Taking Dalits for Granted!

DALITS, THE caste which was subjected to the humiliation for years play a huge role in Indian politics. There have been several leaders within the community and outside the community who focused on empowering them. One such leader in today’s time is Mayawati, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. The state has large population of dalits and is staunch supporter of her.

There has been lot of furore over the erection of statues of Mayawati along with other icons of Dalit in the various part of the state especially in Lucknow. A survey was conducted by a private news channel and over 70 per cent of people were against such extravaganza on part of the state government. But if you voice your opinion, Maywatiji will come on camera saying that upper caste people are conspiring against her. Even today they consider upper caste people as the one ready to annihilate them.

The biggest problem is that even the leaders try to feed them the same. True, that the atrocities on Dalits is a matter of concern and must be dealt stringently. But these sorts of behavior on part of community leaders will only aggravate the problem. The dalits in the state are happy though with the recognition that their leader is getting. But I term it as narcism. Whatever be the case, it is not going to stop Mayawati from erecting more memorials and parks in the name of development.

But this blind support of the dalits to their leaders is something that they must introspect. I feel that they are utilized as mere vote banks. To a certain level, their leaders show interest in their upliftment but then they get busy with themself. Even Mayawati has accumulated huge wealth. The money which she has spent on statues of herself might give them “sense of dignity” but they would have been far more benefited if Mayawati could have assured them better living standard. There is some problem with this statue thing as well. Dr BR Ambdekar, Godly figure of the Dalits and a national icon said that “India is still par excellence a land of idolatry. There is idolatry in religion and in politics. Heroes and hero worship is a hard if unfortunate fact in India’s political life. Hero worship is demoralizing for the devotee and dangerous for the country.” The hero worship of Ambedkar has perhaps been the greatest failing of the modern Dalit movement.

The under privilege section must be empowered and it would be far better had the state government focused on the main issue. Their would have been no problem in erection of Mayawati’s statues if it would have been done by someone else as a tribute to her work done for marginalized. But this narcist behavior must be questioned. The other example being the way she celebrates her birthday.

The response by the government on the statement of Rita Bahuguna Joshi (July 2009) was also presented as an insult of Dalits. We appreciate Mayawati then it is only her appreciation and if you say anything against her then it is against Dalits. The comment made by Joshi was not casteist. Vir Sanghvi has written in his piece “If Mrs. Joshi has, as a woman, insulted all women by talking so loosely about rape then hasn’t Mayawati, as a dalit, insulted all dalits by taking on the mantle of caste victimhood to settle a few political scores? India’s dalits deserve better than leaders who misuse their suffering for their own gain. UP deserves better — at the very least, it deserves a functioning government.”

It is time that the community starts questioning its leaders on valid points raised. It will be beneficial to the community and state as well. I say so because the leaders are certain of the votes of this section and that needs to be shaken up.

Mayawati: Priorities Gone Wrong!

“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.”

Ambedkar_Park_Mayawati1These lines aptly describe the governance of Mayawati in most populous state of the country Uttar Pradesh. She recently inaugurated 685 crore Noida Memorial Park and used the platform to settle the scores with her political rivals. Mayawati has special love for these parks and she has spent thousand of crores on building these parks. She has even said that if she gets fresh mandate she would like to have such parks in each and every district of UP. But the basic question remains that does the parks in any ways solve the problems being faced by the people of the state. A state which has shortage of power, schools, infrastructure, industries, hospitals, road networks, etc would have been happy if these problems would have been addressed. She brazenly says that she has spent just 1 pc of the budget on the park. This would have been ok if the remaining 99 pc would have been spent on the welfare measures and development of the state. But sadly that has also not happened.

Now let me take you 750 km away from the park to Gorakhpur in eastern part of the state. More than 430 people have died of encephalitis virus and mostly children. This is not the first time that epidemic has struck in this part. It has been active for last 33 years and yet the state machinery and health dept has failed to check. The hospitals are overcrowded and there are no beds available for admitting new patients. At least 2 multispecialty hospitals would have come up with the amount spend on the construction of park. And even if they would have been named after Dalit icons or Mayawati herself it would have done a world of good for the people and state. This is where the chief minister has faltered. It is the simple case of wrong pririties. In her term also she is witnessing 4th outbreak of this virus and yet she and her government is as inefficient as it was a year prior. Now if someone tells her she says that she has been targeted for being a Dalit and would point out the mistakes of earlier govt. I wonder how long she can get away by giving these lame excuses and how long the people will fall prey to her reasoning. There is no denying that Dalits have been ill treated and it is very much required to uplift them but i have doubt if that can be done by building parks and installing own statues. They need more than just statues and CM who is self obsessed.

The point is that sincerity is missing and thus she has failed the people of UP. SARVJAN HITAY SARVJAN SUKHAY is as hollow as UTTAM PRADESH slogan of previous government. She was lucky to have got absolute majority in last polls and has golden chance to work for development of state but failed miserably. She had opportunity to work for oppressed section of the society by opening schools, improving connectivity, tackling law and order chaos, higher education, providing health care and employment. It would have helped in building better image of the state and would have established her credibility as a CM.

But….

Apart from parks and her kitty she hasnt added anything significant in her tenure as CM of Uttar Padesh in last four and half years. I just hope that people of the state will look for someone who delivers on the development and solves core issues when they go out to vote next year.

Mayawati: Vision of Development and Handbag!

MAYAWATI’S STATUE-BUILDING spree has been termed as a demonstration of her narcissism. Remember that Uttar Pradesh  is one of the most underdeveloped states in the country. In the last assembly elections, the people of Uttar Pradesh had given their Behenji an entire term to rule them. They believed in her “Sarv Jan Hitay Sarv Jan Sukhay” slogan and delivered their mandate. I have “serious objections” to those who are raising the point that Behenji is wasting our money. We must understand that every politician has his/her own vision.

Maywati's Statue
Maywati's Statue

Mayawati seriously believes that development can be achieved through building statues. So that is what she is doing. There might be a power crisis in the state but the people should not worry because the electricity that will “light the statues” will also give their homes some light. Something is better than nothing. She might not be doing anything to bring investments to the state, but her decision to erect statues has generated employment for hundreds.
This was the precisely the reason why Ambedkar Park was razed and a new monument was erected in Lucknow in memory of Manyawar Kanshi Ram. Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula had the same objective in mind when he ordered the building of the Imambara after his people were unable to make ends meet after a bad drought. What’s wrong with it? Elephant statues await you in Lucknow. The elephant is a symbol of power. Mayawati is powerful and so is the state of Uttar Pradesh. The state has a population that exceeds even that of neighbouring Pakistan.

To ensure that we remain powerful, we pay no heed towards the population problem and it ensures that the  state plays a big role in the country’s politics. This is the precise reason that we have a “developed” state and why it is scaling new heights. The power and water crisis, lack of infrastructure, investments, and law and order, are just the words used by politicos. But by now, we have “adapted” to it. So who cares for these “words”. Do remember to contribute towards the fund of Behenji’s birthday. You could end up risking your life.

The state might not have any jobs for its students but it has ensured that the state becomes an old age home with children moving to other states for employment. This must be a way to control the population of the state. The new parks and statues will attract more tourists and will increase the wealth in the “Sarkari Khajana” for more “such developmental schemes”. The curriculum of the state board may see some changes as well. We need some reforms in education and it will be great to have a dedicated lesson on “Mayawati and her development vision for Uttar Pradesh.”

Twenty years down the line, I will walk on the lanes of Lucknow with my kids. They will gawk at the statue of the lady with a handbag. I will tell them that it was our Behenji who made this state developed and  prosperous. The parks that we enjoy, were built under her regime. 

But that bag which you see carries MY MONEY.

The Irony called Indian Elections…

India is a Democracy.

This is a fact that is known to all.

Another fact that is known to all is: India goes to elections every five years. And the five years of the current government are over. With the elections less than a month away, new and old alliances are being forged.

But does that really matter?

I do not think, that it does. In a country that boasts itself of having THE largest democracy in the world, elections are nothing but a mere formality. The voter, even if encouraged to go and vote, comes out of the voting booth dismayed and wonders: “How right or wrong was my choice?”

Unfortunately its not about choices. Its about, having the strongest wrist of Iron. There are goons, there are criminals, illitrate and absolute morons who nominate themselves for elections. These are the people who represent the ‘aam aadmi’ of India, in the Parliament and then in the world.

Ask the aam aadmi, and he will say that, he had no choice, it was either bad or worse. And between the two, there is no one who would even make these politicians the chowkidaar of their house… let alone they becoming the watchdogs of the country and the constitution.

Every five years, there is the Drama… of who is Better… the government that was.. or the government that should have been there… but then, politics long ago stopped being about running the country or developing the country for the benefit of the majority. It has become a job. And a dirty little pig sty where, even if you intend to do good, you end up being muddied.

2009, is being hailed as a big year for Indian Politics. It is the year of the biggest general elections… ever. The BJP’s Prime Ministerial Candidate is Shri L.K. Advani- A hindu Fanatic… who has never really done any good. Even when AB Vajpayee was PM, he has mostly opposed developmental issues. Oldie, who has a lot of faith in Jinnah.

Congress is, I think, betting on PM Manmohan Singh to stay on. I personally felt that he has been a spineless receiver of First Lady a.k.a. Sonia Gandhi’s orders. The best part about him, is that he an educated man, and someone who is not agitated easily by stupid remarks. And, I have always loved his Budgets. I also feel that economy plays a very important role in the running of a country and the PM being a knowledgeable person is a great thing. The BIG NUKE deal, came through thanks to his understanding. Downside- OLD OLD and OLD.

Then there is our very own Obama, Ms Mayawati. Just a thought with regards to that here: Goonda Raj is gonna officially become LAW, if at all that is gonna happen. Just imagine, someone like her at the highest seat of authority… as if our current President is not enough emabarrasment… (Remember how she claimed that GOD had come in her dreams telling her that she is gonna be the President…!!!)

Who should the people be voting for??

With the recent campaigns by Election Commission and other media, Youth is being motivated to go and vote. But, who should the youth vote for… there is no politician who shares the dreams and aspirations of a vote-giving youth. They are not allowed to wear the clothes they want to… or do as they like… normal working girls are not safe anywhere.

Its the great irony of Indian elections, that every five years we are told to excercise our fundamental rights to go and vote, only to find that its again the bad and the worse fighting for their survival instead of the good and the best working towards running the country.

Who would you vote for??

Hindu Fanatics, who say that women are to be treated like animals and women liberation is shit. Or give another chance to the learned oldie Manmohan so that if nothing else, we may be able to find a way out of recession… or have the greatest embarrassment and elect Maya aunty…

It has to be between the bad, the worse and the worst…!!! God Bless India.

Mayawati makes it to the forbes most powerful women in the World

The magic of Maya seems to have just begun as the Bahujan Samajwadi Party Supremo made her debut in the Forbes most powerful women in the World. The list of hundred includes three other Indians- Sonia Gandhi, Indra Nooyi and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
Mayawati may have not quite made it to the post of the prime minister but she has definitely made it to the omnipotent women of the World list released by the Forbes Magazine. Mayawati made her debut at the 59th position whereas Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi was present on the 21st position. A fall from her last years sixth rank. The other Indians who made it to the list include Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi and chief of Biocon Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Indra Nooyi had moved two places from here last year’s 5th place to a commendable third place this year whereas Kiran just completed the top hundred list by coming in at the 99th position.
Mayawati’s debut into the list may not come as a surprise to many political critics as since becoming the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, she has gone from strength to strength. From having ambitions of becoming prime minister of the country to being the assumed head of the third front of Indian politics, Mayawati has made her agenda in politics very clear from the beginning. The trust vote on the Indo US deal may have not gone her ways, but it is a known fact that her political career has risen tremendously in the past few years and who knows her ambitions of leading the country one day may soon be realized. Sonia Gandhi’s position in the list seems to have fallen  bit after she let Primeminister Manmohan singh take the limelight and face the contentious issues relating to the Indo Us nuclear deal while herself maintaining a low profile for sometime. But never the less Sonia Gandhi continues to be strongest woman politician in our country.
The Forbes top 100 list was topped by the German chanceller Angela Merkel second year running. The second position went to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Chairman Sheila C Bair of the United States of America. Hillary Clinton may have not been selected as the Democratic nomination for the President in America but American women have dominated the list with six of the top ten belonging to the States. Wallpoint CEO Angela Braly and the US secretary of State Condolezza Rice also make it to the top ten. Hillary Clinton herself came in at the 28th place. Other notable women who can be found in the list are Oprah Winfrey at the 36th place, Melinda Gates at the 44th and Queen Elizabeth 2 on the 58th position.
Indian women may not be getting their due in our society but Forbes has acknowledged the power of the Indian women by including four Indian women in the top 100 list. All the women mentioned have achieved several milestones in their powerful careers.  It is interesting to note that these four women come from politics and the corporate world both of which are supposed to be dominated by the Men. Hence these women represent the ambitions and the aspirations of millions of other Indian girls who too want to push the glass ceiling and reach for the Sky. These women truly epitomize the Indian woman of today- who is confident and wants to reach for the stars.

