Frank Huzur, based in New Delhi has sent us this exclusive report on the Indian elections – his impressions and observations that should interest South Asian readers.
THE PRINCE IN THE CROWD: A STAR IS BORN
One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one. A good politician is quite unthinkable as an honest burglar. So said American author an humorist Henry Miller of the BlackSpring fame once upon a time! Miller was an active member of Socialist Party in Manhattan, New York City and admired socialist Hubert Harrison., the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time. A seminal and influential thinker who encouraged the development of class consciousness among working people, positive race consciousness among Black people, secular humanism, modern thinking and intellectual independence! Words of Miller and ideas of Harrison were tearing into my flesh when I was returning from Lahore and Islamabad after some interactive sessions with Imran Khan, founder-chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Much before visiting Pakistan, while I was in London, I had decided to taste the bud of heat and dust of Indian Parliamentary elections in its own backyard and the opportunity was knocking at my door due to one magnificent contender who had offered the chance to observe the rites and rituals of World largest democracy from his own backyard.
Here I was in the Indian Capital, hurtling to the city of Taj Mahal on the way to Firozabad and Kannauj, the two Parliamentary constituencies out of 543 across the country where its chief contender Akhilesh Yadav was expecting me. Both his constituencies, Firozabad, city of glass ware and bangles and Kannauj, were going to polls on 7th of May, the very day India only Nobel Laureate in Literature Rabindra Nath Tagore was born over 100 years ago.
The journey from New Delhi to Agra is less than 300 kilometers by train. The sweltering heat of May evaporated in smoggy evening of the city of Taj Mahal when Rajeev Yadav, maternal cousin of Akhilesh Yadav, received me with open arms. A six feet tall, lean, urbane and genial countenance, Rajeev has striking resemblance with a metrosexual or ubersexual Indian youth. Yet, he is different so much as his political consciousness is vastly mature in comparison with young freaks languishing in the cool confines of Coffee Café Day of urbane hot spots across the country. Over the years, he has carved his niche in construction business, and takes pride in saying, “Someone in the family should earn to support the political ambitions of other siblings”.
It was Rajeev who picked me up from Holiday Inn in Agra and escorted to dusty stretch of Firozabad Government Higher Secondary School where a huge crowd of people, from all walks of life, had assembled to receive Akhilesh Yadav. Akhilesh alias Tipu as he is hailed in affectionate band of swarming supporters, was about to land in his choppers from Kannauj. Just about as the chopper begun its descent on the landing pad amidst rising pillars of dust-storm, excitement amongst the crowd goes wild. A vast army of teen-age supporters of Samajwadi Party (Socialist) draped in red cap and green-red flag of the party with its symbol-Bicycle emblazoned on its heart—get into their acts, pushing and shoving for the glimpse of their youth icon. Nudging and pushing turns into wild screaming when Akhilesh gets off the chopper. He is mobbed by the crowd of supporters, more than half of them apparently would not be allowed to buy a cigarette as their countenance suggest.
Firozabad is just a 45-minute drive east of the city of Taj Mahal by car. Nearly half the population profess Islam in this glassware capital of India, which tempts with its striking hues of glass bangles and bracelets. Tipu chose the constituency after Kannauj more out of empathy than proximity to his native village of Saifai (It is further 30 kilometers west of Firozabad). Hundreds of thousands of workers in 300 glass factories polish and paint the glass bangles in a wretched circumstance. There was a challenge before him inasmuch as there was flood of entreaties from the huge mass of affected people to usher them in a new era. Akhilesh threw his hat in the ring, with solemn promise of bringing revolutionary change to lives of people who ‘don’t breathe air, but glass’, as the legend goes.
In the previous Assembly elections which Samajwadi Party lost to Maywati, the party lost all the seven Assembly seats in Firozabad. Taking the plunge also allows Akhilesh to exact a stifling revenge from his father’s principal rival in political battlefield of Uttar Pradesh.
There is shyness cloaking a determination in him, but he is up for the challenge.
He is of average height, Salman Khan height, swarthy in complexion, nose shrapnel-like beak redolent of his father! Getting into brisk strides, his khadi shalwar kameez soiled by thousands of embraces, yet he smiles radiating hope and reason. His pair of black shoes are covered in thick speck of dust, and he gives damn to them. From a close quarter he would appear blushing, but it can be misleading. There is no flush or pride or ego in his demeanour as he goes about the business of entertaining his audience.
Born a Scorpio, he shares his zodiac with two great Indian Prime Ministers of yore, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and quite a galaxy of achievers, such as Pablo Picasso, Charles de Gaulle, Robert Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn, Marie Antoinette and Richard Burton.
His father, once upon a time, was hailed as the Rafik-ul-Mulk for his unflinching defence of Muslim human rights in the face of relentless onslaught from fanatic Hindu hardliners. When Babri Mosque was demolished in the afternoon of 6 December 1992, Mulayam Singh Yadav had tears in his eyes, uncontrollable stream of tears. The secular press hurled upon him epithet of ‘Maulana Mulayam’.
