Journalist and author Sugata Srinivasaraju sits down with Manisha Pande and Atul Chaurasia to discuss caste politics in Karnataka. Sugata gives a brief history of two dominant communities – Vokkaligas and Lingayats – and how they became important in the state’s electoral politics. Sugata says it is a myth that Lingayats and Vokkaligas determine politics in India, perpetrated by the Lingayats themselves.
He explains why this election is all about subcastes. He says the Panchamasalis Lingayats and the most oppressed segment of Dalit voters may continue to support the BJP, and so this election is not over yet. The three also discuss what role the BJP’s Hindutva politics will play in countering caste dynamics, and why getting a Lingayat CM to play the Hindutva card didn’t work for the party.