Sunday, March 29, 2009

Behenji-the queen of India?

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’.


Harsha said...

If one concentrates only on the positive aspects of a person, then I am sure each of the 1 billion Indians and even People of Indian Origin staying abroad, or People of Italian origin in India would look to be equally good candidates to become to the PM of India..

Leave apart language, you can yourself judge how difficult was it for you to defend her acts of corruption and lack of vision.

Vinay Kumar said...

people like mayawati are not at all good for such a big and responsible post..that "english" part was really good..i don't know how many of us thought abt that..a good point yaar...and she will only increase more corruption if somehow she becomes her "DAULAT ke BETI"..

Prasoon Joshi said...

@Harsha and Vinay:
Well dude, she does have a vision for India. Initially it was only for the have-nots and now slowly (as she is growing), her vision is expanding too. About corruption, she does have a big appetite but it is common in India. Also, when one reaches a post like the PM the personal gains takes a back stand (at least as far as money is concerned).

ruchira said...

hey prasoon u r becoming too much optimistic about ms mayawati holding India's biggest post... abt corruption u cant giv a post to a person wen u knw the misuse part of it just because oder wud also misuse it.. nxt if corruption and all oder thngs make u a big person in politics its nt very commendable in my opinion. ya to work towards wat she thot as a child in a poor family is gud but thn comparing manmohan singh and mayawati for the same post n fr tht matter oder earlier prime ministers of India am sry to say but no justification can bring her even equivalent to them..

Prasoon Joshi said...

I would be out of my mind if I try to compare Mr. Manmohan Singh with Ms. Mayawati on the intellectual front, but, if we speak of better leaders I think Behenji outshines our PM by any standards.
Corruption is a big concern. In a land where everyone is corrupt it makes it very difficult for the voters like us. Ruchira you are a smart person, I'm sure you'll use your vote judiciously!

Anonymous said...

hey prasoon.. Leave english, corruption and all black marks.. dont you think that she will be partial to dalit group?? already the SC/ST reservation in elite institutions had been a big torment for us, n if she becomes the PM, then one can imagine how ruthless the life would be for a common middle class man who hails from a FC.
Moreover she doesnt have the aura.. I dont say beauty.. but the X-factor that convinces the people. Believe it or not but looks do play a major role when it comes to voting. N i wont vote for a lady who is a look alike of phulan devi. Probably she should portray herself in a better way.

Prasoon Joshi said...

Hey Anon :)
The form of reservation we follow in India is flawed. I'm sure there are better ways of providing opportunities to the underprivileged, giving them a 'no-effort-ride' to responsible positions in simply not the thing to be done in a progressive society. Mayawati, in the later years, has been becoming a little soft on reservation (she is no more just a 'dalit neta' she owes to every section of the Indian society her responsibility). If she does take up a responsible position I'm sure she would do better than Mr. Arun Singh! Reservation has become a very sensitive and volatile agenda for elections nowadays and all political parties are trying to tread carefully.
About 'aura', well, I totally agree. A leader needs to have aura. I'm yet to meet Mayawati face to face so I can't really be a judge of that but surely beauty and aura are distinct (in my opinion) and I have certain examples in support. Mr. Narayan Murthi (Infosys), Mr. Karunanidhi (he does have an aura in TN), Mother Terresa (love=aura? may be!).
Do looks really play a major role? People of India are still apprehensive about the dimpled cheek, cute 'yuvraj' of congress but they are coming out in large numbers to support Varun Gandhi (where I think even the 'inner beauty' is sold to get cheap hindutva vote banks).
I'm not asking you to vote for Mayawati (why should I?). Would you vote for a party or an individual? Would you vote for aura? looks? beauty? performance? promise? YOU DECIDE. ITS YOUR VOTE!

Shrinivas said...

Why shouldnt she be the PM????

you will find your answers here :

and here: