In the present Indian sociopolitical scenario, a large number of dalit castes have become the main players in the electoral arena and politically mobilizing them has become a compulsion of all political parties. The strong desire of these castes to assert their identity based on their sense of pastness is being profitably encashed by many political parties who are appropriating their heroes and recreating their histories to suit their political ideology and thereby politically mobilizing them. This is especially true in UP and Bihar where society is still divided on caste lines and the lower castes are still oppressed.

Fascinating Hindutva examines how, aided by other Hindutva forces like RSS and VHP, the strategies of BJP for mobilizing dalits rests on reinterpreting their Hindu past and unifying them under the metanarrative of Hindutva. It is an exploration of the fascinating tactics used by the Hindutva forces to politically mobilize individual dalit castes like the Nishads, Musahars, and Dusadhs by saffronising their heroes.

Saffronisation of a Dalit Hero: The Story of Salhes of North Bihar

Saffronisation of a Dalit hero: The story of Salhes of north Bihar

Har yug mein Ram aate hain

(Lord Rama comes in every age)
—Swami Prapannacharya, Magh Mela, Prayag, 2003

As discussed elaborately in the earlier chapters, in order to enter the Dalit memories and saffronise them, Hindutva forces have given representation to leaders of Dalit communities in state and national politics and sought to satisfy their urge for a place in power politics, while trying to appropriate cultural symbols and folk icons popular in Dalit oral traditions and redefining local societies in north India. We have already studied appropriation as a tool of control by Hindutva forces to mobilise Dalit communities in various parts of north ...

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