Three months have passed since BJP-BSP combine formed the government under the leadership of Ms.Mayawati. While ignoring the inherent political opportunism of the combine, protagonists of the government were of the view that with this experiment the continued instability in UP will come to an end and law and order situation will definitely improve. They were also of the view that interests of all segments of the society will be cared for while special emphasis will be given for the protection of the dalits and other sections of the poor. The task of democratic reforms and development will get momentum.
Restoration of law and order was of prime concern since it had become a political question during President's rule and Home Minister at that time had also accepted that state is speedily heading towards anarchy.
Inspite of all rhetorics by Ms. Mayawati, law and order situation is deteriorating day by day, leave alone its improvement. According to State Crime Record Bureau, in April'97 alone 116 dalits have been killed and 474 women, majority of whom were from dalit and weaker sections of the society, have been raped. Last year in the same month these numbers were 109 and 414 respectively. However this difference does not depict real picture because Mayawati is keen that less cases should be lodged at police stations and police officers like Arun Kumar who do not obey this have been punished. In fact, the present assembly itself is under the grip of mafia-criminal forces and many ministers of the government are underworld dons . In this situation there is no logic in arresting about one lakh people under NSA and other black laws in the name of undoing the crime. In the name of law and order restoration the transfer-posting industry is flourishing and this deepens the instability and anarchy in the state. The political stability is under threat from the political infighting in BJP itself. In the month of June, the process of political instability accelerated when ex-CM of BJP, Mr. Kalyan Singh openly criticised not only Mayawati government but also his colleagues who stood in favour of the government. Secondly, the Samajwadi Party on the other hand is trying to use the situation to demand dissolution of state government. Mulayam has taken movemental initiative opposing the repression of his cadres and against SC-ST Act. Ex-PM H.D. Deve Gowda also, seeking his political revival, has declared that he would hold fast-unto-death from coming 15 August in case the repression on SP cadres is not stopped. In a nutshell, the state is still not only under the shadow of political instability but the latter is growing.
Mulayam and Kalyan are united in opposing SC-ST Act. And this has an element of the beginning of a new phase of politics basing on propertied classes of backwards and upper castes. Though the BJP leadership is trying its best to carry along this combine, both sides are not confident about its political longevity.
Many declarations and initiatives on the part of Mayawati are products of this psyche of political instability. For instance, creation of many new districts has been declared by the government but the government has no concrete planning to guarantee more than 1200 crore rupees for the purpose. On the other hand, to consolidate and expand her mass base, Mayawati has given much emphasis for the development of Ambedkar village and the distribution of surplus land. However, this campaign is being carried on in Congress style just to check the disillusionment of dalit masses. But present balance of class forces will not allow any substantial change in their real life. Rather feudal oppression has escalated against them. Wherever our party has taken mass initiative for its implementation, it became the target of not only feudal forces but of government machinery as well. Besides rural areas, educational institutions are also witnessing the repression of dalits and instead of punishing the goons, the government is suppressing the forces fighting for the downtrodden. In Pilibhit district, a tribal, Rangilal died because of torture by the forest officials and many dalit students have been forced to leave Birla hostel in BHU because of the goondaism of ABVP.
Instead of fighting brahminical symbols and rituals, the BSP is busy practising neo-brahminism as reflected in their decision to build idols, parks and temples. On the other front of democratic reforms and development, the government has nothing concrete to offer. Constitution of women's commission, guaranteeing minimum wages, reopening of factories and payment to cane-growers - on these issues government is not worried at all. Feudal forces are benefited much and their morale is boosted at the ground level and the statement of BJP president that dalits are only secure if they remain under the cobra-hood, reflects this truth. This statement was in response to Kanshi Ram calling the BJP 'Cobra' party.
The main oppositional force, Mulayam, does not have any positive programme whatsoever to combat the government's misdeeds. Mulayam's strategy to fight this government is to create such a situation where the state government could be dissolved by the central government and to engineer a split in BJP by taking Kalyan Singh on his side. This is a sort of negative politics. Ironically, traditional left is still dancing to the old tune following the track of Mulayam instead of taking any independent step for mass mobilisation, while it is crystal clear that depending totally on Mulayam the rise of communal forces could not be arrested. There are many issues of democratic reform and development where left can take bold initiatives and gather the forces around it. Mulayam's hue and cry against SC-ST Act does not carry much meaning since this is a central legislation and if his crusade doesn't have any hidden political motive, then why Mulayam whips up anti-dalit frenzy in UP instead of compelling UF to scrap it. We are opposed to any attempt to scrap this Act and abhor the malicious campaign conducted by SP against Dr. Ambedkar.
To unleash the initiative of toiling masses, to develop struggle for democratic reform and development at grassroots level and to give it a state-wide character is the need of the hour. Our party is striving in this direction. Left and democratic forces are uniting with us at grassroots-level movements and in the current phase of political development, the communist elements, particularly from CPI(M), are coming closer to us and taking the membership of our party.
--Akhilendra Pratap Singh