Akhilesh is an environmental engineer by training. He learnt the green craft first at University of Mysore, and then at Sydney University, Australia. Ahead of entering the ramparts of university, he romanced with football and watermelon in orchards of Etawa, Saifai and green fields of Dholpur military school. In his political innings, he still has very green thumbs. He takes pride in producing some beautiful gardens, and loves to water with love and care in his white house at Saifai.
His father gave him a nickname—Tipu. Tipu hates to be rude, he loves people. Large crowds enthralls him as he breaks into his speech with all the gentle, easy manner of his father, working up the crowd in good-natured, pleasant accent of Awadhi. He doesn’t sulk. At times, he comes forth as incredibly naïve and gullible, but he talks his ear off. Like all love, beauty and sweetness and light, he throws the crowd in raptures when he roars in the Ferozabad town square meeting, “ A cycle can be found in every home of Firozabad and Kannauj, as much as in India, but an elephant will be luxury. Only a handful of privileged can afford them. In sizzling summer, all ponds are dry, so no lotus can bloom”.
His swinging of the metaphor drives the crowd crazy. Tipu is referring to election symbol of his party, Cycle, and then to his rivals, Elepahnt of Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati and Lotus- Kamal, of Bhartiyal Janta Party.
In the course of forty days of campaign trails, Akhilesh charmed the electorate by leading a cycle rally, with his young supporters of Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha (youth brigade) leading the charge. In Firozabad, he was exasperated to find quite a few supporters cheering him on motorbike. His patience ran roughshod over their political in-correctness, as he takes them to task for breach of discipline. His cycle is not an ordinary cycle like hero ranger, but an imported Swedish one, which is quite a sight atop his Pajero when he is still ahead of hitting the roads.
As his caravan of cycle painted in red and green snakes through the lanes and bylanes of crowded bazaars of Firozabad, pints of perspiration hanging down his soggy head and heart doesn’t deter him from stopping on the way to hold a motley gathering of party managers and workers in tight embrace. The cavalcade of motor vehicles and bicycles is on its way to Saifai, his native village. The festering heat of May is enough to pickle one’s brains. Heat and dust of the campaign loses its slither and somber as Akhilesh enters the green environs of Saifai. Nowhere does the village looks like a village, as metalled road and row of concrete building belies the impression of a dusty village.
Saifai tells the tale of Samajwadi Party ascent into corridors of power over the years. The White House, a marble-stone structure with a sprawling green lawn which houses Akhilesh in his moments of recess is an architectural delight as much as it is environmental paradise. Under the horizontal foyer, a row of white plastic chairs are in place to seat the young contender for an audience with select group of party managers and a handful of journalists.
Unlike any other Indian politicians who have had a presence in Assembly or Parliament, there are no trace of scroungers and free-loaders in search of sweets and buns around Akhilesh. His poll managers and assistants are English speaking young guns, with laptop in tow to rattle out figures of every single booth out of over 3,000 going to polls. He doesn’t have stomach for gossip and tittle-tattle. With evening crimson sky fading away, cries of twittering songbirds-nightingale and cuckoo pierce the ears. Tipu enjoys the symphony as he points out he waits to hear the music in the early hours of dusk and the dawn. He has great appetite for these birds, just as he has for fluttering feathers of cranes (saras), the tallest flier who are disappearing fast from the wetlands of Saifai and adjoining regions.
Once upon a time the wetlands of Saifai and Etawa hosted almost sixty percent of the world cranes population. Alas, this tallest flying bird is an extinct species. Tipu feels this is another challenge to save the ecology and the environment in his hamlet, which has acquired fresh halo from its once non-descript existence. Farmers of the area consider cranes auspicious for their loyalty-unto-death to their partners, as the bird is still worshipped by newly-married couples. Cranes are glorious for living in pairs and never split till their death, nor do they change their partners.
Their story is quite dramatic in heart of political headquarters of India’s powerful Samajwadi Party and its heir apparent Akhilesh Yadav realizes the punch of simple, straightforward no-theatrics.
Akhilesh represents the New Democrats in the fast evolving politics of India in the New Century. Ideologically he can be a centrist and identifies more with more moderate social and cultural positions with neo-liberal fiscal values. Critics and admirers alike liken him to a perfect foil to rising Gandhi scion, Rahul Gandhi for the future battle of highest seat of the land. There are growing belly of undercurrents in UP politics, which suggest he is a contender to the throne and Congress general secretary will have to catch a tartar in him tomorrow. The only glitch is national awakening to the reality bites of Akhilesh Yadav style of politics, which can only be ensured with blanket presence of his Socialist party.
He doesn’t want to keep himself out of touch. He keeps himself abreast and in constant agitation to make sense of shift in economic policy and ideas of governance. Technology is no teaser, as he toys with the idea of wiring the party cadre. It was Akhilesh penchant for the software which put Samajwadi Party ahead of all the existing political parties in India in launching the web portals of the party in mid ‘90s though he was just a little over the age of a major. His party could beat even the BJP in putting its net act together and brighter, though the credit couldn’t go much to the party for apparent reasons.
