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01/06/09
LESSON 20-PEACE BEGINS WITZen Stories: Our Anger Is An Empty Boat-HIN ME- Kanshi Ram: from BAMCEF to the Bahujana Samaj Party -Mayawati will become the first Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabudha Bharath woman Prime Minister of Prabuddha Bharath - Three Baskets Study Circle-Mayawati:the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh would be Prime Minister of Prabuddha Bharath-Ruler Mayawati, engineer of UP election-State police chief Vikram Singh has maintained that the engineer was killed because he refused to buckle under the legislator’s pressure to award contracts to his henchmen.-oric Initiatives By Mayawati
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LESSON 20

Zen Stories: Our Anger Is An Empty Boat

By Daniel Stambler

Once there was man who was traveling in a rowboat across a lake in a thick fog. The fog was so dense that he couldn’t see more than a few meters ahead of him.

In the distance, he noticed a large shape looming towards him, and he became very worried that the object was another boat that couldn’t see him, and would crash right into his small wood vessel. He shouted out to the crew of the other boat, but received no reply. He began to become frantic, and screamed at the top of his lungs for the boat to give way and avoid a crash.

In his mind he was furious at the driver of the boat who surely was not paying attention to his way, or even worse, maliciously was aiming to hit him.

He worked himself up into a rage, fueled by fear, as the other boat came within clear sight and passed by his own, missing it by a tiny distance.

As the larger boat passed, he peered into its hull to give a good chastising to the driver, but found that the vessel was empty. Its mooring had slipped off the dock, and the boat had drifted out into the lake. All the anger the man had against the phantom driver of the other boat immediately vanished, and he laughed.

This simple story reflects the way we often act in our lives, and in the way we deal with others, especially during threatening situations.

We see something that disturbs us, or we feel confronted by a threat, and we become full of fear which instantly turns into anger and hostility.

It happens so quickly that we don’t even notice that we have chosen to go down that route, but rather it seems justified that we feel the way we do.

In this story, the fog of the day represents the delusions with which we live our lives, particularly all the ideas and opinions we have about others and the way the world should be. Those ideas often blind us to the way the world actually is, which always is something of a surprise.

The most basic teaching of Buddhism is that of impermanence, that everything changes, and is constantly doing so.

That means our ideas about the world become obsolete pretty quickly if we don’t change with the changes, and open our minds to reality here and now, in this very moment.

We can build up a whole story about what someone, another group, or another whole country of people are like, but it is like the boat approaching, we actually don’t really know what’s inside.

I mean not just what’s inside the other group or country, but what’s inside the minds, hearts and souls of those who we view as ‘other’ and who we take as a threat to our existence.

One of the ways of letting go of our ideas that generate a lot of reactions, such as anger and fear, is to approach life with more of a ‘don’t know’ mind, an open and flexible attitude that doesn’t presume to know all about the other boat or its owners.

Grounding ourselves in an awareness of the present moment helps release the fog of all our ideas and opinions, and lets us discover just how new and unexpected this life is. The renowned Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that the roots of anger are in the lack of understanding of ourselves.

He avoids looking to others for the causes of anger, but rather points us to ourselves and our deep-seated habitual reactions.

In Buddhism the self is empty, meaning empty of a single enduring essence, but full of the changing conditions of reality. It is like the boat, made up of parts and pushed by the currents and breezes, but no one is found as the owner.

Realizing this means that we no longer have to be so bound by our ideas of who and what we are. When this hard-won identity looses its grasp on our minds, then we aren’t so frightened when something comes along that challenges it. Understanding that the self is also impermanent at every moment also means that we don’t have to grasp so tightly to our ideas of who we are. When we release our grip on ourselves, then we can become less angry and fearful, as we don’t fear losing ourselves as things change, for better or worse. 

By focusing our awareness and mindfulness on what simply is here and now, we can better retain our inner balance when the outside world seems to have lost all sanity.

All conditions in the world are connected, and isolating one factor as the source of blame simply ignores the unity that exists in everything.

Thich Nhat Hanh uses the example of lettuce, saying that if you plant lettuce seeds and a bad lettuce grows, you can’t blame the lettuce.

You have to look at all the conditions, the rain and sun, the seeds and the earth, the fertilizer and the care given. There is no blame to be given to any one of them, but a figuring out of what can be done better for a more healthy plant. We are like the lettuce, and if there is a person or a group that disturbs us greatly, we need to examine all the conditions.

With an attitude of the ‘don’t know’ mind that doesn’t presume to know all the causes of the problems in the world and who is to blame for them, we can investigate mindfully the present moment and the conditions that have contributed to it.

The factors that come together to make up a person, or a whole people, are truly many, and only by seeing the unity of all conditions and choosing to care for all of them can any real positive change happen.
Seeing the connections we all have to each other, to the whole world, naturally brings forth compassion. This compassion is that which understands the suffering of all sides during times of conflict and war, whether it is within oneself, a family, a community, or between nations.

