The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Sunday 11 March 2012


So he is in after the courteous flow of confusion and by now it is amply clear that he is not going to the youngest chief minister in India.

But then it has been the trademark of a section of the communication people in India that has somehow come to dominate the statistical maneuver of the outreach - jumping the guns on the very first flash of the possibility without corroborating/deliberating further. So some of them had this to write the last morning and they wrote in prolific haste –Akhilesh Yadav would be the youngest chief minister of India after he takes oath. It started a chain event of further digging in.

Information sources were attributed. Informed sources were reattributed. And with the resultant inputs, the deliberations were put to rest by reaching on the conclusion that Akhilesh Yadav would not go in the history books as the youngest chief minister of India. For the moment, the pride rests with Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, the Asom Gana Parishad leader and two times chief minister of the Northeastern state. He was 32 when he became the chief minister in 1985 while Akhilesh Yadav would be 38 when he swears-in finally.

For media, yesterday, it was charming and angry Rahul Gandhi. Today, it is the winner Akhilesh Yadav.

Also, much is being written by the media on ‘Team Akhilesh’ now. This is the same media that was singing paeans in the name of ‘Team Rahul’ before the UP polls. And this has been the core problem with the Indian media – it instantly become judgemental.

And so, Uttar Pradesh gets its next chief minister for five years and India have official coronation of yet another political dynasty. (The list is getting unusually longer, not a healthy sign for the democracy of a population behemoth.)


The immediate signs, if one takes the risk of being too early, too cautious (like jumping the guns one can say here), tell something repetitive of the hallmark of earlier Samajwadi Party (henceforth SP) rules in Uttar Pradesh – blatant violation of law and order resulting in almost systemic failure.

The very day SP won the mandate on March 6, the free run of hooligans started. Since then, the news carriers are flooded with such reports. And these multiple reports have one thing in common – the people or groups alleged to be behind these brazen acts are either SP supporters or supporters of SP ‘friendly’ politicians.

Apart from the anti-BSP wave, the other major factor in SP’s victory was the promises that the SP made and Akhilesh voiced, humbly and sincerely with some good selection of candidates. These promises were basically hinged on tackling corruption and improving law and order situation.

The mandate to the SP is significant on these two grounds - corruption and law and order. SP is the party that has been notorious for an administration punctured with corruption and lawlessness, and if the voter has entrusted the same SP to make Uttar Pradesh a land of development and undo the wrongs of the Mayawati’s administration, it is going to be a tough game for Akhilesh Yadav. How easily he handles it depends on how far he has been able to change the character of the SP legislative group. (Akhilesh had the major say in ticket allocations for the assembly election this time.)

And we have all this bad news even before he is to take oath on March 15. While going through the incidents of hooliganism by the SP supporters, one can even find two murder incidents. In one, SP MLA Aridaman is named while some SP supporters are alleged to be behind the other. The scale of these reported incidents is disturbing. It includes communal clash and tension on Holi in a Meerut locality (SP leader is arrested), multiple incidents of arson, Dalit atrocities, houses of the political opponents stone pelted in some cities as well as assault on political opponents and relatives. Many were targeted merely for being BSP members.

Also to add to it is the tried and tested musclemen of Uttar Pradesh like Raja Bhaiya. There was this report yesterday in media that Raja Bhaiya’s supporters badly assaulted the driver of Kunda’s BSP candidate. The driver was targeted for being a Dalit. Today’s Times of India front page headlines, “SP MLA’s men attack cops in Moradabad.”

Aren’t such incidents reminiscent of the typical SP style political administration of the past?

And what is worrying is the response from the SP. Initially, no one except Akhilesh spoke on reports of hooliganism of SP supporters on March 7, but only to retract saying no SP cadre was involved in these incidents and these were attempts to malign the image of the party. Though still talking of cracking down on ‘goonda’ elements, this routine defensive statement from the future chief minister of Uttar Pradesh might dilute much of the impact of the resolve shown to crackdown on anti-social elements.

Ok, goons cannot be transformed in a day but one needs to give the right message at the right time and this is the right time.

What was needed was a tough message presenting an uncompromising resolve to send the clear signal that this time it is unlike the old greener days for the goonship and they needed to transform or face the music.

But it is yet to happen in the run-up to the coronation of yet another political prince of India. Reports on hooliganism of SP supporters in Uttar Pradesh has been a daily figure in the news carriers since March 6 and if we come across some more tomorrow, we should be not be surprised.

Looks pessimistic! There is one saving grace.

According to a report prepared by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an agency doing good, comprehensive studies on electoral research, only 14 out of 901 candidates with criminal record in the UP polls have been able to win the election unlike 2007 when such esteemed gentry was 122-brethren strong.

Also, there are some good and professionally educated candidates among the SP winners. Let’s see how many of them get the ministerial berths, a must for SP to perform well; a must for Uttar Pradesh to be realigned on the path of developmental politics.

Hope this time, Uttar Pradesh will have a government that will work collectively and will not be a one man show.

But yes, the mother issue, midst all this, the nagging problem of the Indian democracy remains.

Akhilesh adds to the long list of princelings of the political dynasties in India and he, too, represents the category that gets the direct access to the cream of the political opportunities in the country without spending even a month in touring and knowing even a segment the geopolitical spread of the country.

And the pace of growth of this trend is worrisome for a participative democracy on the road to evolution.

It is never wrong for a son of a politician to enter politics but the way it is happening in India is wrong. With the speed the headcount the political progeny is filling the benches of the political parties and is acquiring significant positions, it is killing the political avenues available for the grassroots politicians. (Surely detrimental for a democracy-in-making like India is!)

Almost of the second generation of the politicians does no groundwork before taking the direct plunge. The central-most example is Rahul Gandhi. There has been never been a factor like ‘Rahul’s charisma’ in the Indian polity. Now he would be realizing that he needs more of India before getting hold of that elusive prime ministerial chair.

Likewise, in the recently concluded UP polls, it is not the SP win but it is BSP loss and Akhilesh needs to realize it. He needs to realistically aware of the futility of the phrases like ‘Akhilesh’s charisma’. If he has to build his long-term career, he needs to show sincere resolve now. He needs to prove that he is not yet another political heir reaping the benefits without doing much on the 'delivery front'.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -