Time for Akhilesh Yadav to rebuild the party on the visions of Ambedkar, Phule, Periyar

mayawati akhlesh

The ‘reason’ for Ms Mayawati’s desertion from the alliance in Uttar Pradesh are superfluous and show that without working on a grand visionary document, she is continuously focusing on the ‘caste’ ‘arithmetic’ at the ground which was forged by the BJP and Sangh Parivar in a much better way than her. However, in the entire exercise of Uttar Pradesh, she was the biggest beneficiary and Samajwadi party remained the loser yet I can say that Akhilesh Yadav has got sympathy with a majority of the people of the SP-BSP alliance.

While Mr Mualayam Singh Yadav and his brothers and family might taunt Akhilesh for being too ‘submissive’ to Bahinji despite her uncertain attitude, the fact is that Akhilesh Yadav has got a huge sympathy at the moment of the old SP BSP alliance supporters. There was no reasons for breaking this alliance by Ms Mayawati unless she had things in minds from the beginning.

The question is whether this alliance was forged to keep Congress out of the Gathbandhan who Akhilesh Yadav wanted to ally despite his reservations. The argument that Ms Mayawati is giving are absolutely superfluous and putting the blame on Akhilesh Yadav for the defeat including his Dimple Yadav and Dharmendra Yadav.

The facts speak something different. Travelling to Uttar Pradesh and speaking with various people, I can say that the first choice of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh was Congress Party but after the Gathbandhan was formed they wholeheartedly supported it. BSP even today has not been the first choice of the Muslim candidate and the reasons are obvious and well known. Samajwadi Party’s track record on that front is far superior so the Muslims voting to Gathbandhan is not because of BSP but because of Samajwadi Party.

Second point was the rhetoric of ‘transfer’ of votes. Why should politicians think that votes can be transferred at their will. I had spoken about this that we needed to work on the ground particularly when bringing the Dalits and OBCs together because of contradictions prevailing there. Even among the Dalits voters, BSP supporters have rarely been going to other communities like Khatiqs, Pasis and Valmikis. Most of the time they blame these communities for being with BJP but then if there is no space for them in your party, they will find a way out. Samajwadi Party too had a large number of Pasis as MLAs.

After the break-up between SP-BSP with the infamous Guest House Kand, the SP’s aggressive supporters never took BSP’s assertive Dalits kindly. The sad part was that SP’s subsequent acts were symbols of deliberate attempt to create another icon to counter Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. I would have loved Akhilesh Yadav increasing his outreach to Dalits and providing them space. In fact when he took oath of the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, I wrote an article asking him to implement the agenda of Manywar Kanshiram Saheb but it never happened and he was fixated to Lohia Park and Mishra Parks to counter BSP’s assertive Ambedkarism.

But last few years, Akhilesh Yadav build up a new image, a man who was easily accessible to his cadres, who had a vision and who can be talked too. He started quoting Phule, Ambedkar in his speeches which was welcomed sign. With the alliance with BSP, the party workers of both the party at many places joined hand though at many other places they did not.

Fact is that it is Akhilesh Yadav who should have been complaining and not Bahin ji. The fact is that Dalit votes did not get transferred to Samajwadi Party. The bigger fact is that no political leader including Ms Mayawati ji should take the voters for granted. You can not field anti Dalit candidates, imposed savarna begot and then get their votes. Communities are behaving smartly. Samajwadi Party’s social base is bigger and to put it as a Yadav party is playing in the hands of the Sangh Parivar who have been spreading these lies. There was a time when any candidate fielded by BSP was certain to get Jatav vote in their constituency but I can say firmly that this is not going to happen that easily unless things are improved in BSP particularly when selecting candidates from the non Dalit communities.

I would still like both SP and BSP to strengthen in Uttar Pradesh. Once I wrote that how wonderful it would have been if we had Tamilnadu kind of situation in Uttar Pradesh when both the Bahujan parties dominate keeping out the ‘national’ parties but right now things are difficult and Hindutva forces are all powerful with their cadres spreading all over the states. A coalition is the need of the hour. When this coalition was formed, I wished that it should give a minimum of ten years and go beyond politics, help build counter narrative to brahmanical hegemony but then it need patience and lots of give and take.

Ms Mayawati has said that she has respect for Akhilesh and his family and that the alliance is not completely broken but she has to look after her party’s interests. I must say that she must rise above party lines and think of bigger goal when the people were looking at her to play a guiding figure so that Dalit OBCs and minorities join hand.

No alliance will succeed unless it has a socio-cultural outreach. People want it and in the absence of this, the Hindutva’s divide and rule politics will always work. The inherent contradictions of the caste are most suitable to brahmanical forces which they have used for best of their political benefits. I will only expect Akhilesh Yadav to launch a big mass contact programme like Jagan Reddy did it, build up a grand vision of his party for Uttar Pradesh and develop a cultural wing to reach out various communities in the state. Samajwadi party cadres must read and understand Phule, Ambedkar and Periyar to build that counter cultural narrative which challenges savarna caste hegemony.

The news is not great with this break up but it has added one thing about Ms Mayawati and that is her unpredictability as an alliance partner. She said that it is not closed as if all the fault of the failures of alliance lies on Akhilesh Yadav which is sad because with in his party, he is being blamed for submitting too much to BSP. Good that Bahinji has kind words for Akhilesh Yadav but her action has only gladdened the opponents who are ‘celebrating’ it and blaming them as caste parties. It is time for Akhilesh Yadav to sit back, ponder and build up the social alliance. He entered into alliance with a good heart and honesty. He can not be blamed for its failures alone.The biggest lessons of life are learnt through failures. There is huge opportunity for him to rebuild and redesign his party now by encouraging good people with dedication to socialist ideals and futuristic vision for the people of Uttar Pradesh, particularly its youth.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: [email protected]


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Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: [email protected]

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