When we look closely at who and what we are, let go of our ideas that don’t stand up to an ever-changing reality, and acknowledge the unity that binds all people, then our compassion will flourish for all the suffering that exists. Then blame give way to a caring responsibility.

KINDLY VISIT:

http://www.eolife.org/article.php?aid=cd0f9b3fbbdcfe78872568233af326c1&gclid=CK-IyvKf-5cCFQcfegodLnuTDA

http://www.bow-eol.com/

http://bahujansp.blogspot.com/2008/08/mayawatithe-chief-minister-of-uttar.html



 

Kanshi Ram: from BAMCEF to the Bahujana Samaj Party

Kanshi Ram was born in 1934 as a Raedasi Sikh, a community of Punjabi Chamars converted to Sikhism. The family had 4 or 5 acres of land, some of it inherited and the rest acquired through government allocation after Independence, a small landed background is characteristic of many Scheduled Caste legislators but remains a comparative rarity for Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs)in general. Kanshi Ram’s father was himself ’slightly’ literate, and he managed to educate all his four daughters and three sons. Kanshi Ram, the eldest, is the only graduate. He was given a reserved position in the Survey of India after completing his BSc degree, and in 1958 he transferred to the Department of Defence Production as a scientific assistant in amunitions factory in Poona. Kanshi Ram had encountered no Untouchability as a child, and overt discrimination was not a phenomenon within the educated circles of his adult life. But his outlook underwent a sudden change in 1965 when he became caught up in a struggle initiated by other Scheduled Caste employees to prevent the abolition of a holiday commemorating Dr Anibedkar’s birthday.
 
During this conflict Kanshi Ram encountered a depth of high-caste prejudice and hostility towards  Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) that was a revelation to him. His almost instant radicalisation was completed soon after by a reading of Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste: he read the book three times in one night, going entirely without sleep.
Kanshi Ram’s introduction to the political ideas of Ambedkar - was through his Mahar Buddhist colleague and friend at the amunitions factory, D. K. Khaparde. Together the two of them began formulating ideas for an organisation to be built by educated employees from the Scheduled and Backward castes. Such an organisation would work against harassment and oppression by high-caste officers, and also enable the often inward-looking occupants of reserved postions to give something back to their own communities. So Kanshi Ram and Khaparde began to contact likely recruits in Poona. At about this time Kanshi Ram abandoned any thought of marriage, largely because it did not fit into a life he now wanted to dedicate to public concerns. He had also quite lost interest in his career, though he continued in the job until about 1971. He finally left after a severe conflict over the non-appointment of an apparently qualified Scheduled Caste young woman. During this conflict he had gone so far as to strike a senior official, and he did not even bother attending most of the ensuing disciplinary pro-ceedings. He had already made up his mind to become a full-time activist, and the movement was by then strong enough to meet his modest needs.
 
In 1971 Kanshi Ram and his colleagues established the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Minorities Employees Welfare Association, which was duly registered under the Poona Charity Commissioner. Their primary object was: To subject our problems to close scrutiny and find out quick and equitable solu-tions to the problems of injustice and harassment of our employees in general and the educated employees in particular.
Despite the Association’s inclusive reach, its aggressively Ambedkarite stance ensured that most of its members were Mahar Buddhists. Within a year of its establishment there were more than one thousand members and it was able to open an office in Poona: many of the members were from the Defence and Post and Telegraph Departments, and their first annual conference was addressed by the then Defence Minister, Jagjivan Ram. Kanshi Ram’s next organisational step was to create the basis of a national association of Scheduled Caste government servants. As early as 1973 he and his colleagues established the All India Backward and Minority Employees Federation (BAMCEF), and a functioning office was established in Delhi in 1976. BAMCEF was relaunched with greater fanfare on 6 December 1978, the anniversary of Ambedkar’s death, with claims of two thousand delegates joining a procession to the Boat Club Lawns in New Delhi . Although the stated objects of the new organisation were essentially the same as those of the earlier body, the rhetoric had grown bolder. It was not merely the oppressors who came in the line of fire, but also many of the reserved office holders too:
As all the avenues of advance are closed to them in the field of agriculture, trade, commerce and industry almost all the educated persons from these oppressed communities are trapped in Govt. services. About 2 million educated oppressed Indians have already joined various types of sobs during the last 26 years. Civil Service Conduct rules put some restrictions on them. But their inherent timidity, cowardice, selfishness and lack of desire for Social Service to their own creed have made them exceptionally useless to the general mass of the oppressed Indians.The only ray of hope is that almost everywhere in the country there are some edu-cated employees who feel deeply agitated about the miserable existence of their brethren.

