In the after-math of violent Jat stir in Haryana, which left 30 people dead, the chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has decided to drop his surname.
In February this year, Jats protested to demand 10 percent quota in jobs and educational institutions. The violent protest left many people dead and a lot of public property was damaged.
During a discussion on the stir, which has deeply divided the state, the minister told MLAs:
“I was a (RSS) pracharak till 1994 and no one knew my caste at the time. Even today, I don’t like it when people use ‘Khattar’ after my name. I am just Manohar Lal. That is enough for my identity.”
Even his cabinet seems to be divided in Jat and non-Jat groups. Further, the stir has also destroyed state’s investor-friendly image.
Non-Jat ministers like Anil Vij, Karan Dev Kamboj and Krishan Kumar Bedi demand strict against rioters while Jat ministers Capt Abhimanyu and O P Dhankar are downplaying the affect of the violence.
But, it is very important to note that the minister dropped his surname soon after he became CM in 2014. However, that was an unofficial decision and did not get any attention.
His nameplate at work and residence doesn’t use Khattar. The recent announcement sort of make it official. Now, it is to be seen whether his personal decision will help in bridging the caste divide in the state.