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January 22, 1998


Varsha Bhosle

For whom the cell tolls

One question keeps nagging me: What kind of people support the Samajwadi Party and chief Mulayam Singh Yadav...? Yes, I know that his voter base in UP consists of the powerful OBC groups, Yadavs and Kurmis – groups that have been depriving Dalits holding pattas (lease-land orders) of possession of their land, which brought down the wrath of Mayawati on Mulayam. Indeed, last April, the Ponytailed One had embarked on Operation Target Mulayam, a three-phased strategy to neutralise the criminals within the SP. (Meaning, decimate the party completely.)

The first phase included the creation of five special police ranges, specifically directed to mark the seven major mafia gangs that have affiliations with the SP. Mayawati’s crime-control campaign did make an impact: None of the Samajwadi leaders with criminal credentials showed up on the SP-sponsored Protest Day on April 10. "Obviously they preferred to remain underground," a police officer told The Asian Age.

Phase two sought to marginalise the social relevance of the party’s OBC vote-bank: District level officers had to ensure that Dalits were given kabza of their land within the month. Which provoked a panicked Mulayam to swear, "Our party, if voted to power, will take up the issue of misuse of the Dalit Act and suspend its operation forthwith." The United Front and the champions of the downtrodden from the media – who were so vocal about Bal Thackeray’s threat to scrap the Srikrishna Commission – studiously kept mum.

In the third phase, the advocate general was directed to clear all obstacles hindering the prosecution of former Samajwadi minister, Balram Yadav, in the multi-billion rupee Ayurveda scam. Permission to prosecute had been denied by Governor Romesh Bhandari – at Mulayam’s bidding – even though the CBI had filed chargesheets.

Bhandari is Mulayam’s ablest hatchet-man: Under his governorship, the probe on the murderous attack on Mayawati in 1995 was quietly buried. Too, the crime rate fell from 549 crimes a day in 1991-92 to an astonishing 360 a day! Former UP police chief N S Saksena says, "Nothing can be more absurd than this. The state has mastered the art of not registering crime in order to produce beautiful statistics." A senior officer disclosed, "For the past eight months, we have been extremely careful in registering cases and it is on the orders of the governor."

And what about the Grandmaster himself? Crime against women, murders, kidnappings and hold-ups peaked during Mulayam’s tenure. The Indian Express confirms that "the rule was marked by as many as 24 murders a day, one kidnapping for ransom a day, and a road hold-up every other day. Highest number of women were raped, molested and kidnapped during the Samajwadi Party rule between December 1993 to June 1995. Every day, on an average, five women were raped, eight molested and seven kidnapped."

It was not merely the janata that was terrorised. In the infamous Guest House incident of June 2, 1994, five BSP MLAs were abducted and produced before then chief minister Mulayam Singh – to be forced into signing a letter pledging their support to his government. The Crime Branch found that signatures of at least three MLAs had been forged. Later, the Allahabad high court observed that there was prima facie evidence showing Mulayam Singh as guilty.

So OK, I can understand why his UP clansmen vote for Mulayam... But what about the urban elsewhere who support the Motley Crue, by whose good graces this repulsive character is the defence minister of India...? How can one who proclaimed in Parliament (May 28, 1996) that every Pakistani and Bangladeshi has a right to come and live in India, be tolerated outside a barred and padded cell?

The answer can be found in this passage: "But the Nehru of The Discovery of India was as much a ‘Hindu’ as Vajpayee. That is why Vajpayee quoted him in his ‘Waterloo’ speech while speaking to Aligarh University students. He told them to accept India’s past – which meant the ‘Hindu’ past. When The Discovery of India was published in the ’40s, it was rejected by us, leftist students, as being reactionary... When it came to critical matters, the Nehrus were as chauvinistic as Vajpayee. Only Ram Manohar Lohia understood this treason. That is why he was disregarded by the Indian intelligentsia, and that is why his ideological progeny Mulayam Singh is treated with such contempt in the press today."

The writer is Iqbal Masud. A leftist from a minority community. The most fatal combination for India’s well-being...

After the Congress withdrew support to Deve Gowda, G K Moopanar’s nomination found favour with many UF members. But, what Mr Arun Shourie calls "the HSSP" – the one-man Harkishen Singh Surjeet Party – the commander of just 34 of the 178 coalition MPs, needed a man sympathetic to the Left, and Moopanar didn’t fit the bill. When Chandrababu Naidu and Karunanidhi declined to toe his line, the Red Rasputin used the bogey of BJP influence in the north to lobby support for a PM from the Hindi belt – protégé Mulayam. The HSSP’s argument was that, for the BJP to be battled in UP, no leader could be more dependable than Mulayam, the devoted friend of backward castes and minorities...

