Changing Political Equations In Hindi Belt

The implications of the victory and new alliance built by Mayawati will not remain limited to the largest State of India but may also change the rule of game in Hindi speaking States

The after shocks in the wake of Mayawati's victory in Uttar Pradesh will be felt for a long time and may change the rules of the game. The implications of the victory and new alliance built by Mayawati will not remain limited to the largest State of India but may also change the rule of game in Hindi speaking State of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra. The social engineering done by Dalit Leader has brought about a major change in the way electoral battles will be fought in future.

This election is the first one in which the caste equations, which had been formed after the adoption of Mandal Commission report by Janta Dal Government led by Mr. V.P Singh, have been overturned and a new combination has been formed in which upper caste Hindus particularly Brahmins have joined hands with Dalits who were at the bottom and Muslims a minority to a winning combination which made all the forecasts about the outcome of U.P polls wrong by giving a clear majority to BSP led Government of Mayawati.

If one were to make the 2007 poll as a yard stick, Mayawati will emerge as a major force in national politics and also in the Lok Sabha elections to held in 2009. as she will easily get around fifty seats which will place her well above the strength of Left parties in the present Lok Sabha and also above the Telgu Dasam Party which played a major role during NDA rule. If this comes along with another prediction that the national parties like Congress & BJP will get further marginalized in the coming poll, the importance of BSP role in future will become even more crucial.

It is conceded by all that Mayawati has built up a combination which kept Congress in power without any challenge for over forty years after independence. The only difference is that in these times Dalits and minority community provided the support while upper caste Hindu provided leadership. The pyramid has been now turned over with Dalits in the leading role & Brahmins emerging as followers. This election has also established that in the countryside at present the struggle is between the Dalits and land owing backward classes and Brahmins have lost clout because they lack numbers to match the muscle power of backward communities like Yadavs and others.

The Brahmins, however with Dalits and minority community have emerged as partners in the new sunrise coalition. The major factor which made this combination possible has been the ability of Mayawati to swing her formidable vote bank in favour of Brahmins as well as minority candidates making their success possible. As such the success of this experiment in their other areas will depend on this ability of Dalit leadership to have complete hold on their community and not to allow the same to be split in small groups as has been the case so far.

Another factor which may determine the outcome of this example is the ability of Mayawati to provide good governance to Uttar Pradesh. After her victory, one can not help but notice a major change in style of functioning in case of U.P chief Minister. She has mellowed down and shown lot of courage and foresight in selection of bureaucrats to help her in improving the administration. One of the major factors which worked against the former Chief Minister by Yadavs and general deterioration in maintenance of law and order. As such even a marginal improvement in these fields should win the goodwill of people for this Dalits leader.

Mayawati has not only chosen new all well but changed the philosophy of her party. She is no more targeting the upper castes and traders, but has decided to go for general good of all who are poor on the basis of their income and not on basis of caste alone. They should wake up many in the country who have been blindly advocating quotas for all backwards irrespective of their income and thus included creamy layer which had been corning all the benefits for backwards instead of sharing the same with those who are in greater need of it.

In changing India with economy growing between eight and nine percent , it will be foolish to make castes as only criteria for determining who should get special benefits so that in equalities are reduced. The picture is changing every day as new class of people are coming forward. People are taking to new professions not because they belong to a particular caste, but because they have an aptitude for it. There is no reason if one generation which has entered top services or gained economics success should seek advantages for their children on basis of caste and it would be more appropriate if they pass on these benefits to these benefits to those was need special help.

More so the help should be given in terms of better education and coaching and not on basis of quota only. Bihar may be backward in many ways but it has not stopped them from dominating all- India services thanks to good coaching and education .This could become a role model for other backwards. Their is little doubt that old methods of quota and reservations e not worked even though they have been available for nearly half a decade and time has come to try some unconventional methods. Leaders like Mayawati can take a lead by changing the old concept of treating Dalits as vote banks instead of masters of their own destiny. She represents new thinking and initiatives and if she is determined no one deny her on national stage.

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by Ashish Mishra (few years ago!)

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