Monday, July 21, 2008

The Magic of Maya / Mail Today, July 21, 2008

The Magic of Maya
Sometime late tomorrow night, or maybe Wednesday morning, we will know how much of a cliffhanger the much awaited confidence motion is. I am not going to make predictions because as the Congress-SP tie-up shows, anything can happen in politics. For much of the last week, several politicians that I know were looking beyond the trust vote to try and catch a glimpse of what the future would look like. Far from clearing the fog, the close vote— and I will stick my neck out on that— is likely to leave them more bewildered. Many seemed to agree that the future is a eight letter word — Mayawati. We have had a woman prime minister before, and now a Sikh prime minister. So is the country ripe to accept a woman, and a Dalit at, that as its prime minister? After her astounding victory in last year’s assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the lady herself has not kept her long-term ambitions secret. The custodians of the working class, the CPI(M) now seem keen to make up for their original historic blunder in not backing a Dalit for prime minister. The year was 1979, the Morarji Desai government was tottering and wise men, then not so old, met and decided not to support Jagjivan Ram for the premiership and ironically enough threw their lot with the Congress. The Jan Sangh component of what was then the Janata Party had sought out the CPI(M) to support Ram, but they emurred. The rest is history. Comrade Prakash Karat’s meeting with Mayawati last week has nothing to do with repenting for that 29-year old mistake. Until recently, the Left had nothing but scorn for her brand of politics. But suddenly Mayawati is the cynosure of all Red eyes and others have been quick to follow. She controls the state that sends every seventh MP to Parliament. In the last assembly elections, the BSP won 206 seats but had leads in 55 parliamentary constituencies. Her revolutionary social engineering made nonsense of political calculations made in the drawing rooms of Lutyens Delhi by psephologists and such like. She is known to drive a hard bargain, she also does what she says. Her style is unorthodox by the standards of politicians: she won’t think twice before sending her own MPs and MLAs to jail.
And with Mulayam set to suffer an erosion of the Muslim vote, even his own Muslim MPs are revolting, Mayawati could be the gainer. Though the BSP’s growth has not been as spectacular as her own rise in UP, it is slowly garnering the votes — 5.33 per cent in 2004. And unlike the Left
which has never grown beyond Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura, the BSP is a factor in at least 10 states, including Maharashtra, MP, Rajasthan, Punjab. Its leaders think 70-80 seats should be an easy target. Add to that the TRS, TDP, Chautala et al and the tie-up with the Left and the combine could end up with 150 seats. If that happens, then there is no stopping her from reaching South Block since the Congress will have no option but to support her, if just to keep the BJP out. No wonder there is a line of limousines outside her Humayun Road residence in New Delhi and everyone is talking about the young girl from Kalindi College whose dream was to become an IAS officer.

1 comment:

khaapee said...

Happen to see your video on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ9OSitpqtQ

Above link is of the 3rd part (last section) of your interview with Mayawati.

Of all the questions you asked her, like her favorite food, heroine etc, why couldn't you ask her "her" favorite statue.
I am sure you must be good as an editor but please please don't interview people, because you can't and most of the interviews I saw of yours are baseless/useless and a joke. So far god sake please stop seedhi baat or change the name to dumb baat.
Thanks and appreciate your cooperation in this.