Amid allegations and counter allegations, it is still unclear who instigated the Bhima-Koregaon clash that sent ripples of violence and rioting across Maharashtra but the political reactions to the unfortunate incident points to a disturbing road ahead as the country hurtles towards the 2019 general elections.
It now seems certain that the caste-division formula that we saw during the Gujarat Assembly elections will be increasingly replicated elsewhere as BJP’s political rivals try to find a way to fracture the Hindu votebank. The odds for such a possibility are extremely high because on the one hand we have upper-caste anxiety resulting in aggressive demand for a share of the reservation pie and on the other, a rising Dalit assertiveness that feeds on decades of social oppression. Caste fault lines have always existed. In 2014, Modi had been able to paper over the cracks through his campaign of hope. That hope is receding fast, reality is setting in and the fault lines are regaining prominence, according to First Post.
The battle was fought for 12 hours after which the Marathas were forced to retreat. Dalits traditionally celebrate this day as most of the soldiers in the Bombay Native Infantry which fought the Peshwa's men were Mahar Dalits. Dalit thinkers and activists consider this victory as a significant episode in history. Many Dalit activists think it was a victory of the oppressed over the upper-caste establishment of the Marathas, according to NDTV.