By the mid-1970s Kanshi Ram had established a broad if not dense network of contacts throughout Maharashtra and adjacent regions. During his frequent train trips from Poona to Delhi, he adopted the habit of getting down at major stations along the way - Nagpur, Jabalpur and Bhopal, among others - to contact likely sympathisers and to try to recruit them to the organisation . Once he had moved to Delhi he pushed into Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, as well as further into Madhya Pradesh. Parallel to his work among edu-cated employees Kanshi Ram was also contacting a wider audience with simple presentations of Ambedkar’s teachings. Thus in 1980 he put together a roadshow called ‘Ambedkar Mela on Wheels’. This was an oral and pictorial account of Ambedkar’s life and views, together with con-temporary material on oppression, atrocities and poverty. Between April and June 1980 the show was carted to thirty-four destinations in nine

States of the north. Jang Bahadur Patel, a Kurmi (Backward Caste) and President of the Uttar Pradesh Branch of the Bahujana Samaj Party until late 1995, recalls meeting Kanshi Ram for the first time when he brought his roadshow to Lucknow (Interview: 25 November 1995). Kanshi Ram talked persuasively about how Ambedkar had struggled for all the down-trodden classes, and how the Scheduled Castes, Tribes and also the Backwards and Minorities were all victims of Brahminism. Because of their weight of numbers, these people had the potential to convert them-selves from ‘beggars to rulers’. It was all a matter of organisation. Patel immediately joined BAMCEF, though he was in a distinct minority as a non-Untouchable: Untouchables constituted about 90 per cent of the membership, with the other io per cent being split between tribals and Backward Caste people.
 
BAMCEF’s motto, ‘Educate, Organise and Agitate’, was adopted from Ambedkar, and its activities were formally divided into a number of welfare and proselytising objects. But increasingly Kanshi Ram’s agita-tional activities were leading him into politics. By the late 70S he was no longer content with being the leader of reserved office holders, a class for whom he had less than complete respect. Kanshi Ram’s first attempt to create a radical political vehicle capable of mobilising the larger body of Dalits was the Dalit SoshitSamaj Sangharsh Samiti (DS4) formed in 1981. This was conceived as a political organisation parallel to BAMCEF: it shared the same President in Kanshi Ram, the same office, and many of the same members. DS4 was a quasi- rather than fully fledged political party, partly because government servants were forbidden to take part in electoral politics. But DS4 made little concrete progress, and late in 1984 Kanshi Ram took the plunge and formed the Bahujana Samaj Party (a variant on the name of Phule’s nineteenth-century organisation). Inevitably, this caused major strains in BAMCEF ranks. Their agitational activities had placed many of his colleagues from the Poona and early Delhi periods in a delicate position as government servants and, in any case, the political loyalty of many of them was to the several strands of the Republican Party. There were also strains arising from Kanshi Ram’s will to total domination of all three organisations. And the need for money was rising with the push into politics: one of the Maharashtra workers recalls delivering Kanshi Ram a purse of forty thousand rupees collected from Maharashtra in 1984. These several strains grew more severe over the next two years, and early in 1986 a major split took place. Kanshi Ram announced at that time that he was no longer willing to work for any organisation other than the Bahujana Samaj Party. His transition from social worker to politician was complete.
Kanshi Ram is more an organiser and political strategist than an innov-ative thinker or charismatic public speaker. While his Ambedkarite ideol-ogy has remained constant and lacking in any innovation, there has been a progressive sharpening of his rhetoric. The early issues of BAMCEF’s monthly magazine, The Oppressed Indian, were full of his didactic exposi-tions of Ambedkar’s views on Indian society. These have now given way to simpler formulations, repeated in numerous newspaper accounts and both public and private speech. The central proposition is that Indian society is characterised by the self-interested rule of io per cent over the other 90 per cent (the bahujan samaj or common people). Although the ruling io per cent is composed of several castes, they derive their legiti-macy and ruling ideology from Brahminism. All the institutions of society reflect this ruling ideology and distortion, including the press. These institutions can therefore be termed Manuwadi (after the great Brahmin-inspired text) or Brahminwadi. In the marketplace of elections, such simplicity has been further reduced to crudeness and epithet. A slogan coined after the formation of DS4 was, ‘Brahmin, Bania, Thakur Chor, Baki Sab Hem DS-Four’. Loosely translated, this rhyme states that Brahmins, Banias and Rajputs are thieves, while the rest of society are their victims. The epithets reached their height during the election cam-paign for the UP Assembly in 1993, the most notorious being: ‘Tilak, Taraju, Talwar. Maaro Unko Joote Char’. This slogan, with its insistent rhythm in Hindi, advocates that Brahmins, Banias and Rajputs, each identified by a slighting term, be beaten four times with a shoe - a tradi-tionally demeaning form of punishment because of the ritual impurity of leather. While Kanshi Ram and Mayawati denied authorship of such slogans, they served as a simple and dramatically offensive marker of the party’s ideological position.
Kanshi Ram’s strategy and his larger understanding of social change are now considerably evolved. He no longer believes in the primacy of social reform. Rather, expenditure of effort on any object other than the capture of government is seen to be superfluous. It is administrative power that will bring about desired social change, not vice versa. So he declines to spell out policies on basic issues such as the liberalisation of the Indian economy or on land reforms. His view is that such issues are irrelevant to the project of gaining power, and that the appropriate poli-cies will fall into place once power is attained. His picture of India is of a kind of holy war on the part of the bahujan samaj against their Brahminwadi oppressors. In the context of this war debates about policy are almost frivolities. This is a stance of pure fundamentalism, but it also frees him to engage in the most ruthless pragmatism in the name of capturing power.
 
Consistent with this stance, Kanshi Ram has become increasingly critical of the institution of reservation in government employment. Reservation is a ‘crutch’ - useful for a cripple, but a positive handicap for someone who wants to run on his own two feet (Kanshi Ram interview:1996). He now throws off the line that once the bahujan samaj get to power throughout India, it will be they who can condescend to the Brahmins by giving them reservation proportional to their own meagre population. There is more than a little bravado in this, but there is no doubt that Kanshi Ram is now hostile to the system of institutional preference that was the indispensable basis of his own personal and polit-ical career. It seems that he believes that reservation has now done enough for the Scheduled Castes. He notes that of some 500 Indian Admin-istrative Service (LAS) Officers in
Uttar Pradesh, 137 are from the Scheduled Castes. By comparison, there are only seven lAS officers from the Backward Castes, six of them Yadavs (Hindustan Times, 6 April 1994). His point is not that there are now too many Scheduled Caste officers -their number conforms strictly to the legal quota - but too few from the Backward Castes. He apparently assumes that the capture of political power will automatically transform the composition of the bureaucratic elite.
 
The Bahujana Samaj Party first made headway in Punjab, Kanshi Ram’s home State, but his primary political task was to wean the Chamars of Uttar Pradesh from Congress. It was Kanshi Ram’s fortune that he built the party at the historical moment that the long-term Congress decline became a landslide. The formal entry of his party into Uttar Pradesh was in a by-election in 1985 for the Lok Sabha seat of Bijinor, in which its candidate was Mayawati. She is a Jatav (or Chamar), the daughter of a minor government official in Delhi, and had completed a BA and LLB from the University of Delhi. Mayawati had made contact with Kanshi Ram in 1977 while she was a student, and had gradually been drawn into his organisation. Her opponents in Bijinor included Ram Vilas Paswan - the two have had poor relations since this contest - and Meira Kumar, Jagjivan Ram’s daughter, representing Congress. Rajiv Gandhi was at the height of his popularity at the time, and Meira Kumar won the seat easily. But by 1989 the Bahujana Samaj Party had put in five years of solid organising work in UP and also in the neighbouring regions of Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, and parts of Haryana. And mean-while the Congress Party had slumped in popularity. Kanshi Ram had prepared the ground carefully. He had selected organisers and candidates from a variety of social backgrounds. One of his organisers was Dr Mahsood Ahmed, a temporary lecturer in history at Aligarh Muslim University. Mahsood had become disillusioned with Congress when Indira Gandhi made her infamous tilt towards the Hindus in the early 1980s (Mahsood interview: 27 November 1995). He joined BAMCEF and then switched to DS4 in 1983 as a full-time organiser and fund raiser. Mahsood was later put in charge of the whole of eastern Uttar Pradesh for the Bahujana Samaj Party.
The years of organisation bore fruit in 1989 and 1991. In the four State Assembly and Parliamentary (Lok Sabha) polls for Uttar Pradesh between 1989 and 1991 the Bahujana Samaj Party’s share of the vote varied only marginally between 8.7 and 9.4 per cent. But this impressive vote produced a disappointing number of seats - in 1989 the party won thirteen out of 425 State Assembly seats, and in 1991 it won twelve. The party won only two Parliamentary seats in 1989, and one in 1991; Kanshi Ram himself subsequently won a by-election from UP in 1992. Both the strength and the weakness of the party is that its primary ‘vote bank’, the Chamars, are relatively evenly spread across the State. This spread gives the Bahujana Samaj a chance in a large number of seats, but also make it logically impossible to win even a single seat without strong support from other communities. Although it has attracted a measure of Muslim, Backward Caste and other Scheduled Caste support, it has encountered considerable resistance in these target communities. We need to look more closely at this problem.
First, there is the question of why the majority of Jatavs of western UP deviated from their kinfolk in the eastern part of the State, and continued to vote Congress in 1989 and 1991. The answer to this question is not entirely clear. Some have blamed the result on the poor organising capac-ities of Mayawati - she was in charge of this region - but the deeper reason may be the Jatavs’ historical association with B. P. Maurya. In a move of some desperation, Congress resurrected the 70-year-old Maurya as one of four national Vice-Presidents in the run-up to the 1996 elections. But by then Mayawati had become an electorally popular figure in eastern UP. As to the Scheduled Castes other than the Chamars/Jatavs, only Pasis appear to have voted for Kanshi Ram’s party in large numbers. The Valmikis (formerly known as Bhangis) voted solidly for the BJP in the 1993 Assembly elections, and the sole Valmiki in the Lok Sabha elected in 1991 represented the BJP (though in 1980 he had been elected for the Janata Party). Mangal Ram Premi MP - his biography is sketched in chapter 8- accounts for the Valmiki support of the BJP by simply advert-ing to the community’s dislike of the Chamars (Interview: 4 November 1995). The Chamars are more numerous, better educated and more successful in acquiring reserved positions than the Valmikis, and this tends to produce resentment. Many of the Dhobis too have recently voted for the BJP. In short, Kanshi Ram’s party has not solved the problem of how to mobilise all or even most of the Scheduled Castes. The problem that dogged Ambedkar has thus repeated itself in Uttar Pradesh, though Kanshi Ram’s Chamars are both more numerous and numerically more dominant among the Untouchables than were Ambedkar’s Mahars in the western part of the country.
Among Backward Castes, Kanshi Ram’s strongest support has come from the Kurmis. In Bihar, this is an upwardly mobile peasant commu-nity responsible for several of the worst atrocities against Dalits. But in Uttar Pradesh the Kurmis are comparatively low on the scale of prosper-ity. Moreover, they have had a history of anti-Brahmin radicalism - Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur remains a source of inspiration to some of them. And a sprinkling of them had been members of the Republican Party. The Kurmis could see advantage in being associated with a party that was not dominated by the more numerous Yadavs (whose firm affiliation is with Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party). As to the large number of other Backward Castes in UP, over the last several years there has been an intense three-way tussle between the BJP, the Bahujana Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party to capture their support. All three have had some success, but perhaps the larger part of this vote is a floating one that will flow with the main political current of the time. The last community to consider is the Muslims. In the aftermath of the destruction of the Babri Masjid the Muslims have been politically leaderless. They have shunned Congress for what they see to have been its culpable failure to prevent the demolition of the mosque, and have given considerable support to Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party and some support to Kanshi Ram. Thus in the municipal elections of Uttar Pradesh in November 1995 and in the national and UP elections of 1996 it seems that UP Muslims were prepared to vote for whichever party was locally the strongest anti-BJP force. In short, the politics of post-Congress Uttar Pradesh are currently cast largely in terms of community vote banks. Political strategy is a matter of positioning one’s party so as to retain one s core vote bank and also attract others at the margins. At least as much as any other player, Kanshi Ram has adapted to this game with calculating skill.

