Walk The Line

Sab Maya Hai

Posted on: July 26, 2008

Sab Maya Hai

Yesterday, I was chatting with a friend on the rise and rise of Mayawati. S, a senior MNC executive, was at the Dubai airport, waiting for his connecting flight to Jeddah, while I was nicely ensconced somewhere in Connaught Place, New Delhi.

Here is what he had to say about M:

14:56: How could people project Mayawati as PM!!! We should now vote for a majority government…
14:57:  regional parties can exist at the regional level but at the national level they have to support one big party. She was Kanshi Ram’s mistress, right?

A second later, he admitted that the last sentence was not politically correct.

14:59: there is a huge theory on women as leaders….. as women leaders sense power they become far more corrupt and power hungry than men because they need to fight a glass ceiling battle…. so they need to prove themselves… of course this theory is made by men …

Cut to an editorial meeting at a national daily. A senior journalist said she would leave the profession if M becomes PM. “Her horrible pink silk suits and those diamonds…oh my God…”.

I guess we sneer at M because she is not one of us, the Fab India kurta-wearing types. Nevertheless, I am amazed at these reactions. I wonder whether we can dismiss an idea whose time has come; I think we are refusing to accept certain changes that are sweeping through India, the other India.

Last month, I was at a small Dalit village in Uttar Pradesh. During a discussion on politics, a young man told me that M victory has given them the courage to speak up against police atrocities and corrupt government officials. I guess this is where M’s power comes from.

A colleague (her hometown is Bareilly, UP) says that M is ‘far better’ than MY (Mulayam Singh Yadav). Why, I ask her. Her explanation is fairly simple: “See, I agree M takes bribes but at least she ensures that some of it goes to the people, even to non-Dalits. But during their regime, MY and cronies would pocket 100 per cent. Only some Yadav pockets would get something.”

I was never very much interested in UP politics but I must admit that the rise of M has changed all that. Whether I like or not, I am convinced she is the woman to watch out for. No wonder, therefore, I am reading Ajoy Bose’s new book: Behenji, A biography of Mayawati.

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1 Response to "Sab Maya Hai"

M has done wonders with here Dalit-Brahmin pitch (Sarva Samaj). Even though it was mostly to Mishraji’s brilliant plan but if you look now, she could become next PM, provided 3rd front really takes off and so on.

Interesting thought.

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