The question has been raised many a times. “What if Mrs. Mayawati became the Prime Minister of India?” We all have our versions of answers to it. When I raise the question on CnC, I know that my readers are mostly above the poverty line, have access to the essential resources that are needed to sustain a healthy-happy life (the access to internet gladly a recent addition to the ‘essentials’ list) and can read and write English (which is still a ‘phoren’ language for most of India.
I want to ask another question here, “Why can’t ‘Behenji’ become the Prime Minister of India?”
A friend I was talking to suggests that it is a matter of shame. It is hard for the educated Indian to accept someone like Mayawati as the Prime Minister. I’m trying to explore the reasons that this ‘shame’ constitutes.
English: She has not been able to exhibit her command on the English language. Some argue that the Indian PM would need to convince a global audience on a number of issues and English is the language of the world. On the contrary, many ‘world’ leaders do not speak (or understand properly) the English language. The fact that Behenji addressing election rallies in Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh is testimony to the fact that she has indeed evolved into a leader of national caliber and language has not been a bar.
Vision: Many feel that Mayawati lacks a vision that may be needed for a person before she dons such a post. She has in fact shown a tremendous vision and has been able to unite the ‘dalit’ of India across the borders of states. And unlike the previous ‘dalit leaders’ she has slowly incorporated even the higher classes into BSP’s voting class and the contestants.
Corruption: Mayawati has been in the midst of all sorts of controversies related to issues of corruption. The Taj corridor, the expensive birthday parties, the personal wealth are all pointers of how funds have been mishandled by BSP in Uttar Pradesh. There are very few political parties or politicians who have a clean record in India. I’m not justifying her wrong with the wrong of someone else but it would be interesting to see how she reacts when she’s the queen of India!
‘Dalit beti’: The story of Mayawati is amazing. A girl child in a dalit family in Uttar Pradesh dreaming to become the PM of India is amazing in itself! But what adds to her achievements is how she has tried to evolve after each little step. The way she commands respect from all the regions of India (be it only ‘dalit respect’) is commendable. There are very few leaders who have been able to do such a thing. The ‘Behenji’ who spoke of ‘Tilak, tarazu aur talwar; inko maaro joote chaar’ is now talking of a political party which has broken the barriers of caste and creed in India. ‘Brahmin’ voters voting for the ‘dalit’ candidate and dalit candidate winning on upper caste populated constituencies is quite a feat.
Whether Mayawati does manage to become the PM of India in this election or not is something all of us would watch out for, but her emergence as a political authority across India is undeniable. It may take an ‘MGR’ to become an ‘Amma’ but it certainly takes much more than ‘Kanshiram’ to become a ‘Behenji’.