IN FOCUS:BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY 


 Mayawati will become the first Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabudha Bharath woman Prime Minister of Prabuddha Bharath - Three Baskets Study Circle

Mayawati:the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh would be Prime Minister of Prabuddha Bharath

Mayawati,the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has now set her eyes on Delhi.She has spelt her intention in no uncertain terms and has started fine tuning her strategy .The lady luck is also smiling on her and after the Confidence vote fiasco,she is the undisputed leader of any kind of third front or any other political combination.

Mayawati would be emboldened to know that her party would be able to form the government, considering the present political alignment.She seems to be aware of this and is gearing up to exploit the situation to her advantage.A few years ago it would have been labeled as “her hallucination” to be the Prime Minister of Prabuddha Bharath, but not now,considering the state of affairs of the National Parties. It is altogether a different matter how her ascendancy will improve Prabuddha Bharath’s march towards prosperity and its rightful place among developed nations of the world.

Mayawati is also tryng to replicate her success formula in other states .She has started to woo Brahmin’s in Maharashtra. Next on the list are minorities, especially muslims. Considering the disarray in the Samajwadi Party, she his hopeful of making a dent in that community too. She has given the Central Government the ultimatum to implement reservation in Private sector. So,she hopes to benefit from that account as well. According to the survey, the Rashtriya Janta Dal of Lalu Prashad Yadav would be wiped out from Bihar this time; So will be the Lok Jan Shakti of Ram Vilas Paswan. But in the all India scenario, BSP would emerge as the biggest beneficiary and cross the 225 mark .So Mayawati would  form the government.

The position of Left in Kerala is very precarious and it will loose there heavily .The same can happen in West Bengal too, if Mamta Banerjee joins hands with Congress. Bhartiya Janta Party will be sidelined after its shameful stance over the Nuclear Deal now.The supporters of BJP are dismayed over its double-speak. It will suffer most because its voters are relatively literate and aware of the International affairs.  “BJP has kissed death”.

Politicians like Mayawati would like to maintain their status quo,forever.

