Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Controversy surrounding the BSP rally.

Most of us are aware of the controversy surrounding BSP leader Mayawati’s public display of wealth during the recent BSP rally in Uttar Pradesh. For those of you who don’t know, the BSP members recently celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the founding of their party and the birthday of founder Kanshi Ram. Roughly 200 Crore was spent for the event. During the event , UP chief minister and BSP’s tallest leader Mayawati was presented with a garland of 1000 Rupee notes. The value of the garland is estimated at 21 Lakhs. The question on everyone’s mind is – “Was this required and was it appropriate at a time when the Stage government citing paucity of funds even refused to compensate the families of those who died in a recent stampede”

Most political parties have condemned the incident and some have even gone to the extent of seeking a CBI enquiry to investigate the source of funding for the garland and for the event. All these parties have placed themselves on a moral high ground and members seem to indicate that they have a clean slate. I don’t buy the argument that only people who display their wealth have looted the country and the others haven’t. Everyone(well almost) is corrupt. Mayawati’s supporters were quick to retort that at least their leader does not hide her wealth unlike others who rob the country after dusk.

My argument is that at a time when the participation of the people in our democracy is at an all time low and when people have begun to give up on politicians because of the amount of corruption, Mayawati’s brazen display of wealth further strengthens their belief that Indian polity cannot improve. We need people to believe that our political system can improve. Such incidents undo any progress made by citizen groups to get people to vote. We must remember that corrupt politicians are elected by good citizens who choose not to vote. If we want our system to improve, we must make sure that participation in the electoral process improves. An argument that such a display of wealth by Mayawati inspires members of her community is flawed and mocks the intelligence of our people.

The irony is that Mayawati has done a fabulous job of improving the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh. She has an amazing political acumen and as woman belonging to a community that has been oppressed for ages, has fought against all odds to reach her current position. She must not squander it all away. Uttar Pradesh is certainly the most important state for political parties in India. The state has given us the maximum number of prime ministers and it is very likely that UP’s current political leaders would in the near future play a greater role in Delhi. If Mayawati plans to play an important role at the center, she cannot afford to indulge in petty politics such as asking the police force to see if the beehive at the rally was part of a political conspiracy against her party!

1 comment:

The Confused Millenial said...

U spoke my mind..this is so true...!!..

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