hardik said asking for jobs and fighting for cheaper education in a corrupt education system was not identity politics but fight for justice as enshrined in India’s Constitution. The Gujarat Government has made a law to restrict schools from charging exorbitant fees but still schools are not following it, he said. 

Shubhrastha reacted to Hardik by seeking an assurance from him whether he will restrict his fight only on the issue of unemployment and not change his stand later looking for wider political platform. Kanhaiya Kumar said the constitution guarantees equal rights and to fight for the rights of those sections who haven’t got justice is also a true path for making a strong nation and therefore there was nothing wrong in it. ' WE have a right to deconstruct  the title of the pledge we have read in schools days ‘ WE, the people of India ‘, he said.Responding to allegations from Kumar and Rashid that the BJP was not a party for justice Rohit Chahal said that the BJP stood for ‘ Nation First, Party second and self third ‘. He said his organization truly talks for the poor, women and marginalized sections of the society  and doesn’t play lip service to these ideals as the Left parties do. Rashid said when the JNU students union agitated for Nirbhay they knew neither the caste of a rapist not of the raped. She also asked when only 10 or 12 per cent of women were in the parliament why can’t we call it male identity politics.Shubhrashtra said that the Left and Hardik patel were playing divisive politics of of the worst kind while she was proud to say that she was from a mall village from Nalanda district in Bihar and her only identity was of a Hindu and a nationalist.When Hardik attacked BJP and Modi saying that the BJP and its leaders were changing their goalpost to suits their objectives Chahal  responded by questioning the alleged expense of Rs 10 crores in Hardik's sister’s marriage recently asking him to specify from where the money had come ? Hardik shot back : ‘ Your Government has ED and CBI. Why don’t you take action against me ‘.AS personal allegations dominated the debate it continued to swing from one to another direction bringing frequent interventions from  Kanwal. 

Quotes  1. ‘ Hum Sab Karen Wo Chori, Aaap kare Wo Leela ( What all we do is wrong and what wrong you do is always right ) , Hardik patel

Quote : 2. ‘ The identity politics of the Left leaders stands buried in the country now with the BJP win in Tripura “, Rohit Chahal

Quote  3 : “ Our generation didn’t bring the caste identity politics. BUT we will certainly end it “, Shehla Rashid

Quote : 4 ‘ Bharat KO Badalta Bharat Banana Hain. WE are fighting a just society. WE are for equality and justice to all “. Kanhaiya Kumar 

5. : “ We want to free politics of the present negativity “, Shubhrastha


Started as part of India Today’s 25th anniversary, INDIA TODAY CONCLAVE was designed as a meeting point for the best minds from India and around the world to map the geopolitical and economic future of the country. In its inaugural year the theme was India Tomorrow 2002: Opportunities and Threats with Vice President of the USA Al Gore as the chief Guest. In its second year the theme was India Tomorrow 2003: Global Giant or Pygmy? The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States presided as the keynote speaker. The past 14 conclaves have been widely acclaimed and popular for the quality of speakers and discussion. The speakers who have been part of this conference each year are current and former heads of state, Nobel Laureates, spiritual leaders, industry captains, social workers, economists, authors, academics, scientist, strategists, activists, cine directors, actors and sportspersons. The past conferences can be accessed at


Tags: Hardik Patel , Kanhaiya Kumar



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