Mulayam-Akhilesh Yadav SP cycle symbol fight: Obama’s Democratic party sports a donkey; show people your work CM sir

By: | Updated: January 10, 2017 11:47 AM

Cycle is in demand these days. Not because people have suddenly started taking interest in this eco-friendly mode of transport, mostly used by poor in the country. But for a reason that can be easily dubbed as ridiculous

mulayam singh yadav, mulayam akhilesh, akhilesh mulayam, akhilesh yadav, samajwadi party, sp family war, uttar pradesh, uttar pradesh election 2017, up 2017, up poll, uttar pradesh assembly election 2017Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh leaves for the Election Commission, at his residence in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI Photo)

Cycle is in demand these days. Not because people have suddenly started taking interest in this eco-friendly mode of transport, mostly used by poor in the country. But for a reason that can be easily dubbed as ridiculous. Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election 2017, leading Samajwadi Party is engrossed in a battle for the party symbol — ‘cycle’.

Split in two factions led by party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and son Akhilesh Yadav respectively, both camps are racing against time to get their poll campaigns in motion. It seems they can’t do so before getting control of the party symbol.

On Monday, Mulayam signalled he would relent and accept Akhilesh as the CM candidate of the united Samajwadi Party. Even if both factions unite in the next two-three days, the fight for cycle has exposed their restricted world view of politics that is defined more by symbolism and image building than actual work.

As Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister since 2012, Akhilesh has used much of the resources at his disposal for creating his image as a modern, development oriented, media-friendly and tech-savvy leader. Most of his much talked about development projects have been centred around the seat of power in Lucknow, even as most parts of Uttar Pradesh continue to live as they survived before the beginning of Akhilesh-era.

With just a month left for the Assembly election, what the feuding SP factions have failed to understand is that symbols don’t win elections. Leaders and their work do. One may ride a bicycle, motorcycle or even a donkey and win if s/he is popular among the masses or have done some good work. For that matter, the US President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party’s unofficial logo sports a donkey.

The story behind the presence of donkey on the logo is something from which Akhilesh and Mulayam can take some inspiration. It goes like this: In 1828 the then US President Andrew Jackson used to be insulted by his opponents as “jackass”. Instead of taking offence, Jackson embraced the insult. In later years, donkey symbol for democrats was popularised by newspaper cartoonist Thomas Nast in the 1970s, according to express.co.uk. The donkey was seen kicking a lion. The unofficial logo has remained in popular Amercian consciousness since then and Obama is just about to complete his eighth year in office.

Back home in India, Modi wave during 2014 General Election was not just a media-created phenomenon or because of BJP’s ‘lotus’ symbol. Narendra Modi’s prime weapons included 12-years of solid experience of taking Gujarat to new heights in terms of development, his humble beginnings and a leader who never let his family flourish because of his power.

In UP, the only family that seems to be flourishing forever belongs to Mulayam with over 30 members in active politics. The fight for cycle symbol, hence, seems more as a ridiculous display of power games. Will Akhilesh ever understand that symbols don’t speak, work does?

Read here the latest general election 2019 news, live coverage and full election schedule for Lok Sabha Election 2019 on financialexpress.com/elections. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter to get all the updates on lok sabha election 2019.

Switch to Hindi Edition