He is his father’s son in many ways. He learnt his political craft under his shadow. However, Akhilesh swears by ideology of his idol, Ram Manohar Lohia, who enjoys exalted status in socialist folklore of India for moving the first no-confidence motion against the Nehru government, which had by then been in office for 16 years!
“My father initiated me into socialist ideals of Lohia since early days. It was my good fortune to contest my inaugural elections for Indian Parliament from Kannauj where from Ram Manohar Lohia was twice elected to Parliament”.
Tipu talks about the lethal influence Lohia has had on Indian psyche, espcially in the aftermath of Sino-India war. “He astounded everyone by calling for India to produce the bomb, after the Chinese aggression of 1962. He was anti-English, saying that the British ruled India with bullet and language (bandhook ki goli aur angrezi ki boli). High-caste, wealth, and knowledge of English are the three requisites, with anyone possessing two of these belonging to the ruling class can dream of utopian life”, beams Akhilesh, saying the definition still holds tight in modern India.
Lohia dreamt of a caste-free India, Akhilesh only feels more passion to carry the legacy forward.
Unlike Lohia, he would not want to abolish private schools. However, he would want to establish upgraded municipal (government) schools which would give equal academic opportunity to students of all castes. There is earnest desire in him to eradicate the divisions created by the caste system.
There was quite an uproarious scene in national media when election manifesto of Socialist (Samajwadi Party) was unveiled. The manifesto turned heads for comedy of errors where it was mentioned that the party wants blanket ban on use of computer and English education. It was a rude awakening to Indian middle class. Akhilesh was baffled over the printer’s devil impact. It was completely chaotic and nonsensical to band of critics. “The party is never against English education. I have studied outside, in Sydney University, know the importance of English. The party was only trying to underline that English shouldn’t become compulsory medium of instructions. Computer education is unavoidable, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of skilled labourers. I want uniform education policy for all Indians. Let all of them study the same medium, whether English or Hindi”.
The young Prince of Saifai is enamoured of The Third Way, a political position attempting to look beyond or transcend left-wing and right-wing politics, and rather advocates a mix of some left-wing and right-wing policies. Third Way represents a centrist compromise between Capitalism and Socialism or between market liberalism and democratic socialism.
Akhilesh claims, “Third Way represents a synthesis of these competing viewpoints, distinct from and superior to both of its sources, rather than simply a compromise or mixture”. The ‘Third Way’ approach has been adopted by social liberals and some social democrats in many Western liberal democracies
Like a Utopian Socialists, the one including Robert Owen, Tipu tries to find socialist factories and other structures within a capitalist society. He says Henri de Saint Simon, the first individual to coin the term socialism, was the originator of technocracy and industrial planning. The first socialists predicted a world improved by harnessing technology and combining it with better social organization, and many contemporary socialists share this belief. Early socialist thinkers tended to favor more authentic meritocracy, while many modern socialists have a more egalitarian approach.
He wants to improve the condition of every member of society, even that of the most favored. Hence, he habitually appeals to society at large, without distinction of class; nay, by preference, to the ruling class. Moreover, he wants gender equality to be supreme, with both men and women enjoying equal benefits and chance to harness their potential.
His public addresses in twang of local lingo talks about turning work into play. He envisages units of people based on a theory of passions and of their combination. Though his voice over phone sound a little silken, his silver tongues rolls in deep baritone over public address system. He speaks in husky tone and tenor. He is so glibly persuasive in crowd he can talk people into buying things they couldn’t possibly even use. He believes in laying his own foundation and building his own empire, major or minor as he didn’t solicit the support of his heavyweight father for campaigning in Kannauj and Firozabad. He walked straight with pride of building over two dozen bridges (The Bridge on the River Koli) and a state-of-the-art hospital in Kannauj where he won with over three lakh votes last time, enough to bring him glory, so has he been hassle-free in his thought of pulling off in Firozabad on his own.
He is consistent in reminding his people about his roots. More than his roots, he is very absolute in adhering to ideologies of his Socialist father and idols. He wish to imagine a society for his people where there is no money, no want, no poverty, no crime, no disease or ignorance in human society; virtually everyone works for the advancement of all humanity as well as the rest of the Federation.
In recent times, his party, Socialist Party, has earned some flak for its indiscriminate tilt towards glamour icons. Furthermore, quite a great deal of corporate influence is attributed to dilution in socialist agenda of the party. Akhilesh feels these are vagaries of changing times. Not much should be read into glamour spread, as nearly all the political outfits in India are vulnerable to the phenomena.
As a matter of fact, the original Socialist Party had its roots in the Congress Socialist Party (CSP), the socialist caucus of the Indian National Congress, which fused in 1948 with the Bolshevik-Leninist Party of India, Ceylon and Burma (BLPI). Hector Abhayavardhana of the BLPI became General Secretary of the new party. The Socialist Party was founded not long after India’s independence when Jayprakash Narayan, Basawon Singh, Acharya Narendra Dev led the CSP out of Congress. At the time, Congress’s leader Jawaharlal Nehru was a democratic socialist whose sentiments were widely admired by the rank and file of the CSP, but they objected to his apparent unwillingness to act decisively in favour of democratic socialism or to renounce his dependence upon the conservative Hindu wing of the party represented by Sardar Vallabhai Patel or C. Rajagopalachari..
