It suggests that Dalits need some sort of legitimacy and social acceptance by dint of higher caste leaders eating in their homes. The BJP is not alone in this, all political parties have adopted this practice to demonstrate their progressive credentials. This is to shortchange, and indeed, insult the Dalit community. Its members don’t need the meaningless show of leaders deigning to eat with them. They need substantial inputs in education, healthcare and jobs to give them a level playing field. This dinner diplomacy is solely aimed at getting votes. The Dalits today are not content to be considered a buyable votebank to whom leaders can pay lip service. As the BSP debacle in Uttar Pradesh shows, their vote can no longer be taken for granted. So far, this forced bonhomie has proved nothing more than photo-ops for political leaders. The discrimination against continues as recent cases of Dalit grooms being beaten up for daring to come to the wedding venue on a horse or decorated car shows. Mindless reservations in low-paying jobs and relaxation of marks restrictions too are not the answer. Dalits need concrete measures for empowerment without which they will not be able to stand on their own feet.