According to BJP calculations, this year will mark the 2,327th anniversary of Emperor Ashoka’s birth. Apparently, it’s a good time to find out your “caste”.
With defections shaping the caste cauldron of Uttar Pradesh back to the boil before the assembly surveys, the focus is on the Maurya king who ruled most of what is now called India between 268 B.C. C. and 232 a. On two sides of the battlefield are groups gathered in neighboring Bihar, the state that claims the king as its own.
The BJP, which has an eye for icons covered in the cobwebs of history, was one of the first to recognize the political prowess of the Great Ashoka. In 2015, the Bihar BJP celebrated its 2320th birth anniversary and the party government in the Center issued a postage stamp on it.
Soon after, there were others who claimed it as their own, notably the OBC Kushwaha community, as well as backward class leaders from all parties: the BJP, JD(U), and RJD. A senior Bihar leader of a party with a socialist background who does not want to be identified says Ashoka, the scion of the dynasty founded by his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya, was “a great face of the OBC and the voice of the underlings.”
Bihar Prime Minister Nitish Kumar has refrained from assigning a caste to such icons, but has named several buildings and institutions after them, including the Chandragupta Management Center and the Samrat Ashok Convention Hall in Patna. Panchayati Raj Minister Samrat Choudhary, who belongs to the BJP, points to the number of buildings in the panchayat levels bearing Ashoka’s name.
The last fight to seize Ashoka began when Sahitya Akademi Award Winner, Former IAS Officer and BJP Worker, Daya Prakash Sinha, told Navbharat Times in an interview: “While researching Samrat Ashok, I was very surprised by the various similarities between him and the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Both of them had committed many sins in their early days and then resorted to excessive religiosity to hide their sins, so that people would turn to religion and their sins would be overlooked.” Sinha won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his work Samrat Ashoka.
He also commented on Ashoka’s appearance, saying that various Buddhist works called him “very ugly”.
Three Kushwaha leaders from three different parties – BJP Panchayati Raj Minister Choudhary, JD(U) Leader Upendra Kushwaha and RJD National Spokesman Subodh Mehta – were the first to jump to the defense of the Emperor. The current Maurya community are Kushwahas.
Soon, most of Bihar’s top leaders rallied behind him, from BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi, former CM MP and Rajya Sabha MP, to Sanjay Jaiswal, BJP State Chairman and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi.
The BJP went on to file an FIR against Sinha “for hurting people’s feelings”, while Manjhi, BJP ally JD(U), and the RJD demanded that his awards be withdrawn.
The BJP insisted that Sinha had nothing to do with the party.
Jaiswal said: “We are surprised that Sinha describes himself as the national coordinator of the cultural cell of the BJP. In fact, he is not even a leading member of our party.” In a social media blog, the BJP head of state said Ashoka had played “an important role as a unifier” and had given a message of peace to the world after the Kalinga War.
Historians record that Ashoka was ruthless early in his reign until he launched a campaign against the Kalinga kingdom. Such was the carnage in that battle that it motivated him to renounce war and eventually embrace Buddhism and the concept of dhamma. He then played an important role in the spread of Buddhism in the region.
In the present that is on everyone’s mind, the Kushwahas, 8 percent of Bihar’s population, are an essential part of JD(U)’s OBC base. The BJP and RJD also have a good number of Kushwaha leaders.
However, there is a more immediate reason, as one JD(U) leader points out. “With the BJP losing some CBO leaders to the Samajwadi Party (particularly one of the biggest, Swami Prasad Maurya) in Uttar Pradesh, they don’t want to be part of any issues that may further affront Dalits or CBOs. ”.
"खाना विशेषज्ञ। जोम्बी प्रेमी। अति कफी अधिवक्ता। बियर ट्रेलब्लाजर। अप्रिय यात्रा फ्यान।"