Akhilesh swears to preserve the socialist and secular character of his party intact against all odds.
He treasures his maiden rendezvous with former US President Bill Clinton. “Meetign with Clinton was quite an experience. The Congress party launched an offensive campaign in order to dissuade Bill Clinton from visiting Uttar Pradesh. So much so that the party wrote a letter urging Clinton to boycott the visit, saying Samajwadi Party members are not good people. Clinton Foundation carried out its own research and agreed to visit UP. The people in Congress party were jealous. When Clinton learnt that I am a member of Indian Parliament, he was quite amused and surprised. He emphasized socialist politics is need of the hour”.
Being a youth icon and scion of a powerful secular leader of Uttar Pradesh, which is home to nearly half the Muslim population of India, he realizes he has greater challenges on hands. As the dust over Mumbai attacks settles down, he doesn’t fall in the trap of vilifying the Muslim community. Muslim youths adore him for his gentle manner and expressive personality. With Indo-Pakistan bilateral relation in the bind, he would like to do the needful to create the positive vibes. At a time when the world is watching with bated breath the mass exodus of people in Swat, Mingora and Dir, Akhilesh is warning the situation shouldn’t resemble that of Darfur and Rawanda, as it might affect our own shores.
In his techno-savvy style, as he maintains lively link with strangers and acquaintances rocking on social networking sites like Facebook and Orkut, not to mention his E 71 Nokia and Blackberry, the Generation Next in Indian democracy is looking up to his persuasive talks and debating skills to force more reason and hope in Indian Parliament. Akhilesh may have inherited wealth and political position and levers of influence, but he has seldom rested on his family laurels. He has proven he has the ability to stack up gold pieces on his own.
He is valiant and charitable in his socio-political pursuits without being naïve about them. At end of the day, he is a family man, as he prances around with his twin son-daughter duo, born out of his better half, Dimple, whom he married out of his choice. He has soft heart, but not soft-head. He dotes on legacy and memorials of Abhrahm Lincoln, the 16th president of America, and dreams of emulating his feats for millions of downtrodden who are still doomed to live like slaves in his state, let alone rest of the country, and who are called dalits. Like Lincolin, he is determined to fight fiercely for the cause. For him, dalits living in deprivation are heart of darkness, and it is his moral duty to wipe out these heart of darkness from not only Uttar Pradesh, but from entire country. He doesn’t tolerate people of low intelligence and limited compassion. Little wonder he is doing everything to bring shine to health and education barometer in his capacity.
25 responses to “Indian Elections: ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH AKHILESH YADAV”
Let’s leave aside Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brave defence of the minority; let us salute him for that, even support him for that. What else can we support him for?
For pushing Yadavs for out-of-turn promotion when the Defence Minister?
For sending a goon squad to assault his political rival, and nearly finishing her off?
For breeding huge oceans of black money and creating a surrogate business empire which has huge swathes of land, trucking companies, insurance and finance organisations, even (until recently) an airline?
For ruthless Luddite preaching against English (arch-hypocrite that he is) and the use of computers?
Above all, for the shameless playing of the communal card in selecting his candidates – Sanjay Dutt, Nafisa Ali-Sodhi?
Sorry, neither Tipu’s Dad nor Tipu cuts any ice with the electorate. Time they bowed out. And time they took that buffoon Amar Singh with them. Add the Bachchans, Jaya Prada and the rag tag hanging on to powerful people with them.
And you can stop grinning at the English. This isn’t representative of Indian journalistic English. Don’t know where you dug him up from.
Hard to understand why this piece is here on PTH.Having travelled and lived in the regions that Mulayam and his cronies hold sway in, I can say with confidence that this politician and his son are known for things and acts that are the exact opposite of what this author is trying to portray.Mulayam is nobody’s friend,not the Muslims not the lower castes.He uses both,however, for his caste and communal card brand of politics.Guns,ill-goten wealth and goondagiri are the hall marks of the father-son duo.I don’t know what agenda this author has in trying to portray them as modern day Ram Manohar Lohias.Very disappointing.
Bonobashi’s comment above against the author of the report not only smacks of prejudice, it is also reeking of jaundice in his perception. I wonder whether is conversant with socio-economic and political realities of the Indian hinterland. It it were so, he would never speak in visceral hatred.
A government, for protecting business only, is but a carcass, and soon falls by its own corruption and decay.In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. Wealth will be the highest virtue, poverty the greatest vice. Those who have money will display it in every imaginable way. If their ostentation does not exceed their fortune, all will be well. But if their ostentation does exceed their fortune they will ruin themselves. In such a country, the greatest fortunes will vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Those who don’t have money will ruin themselves with vain efforts to conceal their poverty. That is one kind of affluence: the outward sign of wealth for a small number, the mask of poverty for the majority, and a source of corruption for all.
I suggest, he gets down reading post-Mandal political literature, and study the emergence of anti-hero political patricians like Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad amongst huge swathe of plebeian masses, who still feel cheated at hands of traditional bastion of upper-caste political leadership in India.