 

Ruler Mayawati, engineer of UP election

ANALYSIS

Ruler Mayawati, engineer of the UP elections

Mayawati has turned India’s electoral politics on its head, and not many saw it coming. She now has her sights focused on the larger prize – prime minister of India.

By Pratap Somvanshi

( Editor of prominent Indian Hindi daily newspaper Amar Ujala)

The results of the recent Uttar Pradesh assembly polls herald the arrival of a unique political formula, one which will have a forceful impact on electoral politics throughout India for years to come. As the largest and politically most significant state in India, Uttar Pradesh has long paved the way for new political ideologies – be it the saffron wave or the bahujan politics that banked on the votes of the majority, the former untouchable castes, the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath. With the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) gaining a thumping majority in mid-May, a newfound alliance of Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath and upper castes (mostly Brahmin and Bania) has proved to be a formidable combination. In its aftermath, political pundits are lauding the victory of this unlikely coalition as an innovative experiment in social engineering, as overseen by BSP supremo Mayawati.

Mayawati, India’s first Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath woman chief minister, has now been sworn in to the post in Uttar Pradesh for a fourth time. With the BSP’s clear majority of 206 out of 403 assembly seats, UP is experiencing its first single-party majority in 17 years, since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in power at the height of the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’ movement. The most significant change to come about in recent elections has been the decisive entry of deprived castes into mainstream politics, and today there appears to be a realistic opportunity for the Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath-majority BSP to play a critical role in national politics. Most immediately, this refers to the election of the next president of India, coming up in June. For their part, Mayawati’s supporters have already begun to chant: “Now New Delhi!”

A significant part of the BSP’s success can, of course, be put down to anti-incumbency sentiment. Poor governance has not helped the Samajwadi Party’s image – in particular, the breakdown in law enforcement as made evident in the Nithari child-murders case, the recent murders of several politicians, and the sheer hooliganism of Chief Minister Mulayam Singh’s administration. Even film star Amitabh Bachchan’s much-advertised slogan ‘UP mein hai dum, kyonki jurm yahan hai kum’ (UP is powerful, because there is less crime here) did little to change the discontent directed at Mulayam.

Another factor in the BSP’s favour was the proactive role of the Election Commission, in ensuring that Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath could vote in large numbers in the seven rounds of phased polling. The elections also saw a large paramilitary presence – almost 500,000 personnel – which some say was the largest deployment of security forces to have taken place in an Indian election. Such a security cover undoubtedly contributed to another record: for perhaps the first time since Independence, no violence occurred during the UP polls. In certain pockets of eastern UP, Dalits were able to cast their votes for the first time ever.

Rise of regional parties


The political transition in Uttar Pradesh between 1999 and 2007 is fairly easy to trace. During that period, people in the marginalised sections of society became politically aware and united. This was also a period of the progressive weakening of the Congress party. From Independence until 1980, the Congress was the undisputed strongman among Indian political parties, and was largely propped up by a vote bank of Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath, Muslims and Brahmins. This was a period of upper-caste supremacy, when the Brahmins and Kshatriyas had the upper hand and played a decisive role in the larger Indian political system, as well as in the powerhouse of Uttar Pradesh. For years, the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath languished, but their search for political identity, self-empowerment and political power steadily strengthened. It was when the Congress began to lose the longstanding support of these groups in the late 1980s that its power rapidly declined.

V P Singh’s decision to implement the report of the Mandal Commission in 1990, recommending reservation for Other Backward Castes (OBCs) in educational institutions and government jobs, acted as a significant catalyst, particularly within the lower and ‘backward’ castes. Their attempts to gain power subsequently became significantly more vocal. A new era of politics was thus emerging. At the national level, the Third Front of non-Congress and non-BJP parties came into being, and a new face, H D Deve Gowda, became prime minister – the first time a state-level politician had reached such a high office. Regional parties started to flex their muscles, and began to look for ways to shake up the political system in Uttar Pradesh. Thereafter, every regional party felt free to dream – and scheme – of having its own prime minister.

This was also the beginning of hung assemblies in UP, with no political party able to win a clear majority. But political analysts who predicted that such a situation would continue for decades have now been proved wrong. The BSP’s win in May has turned longstanding political formulas on their heads: the ‘royal sceptre’ has been decisively placed in the hand of a Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath ki beti, a daughter of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath, this time unfettered by coalition partners and sharing arrangements that constrained her previous stints as chief minister.

Bahujan to sarvajan

Caste has long been the basis of Indian election formulas. The BSP had also subscribed to the arithmetic of caste, with its perspective that a small number of upper castes were exploiting and reigning over 85 percent of UP’s population – the backward and Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath castes. The strength of the regional parties that began to sprout during the late 1990s was based on  Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath and minorities. While the Congress and the BJP proclaimed that they did not believe in the caste formula, behind the scenes they played the same game, and prepared to respond to the strategy of the regional parties.

