The newsrooms are again on their job; postmortem of UP and states election results is On-Air. The government formations are taking place on the desks of journalists like Arnab and Rajdeep. The results are, as always, different from what the psephologedras had forecasted. The Delhi newsrooms, which have command and understanding of Indian politics typical as the foreign tourists about Indian society, are loaded with reasons and logics. The black coffee, pizza portions and Nirula’s thaalis are feeding the guests and the experts. OBs are running on the roads of Delhi like the Ants after the rains. But there is least concerns about the real reasons and symptoms coming out from the volcano of Indian politics.
Mayawati was like the queen bee for her voters in state. The other species (castes and communities) joined her club when she gave a new, big, historical and milestone slogan of Sarvajana few years back. She came in power and become chief minister of biggest battle ground of India’s states politics. But this formula is a failed engineering now. The support has shifted. Mayawati and her party have suffered betrayal by non-dalits in this election. The fragile frame of Maya’s dream to become the prime minister has cracked. There are many reasons. Some are visible and some are still left to peep out from the holes of thoughts. Queen Bee preferred to remain in her golden forts, inaccessible to her supporters, voters and the people. Her functioning was non interactive; very unlike the CM in her previous tenure where she used to sack the officers, transfer the bureaucrats within minutes publicly. That was a strong, pro-people style of functioning which left less space for bureaucracy to remain irresponsible and non-performing.
It’s not her elephants and parks; it’s because of her isolated and super safe mode through out her tenure as CM. yes, she took actions against the corrupt and criminal ministers, MLAs of her cabinet and party but most of them were non-dalits. Corruption in her regime was not less than others. Her affection to the money has become the most popular topic of daily gossips. Yes, the crime, law and order problems reduced in her regime but that’s not enough to remain in government especially in the state like UP where other complex equations derive and decide the mood and mandate of politics. There are many other reasons. One of them is hard work and effort by Samajwadi Party because this election was ‘do or die’ battle for them. It was not just a mere election; instead it was a battle for survival for Mr. Mulayam Singh and his party. There are many others, which I leave for the experts and analysts keep chanting for next few days in print and electronic media.
My biggest concern comes from the one strong derivation of this mandate; the winner is the caste based politics which has rejected the sarvajana slogan. In a nation, where most of the time media and civil society keep taking about vanishing the reservation system, caste is playing a key role in the society and thus the politics. The election result in UP clearly indicates that upper castes and OBCs are not ready to accept a dalit as their CM. I can say this because the option they have chosen is not less corrupt, anti-poor and or money minded. The caste based politics is ready to bear even worse government but a dalit as their CM or a politics of sarvajana lead by a dalit is not accepted. In fact, it has been strongly rejected.
I am not worried about the fate of Mayawati and her politics in coming days; my concern is the possible revenge by OBCs and upper castes in UP. Many of us are aware about the history of law and order conditions during the earlier tenures of Samajwadi Party. Majority of middle class and urban population thinks that Mayawati was good for nothing; she was more like a ‘parks development authority’ and an elephant-crazy woman. However, many of us forget the hope and space dalits got in her regime for social justice and security (from police stations to public bodies, cooperatives and social bodies). The non-dalits never accepted Mayawati as their leader. She always remained an un-edible sweet for them. It was just a mere opportunism that they blow the slogans in her support. They enjoyed the power; they were standing along with power, not with a dalit woman. Now, after this mandate, it’s clear that non-dalits have rejected her. I look back to the villages and settlements in UP where dalits were able to file cases against the atrocities, stand up against a hypocrite feudal social system demanding their right to life and liberties. Many would say that Mayawati did less for dalits, their politics, and social justice and remained undemocratic at all levels but her regime was ray of hope for many poor dalits. The space and justice they achieved is not out from the minds of non-dalits. They will hit back and I doubt, the screams would be listened.
For many, it’s just transfer of power; change of colours, flags, names, leaderships and symbols but for a bigger marginalised section of society, it’s like loosing the hope and space for justice. Mayawati did least for them but her presence was a big thing, they are left scared, frightened and worried and Mayawati herself is not less responsible for this.