Sunday, January 25, 2009

S.C. Mishra's lost letter to Mayawati


Editorial Note:


Currently we are faced with a situation where all parties practise vote bank politics.  Parties try to get votes by either supporting or opposing  specific caste or  religion based vote-banks.  In addition,  our elections are getting increasing multi-polar so a cleverly cobbled together coalition of vote banks totalling 30-35% can result in a party or front  achieving an  absolute majority. The  "letter" below  represents  a  hypothetical but plausible realpolitik scenario.  The radical centrist admires Mayawati's chutzpah, but would not neccesarily support the strategy suggested below for he is sympathetic to the Mandal report.


P.S.   S.C. Mishra is a Brahmin BSP leader from UP considered the architect of Mayawati's Dalit, Brahmin, Muslim coalition which won an absolute majority with less than 30% of the popular vote in 2007.



Dear Behenji,


             We have achieved a great victory under you wise  leadership  when we won an absolute majority in the UP Vidhan  Sabha by creating  "new" coalition of Dalits, Brahmins & Muslims. We have taken the traditional Congress coalition and turned it upside down  achieving a great victory for the Dalit cause.


            We know your destiny is to become  the Prime Minister of India by winning the national elections.  However, as results in a number  of other state elections have shown,  the BSP can be a spoiler (mainly for the Congress)  on many occasions may be difficult for the BSP to  make a major mark on the national stage. I humbly submit that we can  achieve our goal and  transform national  politics  forever,  if  you can take a single bold step.  


            The BSP should take a stand AGAINST the recommendations of  the  Mandal commission !


            It  appears shocking at  the outset that  a party inspired by Ambedkar would take a stance against caste based reservation.  In fact,  every major party  across the political spectrum whether it is the BJP, Congress or the left  supports  the  recommendation of  the  Mandal commission because no party can ignore the fact that 40%-50% of the population of India are OBCs (The main beneficiaries of  Mandal).   No party can expect to survive ignoring this vote bank. 


             However,  there exists an estimated 20% Anti-Mandal vote bank,  consisting of the upper castes.  Currently,  no political party represents this  "merit" vote bank because everyone supports Mandal.   If  a political party promised to roll back Mandal it would get the en-bloc support of  this vote bank.  In addition, you will achieve "instant" credibility among the intelligentsia who dominate the media. I am sure there will be many people hailing you as India's "Barack Obama".  Of course we will lose some OBC support, but we don't get that much OBC support anyway. We just need to change our slogan Jai Bhim, Jai Parasuram to Jai Bhim, Jai Shri Ram.

             By taking an anti-Mandal stance, and retaining the  BSP's  20% dalit vote bank,  we can cross  the  40%  threshold  in a  national  election which should be sufficient for an absolute majority in a three way race.   Of course,  BSP would need to carefully select candidates   using caste and  "merit" considerations but this is something which we are already doing.


             I am sure you will lead the BSP to a great  victory in the next Lok Sabha elections, and fulfill your destiny by becoming the Prime Minister of India.   

Forever you servant,

S.C. Mishra











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