I wonder if Varun Gandhi was able to win his seat or not? Any idea about his election result?
He won with a thumping majority.
Fortunately, the rest of the BJP was humiliated.
I just read your comments, and have gathered that you object to my remarks. It would be nice to respond, but it has been a real struggle. What is it that should be replied? The general suspicion that these are the views of an observer not conversant with the socio-economic and political realities of the Indian hinterland? The conclusion, arising from that unsubstantiated suspicion, that someone knowledgeable would not have displayed this visceral hatred? What meaningful response can one make to these generalisations?
First, regarding knowledge of the Indian hinterland, judge for yourself, and then judge your conclusion in that light. If knowledge of the living conditions, and inter alia, of the interplay of social factors in the countryside among the poorest of the poor, those living in the demonetised economy, where barter is the rule, not currency of the realm, will do, this is humbly submitted as a qualification. This first-hand knowledge was gathered traversing rural areas interacting with people to organise and build a one-rupee-a-day health insurance scheme. Without a clue as to the amount of information an observer has on rural Indian matters, your conclusions were obviously baseless. Your conclusion itself may be an objective in its own right, without any need for supporting evidence; hatred is a bad thing. If you were aware, and I suspect that you are very well aware, of the savage oppression of the Dalit by the middle castes, the OBCs, so called, you would not have cavilled at the anger.
Should the response be to your paean to the goddess of Virtuous Poverty? Apart from the fact that this composition put to the service of the likes of Mulayam and Lalu and DP Yadav, and the rest of that kleptocracy, is a stinking abomination, it is difficult to agree or disagree with it; it has nothing to do with what you set out to defend. Your anti-heroes don’t themselves or in the thoughts and actions of their subordinates and followers subscribe to it, so its relevance here is unclear.
Or should the response be to the peroration, where with a fine flourish, and completely mistaken references to Roman history, we were introduced to patricians, plebeians and their fascinating roles and interplay? I note that my familiarity with rural India in the 21st century is under attack with a use of political classes from Rome of the first and second centuries before Christ. An interesting literary use, but ironic, don’t you think?
The logic of the peroration however still remains elusive. Is it then being argued that they are free to do whatever they please, because the masses that they represent wish them to? Are we to believe that the masses (effectively their own caste faction with a temporary congeries of allies put together for electoral purposes) hate the original high-class and high-caste oppressors so deeply that the depredations of their own leaders are welcome, as a sign that they too have come of age politically? I speak as a Sudra, so please do not come back with all your guns blazing at the evil designs of the upper classes.
If you could make your argument a tad clearer, perhaps a dialogue might result.
Oh, by the way, while we were squabbling over what the masses wanted, they decided to let us know. Do take a look at the results, take a deep breath, and then write whatever you wish to.
Do please also remember that I am opposed to the Congress, root and branch.
The best part of this election was the defeat of leaders like vaiko who said there will be blood bath in india if srilankan issue is not resolved and anpumani ramdoss and ramvilas paswan who were ready to be ministers whether the government was formed by UPA,NDA or 3/4 th front…it is a gr8 show of political maturity by people who often dont get the credit they r due
a great result.Reasons;
1. we indians ,because of being hindus or being hindufied,are highly prone to charisma and deity worship.
Sonia Gandhi , the renunciator, has become a nun with a halo .She is not loquacious,is incorruptible and has given the supreme sacrifice
Manmohan singh is india’s bhala manus.Highly intelligent ,with a sterling image
Rahul Gandhi and priyanka symbolize hope.
this factor , no doubt , was extremely important this time.
A fallout:BJP will come closer to the center of political spectrum.
I believe the writer forgot to mention that Tipu; …walks on water!
Akhilesh alias Tipu is not a water walker! He keeps his feet firmly on the ground. He might not be born into a filthy rich dynasty like Rahul Gandhi, the man of the moment. Yet, it is not a fallacy to believe Tipu actually is a son of the soil. He lives in village, and spend considerable period of his precious moments with young Indian villagers. It is Tipu’s audacious political programme for his party, which has resulted in emergence of Samajwadi Party as the third largest party in Parliament of India-Lok Sabha.
Still, the Congress party which fought this bitter election in name of upholding ideals of secularism is scared of inviting Samajwadi Party to join the government. This is, indeed, a fear factor in the Congress party, as SP is their nearest and fiercest rival in Uttar Pradesh.
Tipu is standing to gain more when he remains in opposition. The road ahead of him is full of struggle and sacrifice, and he will surely be up for the greater challenges ahead.
Indian youth reach out to him more easily, and that is a greatest asset for someone who is a mass leader.
Rahul has charisma of a dynast, which Indians love as much as Pakistani. However, modern Indian youth will demand more of the heir apparent.
Democracy is about dissent and debates. Akhilesh fits the bill to throw the gauntlet.
Are you a Yadav?
Please answer yes or no.
