Samajwadi’s divided family
Much of the drama that unfolded in Lucknow had a whimsical quality.
The day began with fist-fights between the supporters of Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav who gathered outside the party office for the final showdown.
In the morning everyone was preparing to watch either Akhilesh Yadav being expelled from the party or at least being replaced by Mulayam Singh Yadav.
But by evening,Netaji disregarded the shoves and scuffles on the dais at the SP-meet and brokered a truce leaving many viewers of the current political scene to wonder if it were not a pre-scripted drama.
“Paternal love” and “filial love” seemed to be strong enough to save the day for the family-centric party.
It was not hard to see Mulayam Singh Yadav’s “son preference” and his unwavering resolve to hand over the reins of political power to Akhilesh Yadav before he left the political stage.
Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh had to be content with Mulayam Singh Yadav’s praise of them as co-builders of the party who supported him through thick and thin. The snatching of the mike from Akhilesh Yadav by Shivpal Yadav following the former accusing Amar Singh of planting a fake story in which he was compared to Aurangzeb was exciting to watch.
The crisis triggered by the bitter struggle for the ‘mantle of supreme power’ may have blown over for the time being, given Mulayam Singh’s authority.
Still with members of UP’s First Family at each other’s throats, there now seems little chance of rapprochement between the warring factions.
It is sad, but true that personal aggrandizement is the cause of the internecine infighting within the party founded to translate Lohia’s conception of social justice into reality. SP’s splintering will result in the reduction of the political weight of the Yadav community.
It is clear that Mulayam Singh Yadav is guarding Akhilesh from a possible damaging political reverse due to anti-incumbency and doing all that he can to project him as ‘a rebel with a cause’.
The SP has certainly gone back on its commitment to secularism and acted hand in glove with BSP in pitting community against community as in Muzaffarnagar.
The SP’s implosion leaves the Muslims with no alternative but to gravitate towards BSP and share political space with the Dalits.
G David Milton
Maruthancode (Tamil Nadu)
Jingoism ruling the roost
The quote “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” is an oft-cited one.
Self-proclaimed protectors of patriotism, including political parties have always fanned jingoistic sentiments to attract votes. Right from threatening attack on cinema halls to physically battering film actors, the political parties have also targeted films if they think it is against their ideology.
Similarly, cricket and cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan have also been threatened. What is most unfortunate is the manner in which politicians like Raj Thackeray can hold the whole system to ransom despite the presence of law enforcement machinery.
Is this the rule of law? It is worth condemning how Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadanvis acted as a “broker” in the deal with the MNS to allow screening of a film featuring a Pakistani actor.
By patting his own back, claiming how he “forced Pakistani artists to pay R5 crore as penance to Army Welfare Fund”, Raj Thackeray has truly joined the league of his late uncle Bal Thackeray.
This entire episode is shameful to a democratic nation like India.