As an aside, have you never wondered why Comrade Surjeet, a die-hard pinko, should yet hold on to his religious kesh? I mean, how come he isn’t secular enough to visit a barber...?

The entire point of the now-tattered alliance never was more than to form an anti-Hindu (and not just anti-Hindutva) front. If the HSSP’s wishes are to be fully met, no doubt, we’ll be sanctioning an independent Khalistan in no time. It’s a logical step from a cadre which supported Partition and which has tried its best through means fair and foul to destroy any nationalistic spirit still lingering in Indians and rent the Hindu fabric of this country.

In December, there was great uproar among the members of the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee over the issue of a dialogue on Ayodhya with the BJP. The faction led by its convenor, Zafaryab Jilani, was against any exchange whatsoever with the Sangh Parivar, while its spokesman, Javed Habib – and several prominent Muslim leaders – had adopted a conciliatory attitude. Mr Habib organised a convention of the Qaumi Mushawaraat to decide the issue, which federation stated that it didn’t consider the BJP untouchable...

The interesting thing is that Mr Habib charged that Zafaryab Jilani was a Mulayam crony and, along with Samajwadi MP Mohammed Azam Khan, had reduced UP’s BMAC into "a Babar Mulayam Action Committee." Cherchez les secularists...

Oh no, the Ayodhya issue can never really die with such scum around. Mulayam (whom Iqbal Masud would, naturally, adore), had this to say about his ordering the shooting of hundreds of kar sevaks in October 1990: "I am proud of the fact that a desperate attempt to demolish the mosque was foiled by me. But for the BJP, this is an act of criminality, while the Kalyan Singh government’s proven complicity in the demolition of the mosque is an act of virtue." There you are: Islamic bricks *are* more precious than Hindu lives...

When the Left came to power in Kerala, the first thing it did was carve a Muslim-majority district in Malapuram. That ain’t communalism... In Bombay, Mulayam addresses purely Muslim audiences. That ain’t divisive, either. Certainly, that’s the brand of secularism which keeps the UF, and all our secular politicians and opinion-makers, in influence.

The Ramesh Chandra Committee, deliberating on the BSP MLAs kidnapping case, indicted Mulayam for harbouring and patronising criminals and using mafia-like methods to resolve political differences. Mulayam’s defence was: "The UP Guest House incident has been blown out of proportion by a section of the media which is sympathetic to the BJP." Period. Our permanently Thackeray-battling intelligentsia had no take on this, either...

One doesn’t really need to investigate Mulayam to know his mindset – his interviews provide the clues. For instance, about the Prasar Bharati, he has said, "It was our government who gave them autonomy and now they are campaigning against us and for the BJP. We will have to teach them what autonomy is when we come to power." I shudder to think what this can possibly mean...

A day after Mayawati’s Mulayam-unfriendly ministry was sworn in, a public meeting in defence of our defence minister was addressed by the UF vanguard. "We will live and die with Mulayam Singh Yadav," proclaimed PM Deve Gowda. Comrade Surjeet assured Mulayam, "We have a UF government at the Centre, and they can’t have the guts to harm you!" The Bandit Queen warned, "We will set them right, if they mean any harm to my father Mulayam Singhji." What to say...?

A phenomenal political degeneration and financial anarchy is in place in Bihar, with the Centre impotent against the other Yadav of secularism-bachao, Laloo Prasad. This fodder-rich scamster actually said in the Vidhan Sabha that the Comptroller and Auditor General – who has the privileges of a Supreme Court judge – should be put behind bars!

In Assam, Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is heavily embroiled in the multi-million rupee Letter of Credit scam – sensitive files of which investigation have gone "missing" from the state secretariat. Yes, the Asom Gana Parishad, an UF constituent...

And yet, Mr I K Gujral has the temerity to say, "Gone are the days when scams and scandals thrived in the central government. The UF government has come out unscathed during its 18-month tenure."

This, the first prime minister who had his recommendation for a President’s rule rejected by the President...

This, the leader who handed over the veto power in UP affairs to a thug...

This, the Front of the Ayurveda scam and fodder scam and LoC scam...

This, the alliance of criminals, murderers, kidnappers and scamsters...

All in the name of secularism... Hahahahaha...

Varsha Bhosle

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