Mayawati became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh four times. It is generally expected that during this time she would have done a lot in the interest of Dalits but the ground reality is quite opposite as it is clear from the following few examples: –
1. Mayawati banned the showing of the film “Teesri Azaadi” made by Kanshi Ram through BAMCEF in Uttar Pradesh in 2007 because some sarvjan (People of higher castes) objected against it. This ban continues to this day.
2. Mayawati banned the sale of Periyar’s book “Sachhi Ramayana” (A True Ramayna) in Uttar Pradesh in 2007 after some sarvjan objected to it.
3. Mayawati had banned the installation of Dr. Ambedkar’s statue in Uttar Pradesh at public place or private land without the permission of the District Magistrate, which is still in force.
4. Mayawati had banned reservation for SCs in admission to sports college done by a Dalit officer (Harish Chandra) with Mayawati’s approval as it was objected to by sarvjan saying that it would affect the level of sports. It is worth mentioning that this reservation was not for admission in any team but only for admission in sports college. Mayawati had also said that the said officer had fraudulently got me to sign.
5. Harish Chandra, the Revenue Secretary had issued an order with the approval of Mayawati not to evict a Dalit for building a hut or house on any land (including village land) but to give the said land in his name. On this, some members of Sarvajan objected by saying that this would give Dalits the right to occupy anyone’s land, then Mayawati cancelled the said order by saying that the said officer got me to issue a wrong order. And Harish Chandra was removed from the post of Revenue Secretary.
6. In 1996, Kanshi Ram had announced to organize “Periyar Mela” in Lucknow and install Periyar’s statue at Parivartan Chowk, but when BJP opposed it, neither Periyar Mela was held nor Periyar’s statue could be installed in Lucknow till date. Even a poster could not be installed, let alone a statue.
7. Mayawati’s biggest attack on the Dalits of Uttar Pradesh was to stop the implementation of the SC/ST Act in 2001 in the case of atrocities on Dalits saying that it was being misused. At that time there were 21 offences of atrocities in the said Act. In Mayawati’s regime, it was not implemented in 19 cases but was to be implemented in only two cases: one of murder and the other of rape. Even in the case of rape, there was a condition that it should first be certified by a medical examination. It is well known that in the case of rape of Dalit women, how much rigging is done in medical examination. The police deliberately delay it so that the evidence is destroyed. Due to this the Dalits had to face double whammy. Firstly, those who committed atrocities on Dalits were exempted from strict punishment and they fearlessly continued torturing Dalits. In the case of other atrocities, the compensation given to Dalits under this act also stopped. The anti-Dalit act which no non-Dalit Chief Minister had dared to do, Mayawati did it indiscriminately. It is also worth mentioning that the SC/ST Act is a Central Act and no state government has the authority to make any changes in it, yet Mayawati banned it with complete hanky. It is also notable that there is already a provision under section 182 to take action against someone who falsely sues.
Some Dalit organizations challenged Mayawati’s anti-Dalit illegal act and got it cancelled in the Allahabad High Court. But in the decree issued by Mayawati after this, cancelling her earlier decree, she also wrote that this Act should not be allowed to be misused under any circumstances, which the policemen understand very well.
8. During the reign of Mayawati, cases of atrocities on Dalits were not registered saying that it would defame the Mayawati government. Dalits had to bear the brunt of this. The best example of this is the burning of 18 houses of Dalits by Thakurs in Amethi. It was the BSP MLA who told me about this. He had told that when he met Mayawati regarding the issue of police not registering a case on the burning of Dalit houses, Mayawati scolded him saying that this would bring disrepute to the government.
9. In 2007, Faizabad (Bikapur) BSP MLA Anand Sen was accused of abducting and murdering Shashi, a Dalit law graduate student of Faizabad, but was acquitted because of Mayawati’s protection.
10. In 2011, BSP MLA Purushottam Dwivedi was accused of kidnapping and rape by a backward caste girl but no action was taken. On the contrary, the rape victim girl was sent to jail on charges of mobile theft. When there was a huge uproar against this partiality of the Mayawati government, the investigation of the case was given to CBCID and the MLA was arrested and sent to jail. Ultimately, he was punished by the court.
11. It is well known that under the Right to Food order of the Supreme Court, mid-day meal arrangements are being made in all government primary and middle level schools, for which Dalit cooks have been ordered to be appointed on priority basis. Under this order some Dalit cooks were appointed in Uttar Pradesh. In 2007, when Mayawati became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh with a huge majority, a village school in Lucknow’s Sarojini Nagar block boycotted the food cooked by a Dalit cook, which was also reported in the newspapers. Instead of taking punitive action against the students/parents who boycotted the food, Mayawati’s government fired the Dalit cook. We tried a lot on behalf of Ambedkar Mahasabha to get the Dalit cook reinstated but no success was achieved. Not only this, Mayawati government cancelled the recruitment of Dalit cooks.
It is clear from the above few examples that how Dalit friendly Mayawati has been.
SR Darapuri, National President, All India People’s Front