23 October, 2020

The Ambedkar Armada

Harassment and casteist charges fly thick and fast as the Mayawati-Mulayam rivalry intensifies

The Ambedkar Armada

THERE is no recorded evidence that Bhim Rao Ambedkar ever went to Uttar Pradesh. But decades after his death, the battle between Chief Minister Mayawati's BSP (along with ally BJP) and Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajvadi Party (SP) on the 'historical' role played by the framer of the Constitution threatens to reach epic proportions. And with crores of rupees being spent to seize the initiative, two simultaneous rallies in Lucknow and Etawah on June 19 seem to have given the edge to the feisty chief minister.

Since Match 21, when Mayawati took charge, a new element has been introduced into the fragmented politics of Uttar Pradesh: an aggressive 'Ambedkarism' that is making even former socialists, once the staunchest backers of lower caste reservations, wince in agony A day before his rally in Lucknow's Begum Hawatmahal Park, Mulayam was unsparing in his attack on this new ideology: "Who has done more for the propagation of Babasaheb Ambedkar's ideology than I have?" And then again: "Ram Manohar Lohia used to tell Ambedkar that there was no point in...



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