Political Games being Played all Over!!

MUMBAI IS in headlines for last few days and we have seen some very parochial politics being played in Mumbai and in the country over all. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists are on rampage against North Indian migrants in Mumbai and Maharashtra.

Amar SinghThe ‘bhaiyyas’, common pejorative for North Indians living in Mumbai, are being targeted because MNS believes that these migrants, especially from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar are creating nuisance in the city and are taking the share of Marathi people.

Raj Thackeray is struggling to gain some political relevance and ahead of 2009 assembly polls, he has aroused regionalism to meet his vested interests. He wants to project himself as a true saviour ‘Marathi manus’. But he has touched a new low in the politics by pitting people of one region against another. Such tactics can be very deadly and may lead to total chaos and unrest in Mumbai.

RajThe state government also kept quiet for a week, chief minister and deputy chief minister were busy attending functions, while police commissioner of the city hosted Thackeray at his daughter’s wedding. There is an allegation that Congress-NCP (National Congress Party) kept quiet because it knew that it would be difficult to regain power in Maharashtra after ten years in the office. If Thackeray can eat some of the Marathi vote bank of Shiv Sena, it will ultimately help Congress-NCP.

Mumbai ViolenceOn the other hand, Samajwadi Party (SP) wants to expand its base in Maharashtra following the large population of North Indians in the city, and this tirade of Thackeray has provided SP a golden goose they were looking for. They are leaving no stone unturned to project themselves as saviours of North Indians.

Both MNS and SP are at loggerheads in order to woo the voters. BJP, a national party that is struggling to project its pan India outlook, is reluctant to change the hollow and illiberal outlook in Maharashtra. The criticism of Thackeray by BJP appears hollow. Instead of mentioning Thackeray for his ugly remarks, they demanded the resignation of the chief minister. It seems that they are on some other track. They need to be told that the resignation of the chief minister is not going to diffuse the tension, which is primary at the moment.

The notion that a particular city belongs to its natives and the people from other states or regions cannot work in that city is totally against the very essence of our Constitution and concept of national unity. Our Constitution has given right to every citizen to work and earn living anywhere in the country. But the recent incident has made me think on two points.

Firstly, what makes people leave their homes?

Herein lies another aspect of our politics. In the last 60 years, our political leaders and political parties have succeeded in enjoying themselves in the politics of non-development. The national parties are mainly responsible for this. They never paid heed to the development of India as a whole. In fact, the little development that has happened is centered around the state capitals and mostly around Delhi and Mumbai. The non-development in the other cities leads to birth of regional outfits and parties, which have no sensitivity towards the nation as a whole. No one can deny the fact that maximum job opportunities are available in these two metros only. Therefore, people migrate to make better living. In Mumbai, there is 70 per cent population of migrants who have come from every nook and corner of the country. Thus, Mumbai, South Asia’s biggest city, is choking. Everyday over 40 families arrive in Mumbai.

United Nations (UN) report says that Mumbai will have 30 million people by the year 2015, which makes it the world’s second most crowded city after Tokyo. This rising population stretches the infrastructure such as roads, water, railways, electricity, residences, law enforcement, etc. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is considered to be the best in the country, has failed miserably to create better infrastructure. The hindrances from various political outfits are also making life difficult for BMC. If it tries to replace slum, there are protests; if it takes action against illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, there are protests; if it takes steps against unauthorised settlements, it is not allowed to do so.

Mumbai is crumbling but none of the politicians are taking any comprehensive review of this chronic situation. They are unable to act tough, as they may loose something politically. Mumbai requires Rs 2,34,000 crores for infrastructure development but New Delhi has budgeted Rs 35,100 crore for whole Maharashtra. We need to be more practical and focus on the solutions rather than aggravating it. A more inclusive approach is required, and driving away immigrants is not going to help anyway. One of the approaches can be to decentralise the jobs from Mumbai to nearby areas such as Panvel and Vasai. The world’s largest cities like New York, Shanghai, Tokyo that faced similar problems have successfully implemented this solution. Then why can’t Mumbai? Political will is required.

Secondly, why people from UP and Bihar migrate most?

