You are here: Rediff Home » India » News » Columnists » Francois Gautier
Search: The Web
  Discuss this Article   |      Email this Article   |      Print this Article

The myth of Mayawati's success
Francois Gautier
Related Articles
Mayawati ushers a new social revolution

UP elections: The persistence of caste

Get news updates:What's this?
May 16, 2007

It has been made out that Mayawati won the Uttar Pradesh elections because she fielded a number of Brahmin and upper caste candidates. But the Bahujan Samaj Party had given 86 tickets to Brahmins and only 34 won; a mere 39 per cent rate of success.

The media is also praising Mayawati for having reconciled Brahmins and Dalits. But hers is only an electoral cold calculation: how to get the votes of the Dalits, the Muslims and the upper castes in one shot.

It worked, and she has now entered her fourth term as Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

But will it be better than her previous three terms? Will she work for the welfare of the people who elected her? Probably not.

Already, she has transferred hundreds of bureaucrats and police officials and stopped all projects implemented by Mulayam Singh Yadav. Can you imagine the hundreds of crores wasted by these shelved projects and the chaos in the administration which will take months to straighten out?

Is this the way to start a new government and be a chief minister for all, including those defeated?

Will Mayawati again enrich her party or herself at the cost of good governance? Then next time Mulayam Singh will be re-elected because of the law and order situation in the state and we will be back to square one!

Every political columnist wants to make UP a study case. But is it a good case?

Firstly, UP is the worst example of how an Indian state can be mismanaged year after year and how the most populous state of India is also the poorest, the most unlawful -- bar Bihar, maybe.

Second, UP has shown India and the world how caste and religion can be manipulated to the maximum cynical extent to get elected -- as Mayawati just did.

But then, she only borrowed from the Congress book of politics and only improved upon it.

It is true that the Congress in turn only took over from the British the art of divisive politics -- to polarise India on castes and religions: 'I am a Muslim first and then an Indian'; 'I am a Dalit first and then an Indian'; 'I am a Christian first and then and Indian.'

Now Mayawati wants Brahmins, who have, whatever their faults, shown patriotism throughout Indian history (hello, Mangal Pandey), to say: 'I am a Brahmin first and then an Indian.'

Today the Congress wants us to believe all these caste reservations and pandering to the Muslims is done to elevate minorities; but in truth it is just a cynical arithmetic computation: with the votes of the Dalits and the Muslims, anybody can be elected.

It is true that the Congress got bashed up in UP, but is equally true that Mayawati upped them with the same calculation, adding a peppering of upper castes for good effect.

There is also a perversion of statistics and facts.

Yes, there are still terrible inequalities in India, extremely rich people and the poorest of the poor. Yes, there are Dalits who are oppressed. But no country in the world has done so much for its underprivileged since 1947.

Today, many government, academic, bureaucratic and even medical posts in India are held by Dalits and Other Backward Castes. A Harijan made it to the highest post of President. Today India has another Muslim as President, a Sikh as prime minister and a Christian as 'eminence grise'.

Did the United States ever have a black President? Did France ever boast of a Muslim prime minister, or a Hindu President? No way -- and it will take a long time to happen.

In fact, today it is the Brahmins who have become the Dalits of India.

Yet, contrary to the West, where Christian priests and popes constantly meddled in politics and acquired huge health and land, which led to the separation of the Church and the State under the French Revolution, the much maligned Brahmins never interfered in the affairs of State throughout Indian history, restraining themselves to advising kings and maharajas on spiritual matters.

Dalits should never forget that the caste system, which once upon a time was just an arrangement for the distribution of functions in society, just as much as class in Europe, has been the stick that all invaders have used to put down India.

And it is today still skillfully employed by missionaries, Marxists and the millions of parasite non-governmental organisations who make money out of India's misery, without really uplifting anything but their own bank accounts -- one of the greatest scams today.

On top of that, nowadays, it is not the Brahmins who oppress the Dalits, but the OBC. See any village in Tamil Nadu: Dalits are parked in one corner and cannot enter the area devoted to Vanniars, who are just one rung above them.

Is the caste-isation of politics in India, as embodied in UP, here to stay? We hope not, as it may lead to the balkanisation of India.

What is the key to stem this rot? Education.

Many Indians do not feel nationalistic enough (except for cricket, the lowest and most worthless denomination of nationalism) and put their castes and religions forward, because they are not groomed in school to be proud to be Indians first.

As a Frenchman, I am taught about the greatness of my culture, my religion, my roots. Here in India, children know all  about Shakespeare and Shelley, or the latest Time bestseller, but have never read Kalidas, have no idea who Sri Aurobindo was and have no idea that pranayam is the science of breath unique to India.

As a result, later, the IIMs and IITs just produce brilliant clones, without any root in their culture, who export themselves to the West to stay there, the greatest brain drain in the world.

It also produces generation after generation of Indians who scorn on their own culture and look up to the West and some of the values like materialism and Marxism, which have failed there.

But if right after kindergarten you would teach children about the greatness of their culture, a little bit of the good of each religion, great poets, saints and epics like the Mahabharat, which is a universal scripture, one would produce generation after generation of true Indians.

Ultimately, Brahmins are fools if they think they will reap benefits by allying themselves with the likes of Mayawati. The hate against Brahmins first shown by the Muslim invaders, then by the British and today espoused by Christian missionaries, Indian Marxists and much of the Indian intelligentsia, is too strongly imbedded in the collective psyche.

They should remember Mayawati and her mentor Kanshi Ram's early war cry: Tilak, taraju aur talwar, unko maro jute char (Brahmins, traders and the warrior caste should be kicked).

Already BSP leaders feel that the Brahmin overdrive could alienate them from other upper castes, particularly Thakurs. Thus, some backpedaling may happen soon.

Look also at what happened to the 400,000 Brahmins of Kashmir who fled though terror their homeland without raising a little finger in defence.

Today no political party gives a damn about them and many of them are still languishing in refugee camps -- in their own country -- a first in the sad history of humanity.

Francois Gautier
 Email this Article      Print this Article

© 2007 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback