Monday, March 19, 2018

Bits and Pieces – As I Please – 13

Bits and Pieces – As I Please – 13

Grammar of Anarchy – Butshikni - It is a matter of remorse and worry, of late, some anti-social and misguided lot have again started a dangerous game of removing, tarnishing, damaging of the statues of the recognized social and political icons belonging to diverse school of thoughts. This uncalled for and ill-conceived pursuit was, allegedly, started by the right wing BJP/RSS activists in the various towns of Tripura by removing the statues of Communist leader Vladimir Lenin in the wake of their electoral victory over the Leftist parties in the recent state elections. The Right-wingers under the explicit support of the political dispensation including the Governor of the State of Tripura tended to justify the misdeeds of a few without realizing the inherent danger and negative fallout of this unconstitutional behaviour.  Obviously, the fire spread and resulted in avoidable violence. The chain reaction started. In West Bengal, the statue of Syama Prasad Mookerjee was tarnished, allegedly, by the Lifer-winger. The statue of E.V. Ramaswamy Periyar was damaged somewhere in Tamil Nadu. There are reports that statues of Babasaheb Ambedkar in Meerut in UP and the statue of Mahatma Gandhi somewhere in Kerala were also desecrated by anti social elements. What do we want to prove? The perpetrators of the crime in Tripura justify their action and argue that Lenin was not an Indian icon and as such did not deserve any honour in India. It is a dangerous and lop-sided argument which requires immediate refutation. It is recorded history that Lenin was one of the first international personalities who supported Bal Gangadhar Tilak in his famous assertion “Swaraj is my birth- right”. In an article “Lenin, too, inspired our freedom struggle “in the Tribune of March 8, 2018, S.N. Sahu wrote, “Lokmanya Tilak, who electrified the nation by his slogan "Swaraj is my birthright", commanded admiration from Lenin for his role in standing against British imperialism and colonial rule which devastated India. When Tilak was charged with sedition and sentenced to six years' imprisonment in Burma, Lenin described it as "infamous sentence pronounced by the British jackals on the Indian democrat Tilak." In hailing Tilak as a democrat and condemning his unjust treatment at the hands of the British, Lenin made invaluable contributions in recognizing the leadership of
In Edinbrgh (Scotland)
India in the first decade of the 20th century for the cause of India's freedom.”  The chief architect of the Indian constitution Dr. B. R. Ambedkar warned us not to indulge in unconstitutional methods to achieve political goals and get our grievances redressed, if we want to save our freedom. S.N. Sahu has rightly quoted Babasaheb Ambedkar to make its point in this regard, “
Dr Ambedkar had cautioned that any attempt to eschew constitutional method on the part of people and political formations would result in the grammar of anarchy. The dismantling of the statue of Lenin is an affront to the ethos of the freedom struggle and our Constitution.”

We Indians, particularly the self-confessed Rashtrabhagats, feel proud to see the statues of Indian icons, inter alia, Vivekananda, Gandhi, Tagore, and Ambedkar in foreign lands. But it gets the
At Prague (Czech Republic)
other way round with Vladimir Lenin and others. We must shed this duplicity. I have the pleasure to become a part of honours conferred on Indian icons abroad many a times during my diplomatic career. I myself unveiled the statue of Rabindranath Tagore in the famous Thakurova square in Prague, Czech Republic. I myself put the plaque – “Gandhi Avenue” to name a street adjoining a park in Edinburgh (Scotland) in UK which adores a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. I have had opportunities to see the statues of Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Indira Gandhi in Sofia (Bulgaria) and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in Tokyo (Japan). These statues justify and register our interaction with friendly countries in the course of diplomatic process. A unique honour comes to my mind when I see and read that Babasaheb Ambedkar’s statues are coming up in various cities all over the world without any government backup and diplomatic intervention. It is a matter of satisfaction to see that one of greatest icons of India is getting spontaneous recognition internationally.

This mindless exercise of Butshikini- desecration or breaking of statues of leaders must stop forthwith otherwise it will amount to inviting trouble to our democratic and liberal credential.

Mayawati – Beginning of an end – I am not a political soothsayer but certain things are gradually becoming clear like the writing on the wall. The things have come a full circle for the BSP, it seems. I am pretty certain that my views will not find an easy understanding and appreciation with several of my friends in the BSP and the followers of Babu Kanshi Ram. But, nevertheless, somebody should speak and see the ground realities. BSP has reached its nadir, to my mind. Whereas I will tend to say that BSP needs
 Behan Mayawati
adjustment; and understanding with the left of the centre outfits and also minority parties is needed in view of the electoral realities. Any trunk with Samajwadi Party is untenable given the hard ground realities and social underpinnings in the wake of animosity of long standing between the two parties. The recent win-win situation for the co-operation and joining of hands in the two parliamentary by-elections in UP does not convey anything which could bring about any long term arrangement between the traditional foes and opponents. In the case of partnership with SP or Congress, the major players in UP, BSP lose its identity and base. As usual, BSP votes may be transferred to SP or Congress but it is doubtful that their votes will be transferred to BSP. It is harsh ground reality which should not be ignored. BSP may go along with smaller players like Left parties and minority outfits like AIMIM of
Asaduddin Owaisi. If BSP has to survive and stay, it has to maintain and protect its own identity. But it is easier said than done. Mayawati, I think, has out-lived her usefulness and ability to do anything concrete, if we go by her political behavior and delivery. I share this analysis at the risk of being dubbed as anti community and going against the grain. In the changing political scenario, the slogans like “Sarvjan Samaj” and “Bahujan Samaj” have lost efficacy and relevance. Realistic polarization on social and economic issues is needed. Mayawati could not retain and sustain the political pragmatism and long term vision of her mentor Babu Kanshi Ram and icon Babasaheb Ambedkar. The BSP cadre has scattered and has been attracted by other greener pastures. Mayawati could not provide any second line of leadership. BSP, under her leadership, has become insular. It seems, she doesn’t have much interest beyond UP. The BSP cadres have been over-taken by the natural fatigue. It is going the RPI way, unfortunately. As the legacy of Babasaheb was owned and flouted by the Congress and later by others to sideline RPI, the same is happening for the legacy of Babu Kanshi Ram. Both the Congress and the BJP are falling on each other to own, for their limited agenda, the legacy of Babu Kanshi Ram, of late. Mayawati is more interested and concerned to save her own skin and personal interests. It is becoming increasingly evident that she has lost the will and capacity to stand and defend the community. I have personal respect for Mayawati but I cannot imagine that a national leader of her standing, CM of UP for four times and MP of both the Houses of Parliament for several years, is condemned to read prepared and dictated speeches at ordinary public meetings. She has lost the confidence and the public touch. She feels more comfortable sitting on designated sofas under Z-plus security. These trappings tend to distance her from the ground realities and the masses to which she claims to belong. I am writing these harsh things with lot of pain and concern with the hope:
हर दर्दमंद दिल को रोना मेरा रुला दे;
बेहोश जो पड़ें हैं शायद उने जगा दें !


  1. Very realistic interpretation of Mayawati's working. Shedoes not seem to have learnt anything from her past mistakes.