The statement by Mulayam Singh Yadav reported widely in the media that it would be difficult to address a former bureaucrat as ‘President’ exposes his feudal mindset. So much for the Socialism he claims to espouse! The Samajwadi Party has been, and remains, a casteist outfit based on the consolidation of a manufactured votebank that has generally been referred to as the MY combination.
Contrast this with the suggestion made by Mahatma Gandhi on who ought to have been India’s first President, which reflected a different worldview altogether.
All the pious claims made during the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations about it having to do with ‘social justice’ were swallowed hook, line and sinker by the intellectual class – programmed as it was by leftist leanings – but the ‘peasant’ of the hills saw it for what it was and, with the determination only possible in those who battle adverse circumstances on a daily basis, freed the Uttarakhand region from the perverse ideology of caste-based politics, which is set to plague UP for, at least, another generation.
These neo-feudal clan chiefs have come to think of themselves as the ‘natural’ ruling class and seek to deny any other ‘competing’ stream its constitutional right to rise to the highest echelons of power. This has been seen in the attempt, particularly by this class of politician, to divide even civil society movements on the basis of caste and community. They know very well that the disappearance of caste differences would coincide with their own political oblivion.
The ‘naukar’ in ‘naukarshah’ evokes in Mulayam Singh Yadav the arrogance of someone who has enjoyed and taken for granted the fruits of power for longer than anybody cares to remember. The irony, of course, is that he never forgets to genuflect before the quintessential technocrat in the seat of power – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
In most cases, people take solace from the fact that, after all, these are mortal beings, eventually to leave the scene. In the case of Mulayam Singh, however, his brand of politics has found re-embodiment in the taking over by his son as CM of UP – a younger face, maybe, but a representation of the same elements that constitute Samajwadi Party power. A party that depends heavily on the politics of patronage, it is set to unleash, once again, the contractor, liquor and land mafia, and goonda raj it earned notoriety for in the past. The rise of kith and kin will ensure the state becomes the happy hunting ground for lawlessness and pillage.
If the people of UP allow themselves to be herded into a similar patter of voting in the coming Lok Sabha elections, they will put themselves further in bondage to neo-feudalism. All the aspirations of the present generation for a better life will be shattered. Already, the unemployment dole they had so eagerly voted for has been watered down to an ineffective shadow of what it was projected to be. People must understand that such politicians may claim to be, but are not magicians who can produce something out of nothing. Promises made that violate the principles of basic economics are un-implementable. People should not allow their desperate circumstances to blind them to the reality. There are few dividends to be had from a perceived caste domination; it is only a few who benefit (and begin to believe it is their birthright to enjoy these privileges). Ask the dalits who thought they were ‘in power’ in the state over the past five years. All the apologists have to offer them, today, is the fig-leaf of imagined ‘self-respect’.