”He might not be born into a filthy rich”,like that political dealer Amarsingh u meant
It is India’s biggest unfortunate that people still needs Princes, Stars, Kings who should lead nation. I don’t understand why writers are bent on their knees. If Mr. Akhilesh Yadav is doing something that favours India and its residents then there is no necessitate of calling him a Star or Prince (which I am sure, even Akhilesh will not like). Why we need Prince? Are we here to follow a regime of a King or we are here to see someone from our side leading us. It is democracy “from the people, by the people for the people”. We don’t call our Prime Minister a king. Promulgating that a star or a Prince is born, in other words is, degrading common public. In a democracy, every person has every right that second person is availing. There is no question takes birth to star someone. If still there is a crowd who gives birth to a Prince, it is a stigma on democracy. Such scenario will be a surrender of dignity before people who are to rule nation. A writer must understand as to where the romanticism is penetrated in the writing. He should be well aware of it. It also go against writers’ mind who still favouring Kings, Princes’ regime after more than sixty years of independence.
Do we need prince stars? Does our democracy needs Kings? My answer is NO. Such names don’t honour our democratic nation and moreover, a common man cannot associate himself with such paradigms. It creates a scenario where a common man waiting for a Prince to be born who will take away their all sorrows and they will live happily in that Star’s regime, but they are not allowed to dream for prince’s chair. It is something democratic minds will not get agree with. A true Star rules over hearts, but he is not a star because he has a support of common men who casted their vote and made him a leader. To make a leader means a common man saying, ‘now I have made you a political leader now make our lives comfortable, dignified so that we may grow and hence our nation should grow. And more importantly, people in democracy say, since you are fail to prosperous our nation and us, now, we will choose someone else out of us and give him a chance. But it is not possible in King’s or Prince’s regime. It is not to become a hero but to make people hero by dignifying their lives. The matter is to make people learn how to fight for their own rights but not to lead the ’crowd’ to realize it that it lacks something that is why I have to lead this crowd. I disagree with the title of the article. It is very un-democratic.
Second thing which disturbs me a lot is my friend Frank Huzur writes about Akhilesh Yadav that” Born a Scorpio, he shares his zodiac with two great Indian Prime Ministers of yore, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and quite a galaxy of achievers, such as Pablo Picasso, Charles de Gaulle, Robert Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn, Marie Antoinette and Richard Burton. Now, again he wants to put people into a supposititious arena by saying zodiac favours people. It also means who are not born in this duration of zodiac are having bad luck, in other words. How does it is relevant in eye of a writer that it must be something to do with Akhilesh’s personality that his birth date falls in the category of big politicians. In my eye it is merely a coincident. To prove it, there must be millions of poor who may share their zodiac with Akhilesh Yadav, how does it benefit them. They are still leading a miserable life. How Nehru or so called ’galaxy of achievers’ zodiac favouring these poor who share the same zodiac. If not for poor how it is true for Akhilesh being zodiac coincidentally matches with others whosoever. Does Mr. Frank Huzur believe in superstitions? His writing tends to believe so.
Mr. Frank Huzur has written his meeting with Akhilesh with all his intelligence, but I could not escape myself sniffer his romanticism. I respect Mr. Akhilesh Yadav being a young politician, who is inspired by Mr. Ram Manohar Lohia. I respect Akhilesh when he shows his zeal to favour dalits by equalizing entire society. Frank’s commentary about his entire tour to Kannoj is appealable. Akhilesh’s work reminds me the zeal in comrades of 1970s-80s when I was merely a child and use to take part in rallies. This article could be written keeping a common man in view point. This article would have cost millions, in that way.
But, for the most part, I must say. A writer shoulders responsibility when he writes anything. This responsibility includes carrying weight of masses who are somehow or anyways related to the writer and I hope writer will write something that common people may associate with themselves and get benefit. It will be not Akhilesh as a Star but Akhilesh for a common man. Mr. Frank, if a common-youngster reads your article, he may feel stumbling block as the qualities you have proposed to be a leader or star may not allowing him to be a leader who might have plenty of potentials. Sitting aside he will be feeling “Would that I were Mulayam’s son”.
@Gurinder Singh Azad
Thank you for your very frank critique of the piece, and for articulating two very important structural defects within it.
Mr. Gurinder Azad has well post-mortemed this article. But he has left the part of correlating Akhilesh with Smajwadi Party who kept on wobbling between BJP and Congress; and carried out internal clashes. Frank no where raised question or asked Akhilesh for his stand. Azad also missed questioning support of disappeared evidences that makes Akhilesh a star in the write up.
I doubt Frank is a Yadav or Akhilesh’s relative or hired advertiser of Akhilesh Yadav. If none above, Mr. Frank Huzur must be seeking some favours from Akhilesh. I don’t indulge in caste-race twaddle but firmly believe only a caste-favouring person can write such a write up. I don’t see anything logical in it. In the absence of evidences and facts trying to portray Akhilesh as a Star, this boringly prolonged article is an attempt to create hoopla of Akhilesh. Let me tell Frank that superior vocabulary or art of writing doesn’t make anyone a good writer. Some writers think writing in a difficult or tricky language will make them a legendary writer which, doesn’t carry any weight. Write up has to carry values, evidences, truth and a logical stance of being even-handed and impartial. Only then a writer is called a writer undeniably.
Kindly let people know, Mr. Frank if you are Mr. Frank Yadav?
Gurinder Azad and Nazma Quraishi appear to be running for blood of the writer. Did Mr Huzur commit a crime by picking up one hell of a young politician from Indian cow-belt to understand the dynamics of Indian democracy? Gurinder is making some whimsical case over ‘use of epithet like Prince, Star and reference to zodiac sign-Scorpio–
His premise that article should be written with common man’s perspective is fine enough. Having said that any intelligent reader will conclude that the writer is not writing a hagiography of Mr Akhilesh Yadav. If the writer is able to make a case of Akhilesh’s people-friendly agenda, one should understand that it is only because of Akhilesh’s glorious concern for common people of his constituency. By calling a politician who is shooting to fame through his community work a prince in the crowd, I don’t think some blashpehmy has been committed. Who are Prince or King in modern democracy? Mr Gurind must know the difference between symantix and epytomology and political symbolism. I am afraid he is deeply out of sync with modern political vocablulary, and appears burning with agenda of maligning the writer.
FOR Nazma, one can only laugh at the analysis. The writer become a yadav for writing about Akhilesh Yadav, in her opinion. This premise beggar commonsense, for how deeply ethnic affiliations, caste and community allegiances, biradari-system are ingrained in minds and hearts of people of Indian sub-continent. No need to say why majority of people of this region are doomed to crawl their belly in suffering and humiliation. Most of the candidates are elected on castelines or biradari lines, and results are for all to see and experience.
It is not the fault of Nazma or reader like Gurinder who gives their verdict with strange load of prejudice and bias hitting hard into their brain. It is the legacy of jaundice-eyed interpretation of contemporary political history they have inherited from the surroundings and their guides in present and past.
One can feel pity for comment makers like Gurinder and Nazma who are turning blind eyes to other aspects of Mr Frank Huzur’s analysis, and instead focusing on denigration and humiliation of a young writer who have had never affiliated himself or his writing with any political formations or groups in India. Instead, he has suffered at the hands of obscurantists, ignorants and zealots, religious and caste, in course of his 10-year-long literary crusade.
Gurinder is intelligent, he is impish also.
frank is an international author. gurinder is trying to target him for some publicity. well, frank is not only imran khan biographer. he is much more. he is beyond imran khan and pakistan. gurinder shud woory about his country. his country si divided into caste and sub-caste. he shoudl help his belowpvoerty line people. plz help them gurnder. i wil olve you
Dear Gentle Cold,
With all my tenderness, I just can surprise when u say I want to gain some publicity by targeting Frank. I welcome any comments on my comment, but unfortunately my questions for my friend Frank are still standing perpendicularly. I was expecting Mr. Frank, who is one of my closest friends, will come up with some genuine reply to my questions that popped up in my logical mind. How can u say it a publicity my friend, when I genuinely have raised a question on Zodiac issue? The chaos among Samajwadi Party before and during the election was an important issue. It was directly concerned with Akhilesh Yadav being he a part of SP and above all son of Mulayam Singh Yadav. A good length-full write up without focussing on number of burning issues is injustice with readers. Had I been a publicity seeker, I would have been there at the doorstep of Akhilesh Yadav before my dear friend Frank Huzur.
I had tried to be untainted and rational through out my version. I didn’t have this impression that instead of Frank himself, people will come at his rescue throwing the basic concern of my critique far behind. But I respect the beauty of right to speech and I thank Mr. Mohsin and Mr.Gentle Cold for their version. My humble request to you is just go through what I have said.
Now that Mr. Akhilesh has become MP, we will be able to match Frank’s write up and his work.
Though dalit issue doesn’t come under this but as illogically and surprisingly you have asked, I must answer. I know India’s situation… as to how it has been suffering from casteism, caste politics and religion; and Hindu fundamentalism along with various critical issues. But I am here to notice my presence with all honesty unlike people who coin these problems without understanding the concerned-gravity involves with the issues making a mockery of dalits’ sentiments. Who show off to be GENTLE but puckishly are COLD. I must ask u, is emancipation of dalits should not be everyone’s concern?
Gurinder Singh Azad
G S Azad, although your syntax is a bit off the track but you have raised valid points and I can relate to them.
last year i happened to see a travelogue on discovery channel in which Sanjeev Bhaskar(of kumars at no.42) interviewed gaj singh (belongS to a royal family of rajashan) ….wherever this gaj singh went , the villagers almost prostrated themselves b4 him calling him “RAJA SAHIB” and believed him to be the reincarnation of the god Sun…..I felt so offended. I wanted to scream in the villagers’ ears ,”Comraders,we are equal to him.Infact, some of you may be much better than him in many qualities.”
Another thing why are many Indians so fool?take one example:
Panjab is currently being administered by the Badal family.The patriarch as many of you may know is Parkash Singh Badal(the chiefmin of panjab).although he is in name the CM, most of the administration is run actually by his rapacious son (or i may say S.O.B.) Sukhbir Singh Badal.This maa@@- c##d is corrupt enough to spend tapayer’s money on his and his begum’s shopping sprees.NOTE: I AM NOT A CONGRESS MEMBER.
Sardar Sukhbir’s favorite shopping place is the infamous Harrod’s in london; he owns a big farmhouse in California; yesterday the tribune reported that his mahal(palace)’s construction is finally on the verge of completion after 5 years , the mahal has a big stud farm adjacent to it and boasts of 100 imported palm trees( my fu22!).Sukhbir has enough breitlings to match every colored turban he wears.
Now just look at the panjab’s state.
1. the whole panjab is suffering massive power cuts of over 14/15 hours and even otherwise,the voltage is beow 190 volts so that AC doesnt work.THIS ABSENCE OF BIJLI IS DRIVING US PANJABIS CRAZY
2.PANJAB hasNt utilized single rupee of the center’s JNURM funds for roads ,housing etc. Our strrets havent been repaired since the last to last assmbly elections(1997)
3.Our towns civil hospital works at half its capacity because most govt doctors run private practice.
AND NOW JUST PONDER OVER THIS FACT: TYH BADALS WON LANDSLIDE VICTORY THIS ELECTION IN MY AREA.HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN BIGGER FOOLS THAN US PANJABIS (CONGRESS IS BY FAR ,FARLESS CORRUPT AND HAUGHTY)
We need a French Revolution in India’s panjab……………(pakistan, i guess you may be better than most of indians in atleast elctricity cases.Thank your gods for being on the right side of border)
G S Azad, although your syntax is a bit off the track but you have raised valid points and I can relate to them.
last year i happened to see a travelogue on discovery channel in which Sanjeev Bhaskar(of kumars at no.42) interviewed gaj singh (belongS to a royal family of rajashan) ….wherever this gaj singh went , the villagers almost prostrated themselves b4 him calling him “RAJA SAHIB” and believed him to be the reincarnation of the god Sun…..I felt so offended. I wanted to scream in the villagers’ ears ,”Comrades,we are equal to him.Infact, some of you may be much better than him in many qualities.”
Another thing ——why are many Indians such electoral fools?take one example:
Panjab is currently being administered by the Badal family(family!!!).The patriarch as many of you may know is Parkash Singh Badal(the chiefmin of panjab).although he is in name the CM, most of the administration is run actually by his rapacious son (or i may say S.O.B.) Sukhbir Singh Badal.This maa@@- c##d is corrupt enough to spend tapayer’s money on his and his begum’s shopping sprees.NOTE: I AM NOT A CONGRESS MEMBER.
Sardar Sukhbir’s favorite shopping place is the ( in)famous Harrod’s in london; he owns a big farmhouse in California; has got a new jet plane nicknamed PSB(presumably parkash singh badal);;;;;;yesterday the tribune reported that his mahal(palace)’s construction is finally on the verge of completion after 5 years , the mahal has a big stud farm adjacent to it and boasts of 100 imported palm trees( fu## you sukhi!).Sukhbir has enough breitlings to match every colored turban he wears(most of what i say is sourced from Tribune ,TOI and other genuine press)
Now just look at the panjab’s state.
1. the whole panjab is suffering massive power cuts of over 14/15 hours and even otherwise,the voltage is below 190 volts(normal 220 V) so that AC doesnt work.THIS ABSENCE OF BIJLI IS DRIVING US PANJABIS CRAZY and making us do things silly
2.PANJAB hasNt utilized single rupee of the center’s JNURM funds for roads ,housing etc. Our strrets havent been repaired since the last to last assmbly elections(1997)
3.Our towns civil hospital works at half its capacity because most govt doctors run private practice.
4.Panjab has,i think, the highest fiscal deficit in the country and has several times been rebuked by the center for not following fiscal prudence ; this inspite of the fact that the CM,Deputy CM,Finance min are badals
AND NOW JUST PONDER OVER THIS FACT: THE BADALS WON LANDSLIDE VICTORY THIS ELECTION IN MY AREA AND I WAS LEFT FEELING FRUSTRATED ………..HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN BIGGER (ELECTORAL) FOOLS THAN US PANJABIS?(This isnt a rhetorical question!!)
(CONGRESS IS BY FAR ,FARLESS CORRUPT AND HAUGHTY)
We need a French Revolution in India’s panjab …………..(pakistani panjabis , i guess you may be better than most of indians in atleast the case of electricity .Thank your gods for being born on the right side of border)
moderator , please delete my first similar post.Thanx.
Its a vry gud story…I m impressed by the writer….he wrote a vry true story $ v all shud appreciate his work. Each $ evry word z vry touching….$ i m feelin as i wz thr in Kannauj $ Firozbad. I wz also thr in elections…$ while reading this…story,the whole film wz again infront of ma eyes. Well…u hv done a gud job,keep it up,best of luck 4m ma side.
ylh is a fraud nikhatoo.he has an asshole the size of an elephant’s which keeps on tittering the whole bludy day.Yasser the qadiani, you will have to be shot deadd coz the day u r dead, pakistan will have a lil bit of more sunshine. qadiaNI PARASITE