ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Uttar Pradesh: A 'Mayawi' Revolution

The Bahujan Samaj Party's victory in UP was a culmination of Mayawati's politically clever strategy of crafting an alliance between the dalits and the brahmins. To label it a "social revolution" contradicts the very framework of this alliance as a politically convenient arrangement. Its replication in other states would depend on particular caste configurations in every state. It would also be too premature to read in the BSP's victory the portents of a future "dalit raj" in the country.

The victory of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh has been greeted with euphoria in several quarters. It is understandable that supporters of the BSP will celebrate their victory as common folks will “worship the victor”. But what about the intellectual class, that is supposed to see beyond the surface reality and present the meaning of events? They appear to have even overtaken the common masses in their excitement. Our political analysts have seen a “social revolution” in this BSP victory, while some scholars have read it as overcoming caste and even class in Indian politics. The kind of praise being showered on Mayawati is beyond comment. Diapankar Gupta, in his article in The Hindustan Times (April 10, 2007) has gone to the extent of comparing Mayawati with Mao as a strategist. He cites parallels in Mao’s and Mayawati’s incessant search for strategic partners; in the more critical aspects of their strategy – as when Mao allied with rich peasants and a section of landlords and when Mayawati joined hands with the BJP; as also in their key focus areas, i e, Mao never lost sight of the poor peasants, and Mayawati, her dalits. Dipankar Gupta ought to have searched for objectives, the prerequisite for strategies, before seeing parallels in them. While Mao had never compromised his objective to bring about new democratic revolution in China, Mayawati had never disclosed hers, save for the most implicit one – grabbing power by any means.

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