If you observe closely, you will find people from these two states all over the country. Punjab, Assam, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, to name few. One reason is that the labour from these two states is cheap and hardworking, ready to do jobs such as driving taxi, housekeeping, milkman etc. The main reason, though, is that the politicians of UP and Bihar are worthless with no self respect. The elections in these two states are never fought on the agenda of development, but on the petty issues of caste, community and religion. The politicos are so corrupted that they eat all funds diverted by centre for development. Mayawati government stalled Anil Ambani’s power project in Dadri, probably because it was cleared by her political rival. When a private player is meted with such a treatment, how can you expect him to set a factory in the state? This politics of ‘vendetta’ has led to dearth of private sector in UP and Bihar. There is no infrastructure in these two states and the politicos have no knowledge of the economics. For them, development is restricted to opening of new parks, lawns, memorials, etc. They never ponder to encourage the growth rate, number of private players, boosting agriculture, small-scale industries, and power plants in the state. With no option left at their disposal, the people of these two states are also needed to be blamed for the condition of the state. They always fall prey to vested motives and are very happy with underdevelopment in the state. Otherwise, they should have made their elected representatives more accountable.

The politicians from UP and Bihar are baying for Thackeray’s arrest but if they feel so insulted, then they should take the daunting task to provide job opportunities to people in their own state. Instead of expanding their political base in other state, they should concentrate on the well being of the people in their own state. Every regional party wants to go national but their motives are regional centric only. I would be more happy if Amar Singh, Mayawati, Lalu Prasad, who are ‘true saviours’ of the people from their state, do something to improve the living standards in UP and Bihar. The people of UP-Bihar have immense potential and are showed by their success stories with reference to number of engineers, doctors, and civil servants. But unfortunately, their own state cannot tap their talent. I will be happy to sacrifice my multinational corporation (MNC) job and work for upliftment of my state, provided government shows some positive signs.

Whatever is happening in Mumbai is very sad. It is basically part of regional chauvinism and parochial politics played at the expense of some very poor people. Nothing will come out of this situation and only poor will suffer. Political games are such that the people never understand these but they do play and become a part of it.

Mayawati is at it again!

The Leopard they say never changes its spots. Mayawati’s suspension of four officials in the Sultanpur district has raised eyebrows and received flak from the Congress Party as well as the UP Governer who has asked her to justify the suspension.

May, 2007. Mayawati had just been sworn in as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister for the fourth time when she began her term in trademark Mayawati style. 109 officers were transferred and three got the axe. The officers who were transferred were IPS officers, including IGs, DIGs, district police chiefs (SPs/SSPs). As Mayawati ushered in a new set of officials and ordered inquiries against numerous officials. This overhaul of the system was criticized by many of her detractors, but Mayawati maimtained that she was doing it for the right reasons that of dereliction of duty.

Well, Mayawati is back at it again. She recently suspended four officials for praising Rahul Gandhi. This was a shockin move for many. And the Congress too has not taken this lying down as they have questioned Mayawati’s act of sking officers all around the state to have collected funds on Mayawati’s birthday just a few days back.

The officers to have been suspended are the Faizabab divisional commissioner Venkateshwarlu and the Sanjay Kumar who is the district magistrate of the Sultanpur district. Both of these officers were IAS officers and were suspended for lauding the Gandhi family in a book about the history of the Sultanpur District.The local chief development and another officer from the Sultanpur district were also fired from their jobs.

The book under question had been released in September last year and no one in the Uttar Pradesh government seemed to have any problem with it till the news of the suspension broke out. The Sultanpur district falls under the purview of the Amethi constituency which is represented by Rahul Gandhi. Even late Rajiv Gandhi had represented this constituency.

AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh told reporters, ”If writing a fact is a crime, then the officers have committed a crime,” and went on to add that there was no mention of any political party, but the work done by the Gandhis.

A day after the sacking of the four senior bureaucrats, Governor T.V. Rajeshwar wrote to Mayawati on Friday asking her to explain the reasons for the sudden move. Mayawati it seems is busy preparing a reply to the Governer justifying the suspension of these officials.

The scenario in Uttar Pradesh has definitely turned hostile and is bound to get aggravated after this suspension. Is Mayawati insecure of the Congress party doing well in UP? Or does she believe that Rahul Gandhi can be the lucky mascot to bring back Congress to power in Uttat Pradesh. Whatever, it maybe the message sent out by Mayawati is loud and clear and all the officials across the state will have to watch what they say or write to stay away from the ire of the BSP Supremo.