Electoral Egalitarian Elan of Mayawati

Mayawati has always hated the small men in the pseudo-secular mafia of mass media in India. A coterie of self-opinionated pseudo-secular Sonia-servile men in the world of mass media roaring, raving and ranting drummer Rams, acting in unison, have not succeeded in bringing down the BSP electoral political edifice of Mayawati in UP. With unconcealed scorn, Mayawati calls them all 'followers of the upper caste'  (Manuwadi). Invite her for a talk or seek a time, she will curtly decline saying it could be yet another attempt to denigrate the Dalits (the oppressed class). Known for being arrogant; she is not English-speaking, nor is she 'enchanting'. Yet this daughter of a telecom clerk belonging to the oppressed and suppressed Dalit community has pulled off today one of the most extraordinary feats in modern-day electoral politics.   

Mayawati by sweeping the polls in Uttar Pradesh and becoming Chief Minister in her own right with absolute majority has put that wicked dictator of goonda Raj, Mulayam Singh Yadav to political shame. She has also taught a lesson the Congress Party. 

In any other political party, the supreme leader will take full responsibility for any defeat or disaster. But in the Congress Party, a scapegoat will be found for every occasion and every season with secular alacrity and therefore Salman Kurshid, the shattered and battered President of the Congress Party in UP, has been made a scapegoat for the UP Congress disaster. This is in keeping with treacherous and hoary Congress tradition dating back to the days of our freedom movement. 

Subash Chandra Bose was stabbed by Mahatma Gandhi in 1938; Acharya Kriplani was stabbed by Nehru in 1947; Purushottam Das Tandaon was stabbed by Nehru in 1951; Sanjeeva Reddy was stabbed by Indira Gandhi at Bangalore in 1969 and today Salman Kurshid has been stabbed by Sonia Gandhi in UP.   

The first major political announcement that Mayawati has made after her election as Chief Minister of UP is that the poor and destitute persons below the poverty line among the so called forward communities will also be made eligible for all educational and other concessions on par with the other disadvantaged communities already enjoying such concessions. In my view this is a land mark announcement of a remarkably far seeing statesman who has really created history by dealing a death blow to the wicked and sordid politics of communal and caste based Quota Raj promoted by the Congress Party after independence and taken to the zenith of its perfection by that Hindu soul-destroying political predator called V P Singh. 

Against this background, I am not surprised to see the sheepish pronouncement of our servile and surrogate Prime Minister made in Delhi yesterday to the following effect: 'If there are ideas about the problems faced by poor children from 'OTHER' sections of the community, they should also be taken on board. I welcome the comments of UP Chief Minister Mayawati that the poor among the forward castes and communities deserved the benefit of affirmative action'. Since Mayawati's political strategy of accommodating all communities including the forward communities in her political band wagon has helped her to sweep the elections in UP, the Congress Party now finds itself cornered. Consequently Sonia has chosen Manmohan Singh as a special scapegoat for making this new Congress announcement about its new concession to the forward communities! 

By bringing the Dalits, Backward Classes and the so called Forward Communities in UP, Mayawati has demonstrated that social elements hitherto considered as totally irreconcilable in the world of electoral politics, are not only reconcilable but also malleable, blendable, usable and in the ultimate analysis winnable. In a brilliant political move, she has brought the socially, economically, and culturally deprived and isolated Dalits on the one hand and the politically marginalised and deliberately 'made' irrelevant Forward Communities on the other. In my view she has achieved a total revolution 'political, social and cultural' in one stroke. She has also sent a signal to all the Dalits in India to the effect that they should realize that they have been oppressed to a greater extent by the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) than by the Forward Communities (FCs) for centuries. 

Many of the politicians like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Sonia Gandhi who have been totally defeated by Mayawati today would now cheaply try to bring the charge of political inconsistency against her. 

In this context, I am reminded of the following observations of Sir Winston Churchill, in his brilliant essay titled 'Consistency in Politics': 

'A distinction should be drawn at the outset between two kinds of political inconsistency. First, a Statesman in contact with the moving current of events and anxious to keep the ship on an even keel and steer a steady course may lean all his weight now on one side and now on the other. His arguments in each case when contrasted can be shown to be not only very different in character, but contradictory in spirit and opposite in direction; yet his object will throughout have remained the same. His resolve, his wishes, his outlook may have been unchanged; his methods may be verbally irreconcilable. We cannot call this inconsistent. The only way a man can remain consistent amid changing circumstances is to change with them while preserving the same dominating purpose. A Statesman should always try to do what he believes is best in a long view for his country, and he should not be dissuaded from so acting by having to divorce himself from a great body of doctrine to which he formerly sincerely adhered'. 

Applying the above yardstick of Sir Winston Churchill, Mayawati has not been inconsistent. She has acted like a great Statesman. I consider her as a great leader from the Dalit Community. Her original leadership is a unique form of art, marked by extra-ordinary force and clairvoyant vision. 

In the footsteps of great leaders, we hear the rolling thunder of history. Throughout the centuries from the ancient Greeks, through Shakespeare, to the present day, few subjects have proved more perennially fascinating to dramatists, historians and journalists alike than the character of great leaders. What sets them apart? What accounts for that particular, indefinable electricity that exists between the leader and the led? These fascinating and exciting questions will continue to be asked century after century in the future.   


More by :  V. Sundaram

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