Mayawati did it again. It seems Mayawati can’t be kept away from news for longer period of time. This time she is on the prime time news for the garland she got from her loyal supporters on the occasion of the 25th year celebration of BSP. The garland was made up of only Rs 1000 notes. When I heard the news, it didn’t appeal me to think much about it. After all, haven’t we seen the politicians wearing small garlands made up of notes? I had never imagined that the garland would be such a big one in size. When I saw the enormous garland on the TV, I was thankful to god that I didn’t miss the view of the extra-ordinary display of power and authority by the CM of one of the poorest states of India.
Why? Why Mayawati took such a step to show her power? Well, here is my theory. This was a sign of her future plans. In fact, if you analyse what she said in that function, you can clearly get a sense of her motives. She is planning for the 2012 assembly elections and she is trying to win the hearts of her core constituency- the Dalits. In that rally, she didn’t speak anything for the upper caste; spoke only about Dalits. It is important to remember that in the last elections she had got a remarkable victory by the support of the upper castes as well as the dalits. But this time around her focus is back on the dalits, at least for the time being she is not prepared to leave the dalit vote-bank.
Mayawati knows that the support of upper castes/ middle class for her was due to the misrule of the mulayam singh and this support may transfer to others due to her misrule. So you can understand why she is desperate. Her gimmicks; may it be the building statues or the recent garland one, the message behind these is the empowerment of dalits or maybe that’s the message the dalits get. A poor, uneducated dalit sees this tokenism as the power in the hands of his/her representative. Mayawati is the live example in front of them showing how a dalit can achieve success, wealth and reputation. Mayawati needs to do this because she knows that this vote bank is slipping to the congress’ side due to the gimmicks of the heir apparent of the congress, Rahul Gandhi. He keeps on visiting dalit houses, eats and sleeps there. Though these acts are mere gimmicks as there is no real utility, voters of India have history of being fooled by such gimmicks. To counter Rahul’s gimmicks, Mayawati who is better known as Malawati now a days, brought this mala (garland) gimmick to the front.
You may be thinking that Rahul’s acts are better than those of Maya’s. Then, why will the dalits stay with her? The answer is mayawati is still someone from the same community and Rahul Gandhi is an outsider or upper caste. Dalits believe that upper castes ruined their lives, so they are happy with money in the hands of their representative Mayawati. Mayawati’s power is the symbol of their aspirations. And they can’t believe an upper caste Rahul.
In this context, I can remember a story that was in our syllabus in class 10th. The message of the story was that when rich people try to come down from their level to a poor man’s level so that the poor feels good, at that time it actually hurts the poor a lot because he gets reminded that he is poor. Rahul’s actions are seen by dalits in the same context. So they prefer “Dalit Ki Beti” (though “Daulat Ki Beti” now) to have all the power rather than an upper caste.