In the lead-up to the recent election, however, the BSP had changed its stance. It abandoned its policy of cursing Manuwad, the ascription of all upper-caste evil to the sage Manu, and the party’s members instead began to talk of sarvajan (all the people), not only bahujan (the majority). Satish Chandra Mishra, an upper-caste lawyer, is credited with the successful implementation of this strategy. As Mishra gained her confidence, Mayawati had made him Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh in 2002. Since this was the period when the BSP was trying to woo the upper castes, Mayawati found in Mishra the most acceptable Brahmin face, and she eventually made him a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house in the national parliament, and then general secretary of the BSP. Mishra was instrumental in bringing in more Brahmins to the BSP, and 48 out of 86 Brahmin BSP candidates won the 2007 election.

The BSP’s campaign slogans from the past election also reflected this shift in caste alignment and the use of the party’s symbol of the elephant over time. From ‘Chad gundo ki chaati par – mohar lagegi hathi par’ (Knocking down ruffians – the seal will be put on the elephant), the attempt to woo the upper caste was apparent in the religious symbolism of ‘Hathi nahi Ganesh hai – Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh hai’ (It is not an elephant, but lord Ganesh – the creator, the preserver and the destroyer.) and ‘Brahmin Shankh bajayega – hathi badta jayega’ (The Brahmin will blow the conch – the elephant will surge forward).

The BSP is now 23 years old. When Mayawati’s mentor Kanshi Ram founded the party, he coined the slogan, “Share at par with involvement”, and the goal of the BSP was political representation in proportion to population size. Initially, the party had to rely on tenuous alliances to make any headway in state politics. In 1993, the BSP came to power and formed a government with the Samajwadi Party, which had a hold on the OBCs, particularly the Yadavs. In the evolving formulation of UP politics, the upper-caste-leaning BJP actually supported the BSP in the 1997 elections, and Mayawati subsequently became chief minister for the first time. Now, a decade later, the BSP has reached a position of being able to form a government by itself. It has been a slow, steady and strategic build up of strength in India’s politically most-significant state.

In UP, the ability of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath and the upper castes, particularly Brahmins, to coalesce, marks a great change in the social and political equation, and holds the promise of a stable formula, according to some. Furthermore, this success has set the regional parties’ sights even higher. If in coming parliamentary elections, after a year and a half, the BSP were to win 60 more seats in UP, Mayawati’s chances of becoming prime minister of India would be very strong. Although seven past prime ministers have hailed from UP, during times of hung assemblies and parliaments the state’s politics became weak, and left the field open for regional parties of South India to play a more prominent role in New Delhi. Led by Mayawati, the resurgence of one-party domination in UP now signals the return of the state as the kingmaker.

Muslim vote bank


In the BJP-led coalition government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, politicians from Andhra Pradesh were very powerful in the Centre. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of Manmohan Singh owes its gratitude to the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) and the left parties, who are currently extremely influential.

Many now say that if Mayawati’s government is able to strengthen Uttar Pradesh in central politics, the perceptions of minorities could simultaneously change. Up to this point, the minority vote bank has been scattered, largely attached to various state-level regional parties, and with the Congress at the national level. In the mid-1990s in UP, with a weak Congress party and the opportunistic alliance of the BJP and the BSP, minority votes went increasingly to the Samajwadi Party and whosoever else was perceived to be secular. The so-called Muslim parties were unsuccessful in wooing the UP vote bank, and failed to win the sympathy even of the Muslims. Now, the Muslim vote bank in UP again seems to be turning towards the BSP – and the party leadership is keeping a careful watch over these voters. Said to be very close to Mayawati, Naseemuddin Siddiqui, the popular youth leader from Banda District, has become the minority face of the BSP.

In the aftermath of the recent elections, attention must be paid to the failures of the Samajwadi Party, the BJP and Congress in UP. Their trump cards have proved ineffective. The high-profile road show of Rahul Gandhi, as well as the campaigning by his mother and sister, did not make a dent in the triumphant march of the elephant. In May 2007, the Congress won a mere 21 seats – two less, even, than in 2002.

While the Congress saw the worst results in the UP polls, the BJP’s dreams also came crashing to the ground. After gaining power in Punjab and Uttarakhand, the BJP was expecting significantly better results in UP. Party leaders were hoping that the saffron wave would sweep India. Indeed, a UP win could have paved the way for clinching Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat – and the road to Delhi would have been clear. Instead, the BJP has to take a hard look at its poll strategy, and perhaps remodel its party structure in UP. In 2002, the BJP won 88 seats in Uttar Pradesh; this time, it could gain no more than 50. The fall-guy for the BJP would be the party’s national president, Rajnath Singh, who could not even save the party in his own state.

The same may happen with the Samajwadi Party, which only won 97 out of 404 seats in the state assembly. SP leaders are now seriously thinking about how to restructure the party. During the run-up to the May elections, chief ministers from various South Indian states streamed up to UP to campaign for Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had been dreaming of forming a Third Front with these states for the next Lok Sabha parliamentary elections in 2009. This dream, too, now lies in tatters.

While the UP elections of 2007 have clearly marked a significant shift in how Indian political parties will fashion their political formulas in the days to come, there is, however, little hope for an overall change in the system. Parties in power in the past, after all, have made hundreds of promises during election campaigns, many of which remain flagrantly unfulfilled to this day. While one hopes that Mayawati’s new government atop the elephant will not tread the same path, the Indian masses have developed a wary view of the politicians of any political party – and to break that mindset will require a long, long ride. What the public of UP hopes is that four-time Chief Minister Mayawati will be as good in governance this time as it is in forging winning alliances.

Foggy prognostication

Exit and opinion polls were a flop once again in the recent UP election. No major political pundit predicted the BSP winning a full majority, including those at Star News, the Indian Express, CNN, IBN7, NDTV, India TV or Sahara TV. Instead, each of these foresaw a hung assembly, suggesting that the BSP would get between 103 and 168 seats. Quite a few surveys gave the BJP more than 100 seats, although it eventually won just half that. While many put the BSP and the SP in the same range, the SP eventually wound up with less than half of the BSP’s seats. Besides the fact that psephology is an inexact science, one might suggest class and caste bias leads to such skewed predictions, perhaps?

Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Awadh Pal Singh Yadav of the Mayawati-led government Monday said if the number of cases being lodged against somebody were the yardstick to term him a criminal, then Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were criminals too.

Yadav was asked by reporters at Etawah as to why his party had fielded D.P. Yadav. He reportedly said: ‘I do not think D.P. Yadav is a criminal. Any politician can be called a criminal because there are a number of cases filed against them. In this regard, the first criminal would be Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Pandit Nehru.’

State police chief Vikram Singh has maintained that the engineer was killed because he refused to buckle under the legislator’s pressure to award contracts to his henchmen.

Historic Initiatives By Mayawati

The one decision to construct Greater Noida-Balia Expressway by Mayawati Government can change the entire landscape of Uttar Pradesh.Despite being embroiled in Taj Expressway controversy for years,Mayawati’s thought about this mammoth project,only exemplifies her hidden developmental streak.Nobody even dared to think about this earlier but Mayawati not only conceptualised this and hopefully, will be able to complete in time also.
Had the central government taken such imitative then the state selected would have been either any southern state or north-western state.U.P andBihar come last in the reckoning, always.
This is more significant for the simple reason that a state chief minister has taken initiative of her own and if other chief ministers also follow her, then, the infrastructure woes of the country will be greatly reduced quickly.Nobody knows how much time National Highways Authority of India,NHAI, will take to provide better motorable roads to the citizens of this country.
As the U.P and Bihar have non-UPA governments,it would deliberately not speed up construction activities due to internal pressure.The condition of roads in U.P is not bad but it is far worse inBihar, mainly because of NHAI apathy.NHAI never bothers to repair even existing National Highways. So, constructing newer ones is asking for far too much.It is the state government ofBihar which is managing even NHAI roads.The reasons for NHAI’s discriminatory attitude is known to everyone.Under the pressure of Rashtriya Janta Dal,NRJD, NHAI is skirting its responsibility.RJD,would obviously not want to see the contrasting picture under Nitish Kumar Government.Under its 16 years rule, RJD had ensured that no stretch of road remained motorable, so that Charwaha vidyalayas and bullock-cart transportation could be popularised.Nitish Kumar has constructed most of the state highways and peripheral roads but NHAI has ensured that the National Highways remain in such condition that deter any one from travelling on that path.
The proposed Expressways will pass through many ancient Pilgrimage centers.Travelling between Delhi-Kanpur,Kanpur-Allahabad,Allahabad-Varanasi would become a breeze and millions of reluctant people will finally start visiting the most sacred places on this earth.There will be all round developmental activities and millions of employment opportunities would be generated.
Mayawati has tremendous hold over bureaucracy and she is most likely to achieve this ambitious feat ,but politicians are already roaming with open daggers in their hands.They are most likely to stab from behind at the very first opportunity they get.LikeRJD of Bihar they would never like to see Mayawati as a chief minister who transformed U.P of her very own will.
If U.P. and Bihar have to come out of the rut then the respective state governments have to take bold and path braking initiatives.Bundelkhand has been facing famine for years now but no concrete measures were taken to improve the situation.Similarly,Kosi has been flooding a large part of Bihar but no measures to provide some solace to the victims were ever tried.One or two trains for Bihar announced by railway minister invites widespread derision and criticism but they fail to appreciate how this state has been overlooked for decades.
There are many aspects of Mayawati which can be debated and criticised but she should also be praised for what is due to her and this she deserves completely.

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