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Radical Views
M C Raj
A peep into Mayawati's politics - Part II 11 October, 2012
Mayawati is the first Dalit woman in the history of India to ascend to power as chief minister, and that too in the largest state of India. However, she failed to become a political emancipator of Dalits in the country, which we discussed in the earlier part of this article. Let us discuss some of the lessons for Mayawati and the future of Dalits.

DALIT POLITICS at the national level is in dire need of taking a Dalit trajectory in the longterm political interest of the Dalit people. This can be done with Mayawati only if she radically transforms herself to a new political path.

Since she is a Dalit woman she could become the best bet for Dalit political future. The new path has to be Dalits giving a leadership to the nation focusing on the many mega issues that keep confronting the nation intermittently. This implies a visioning for the nation along with a Dalit vision. This will require forging of longstanding political alliance with Muslims, Adivasis/Tribals/ Women and some MBC/OBC categories. Being the largest single community in India Dalits/ Mayawati will be the most eligible ones to wear the mantle of leadership to give such a new direction to Indian politics and governance.

Simultaneously, Dalit community has to be internally strengthened on the basis of its history and culture, mechanisms of internal governance. A strong voluntary force of educated young people has to be set on task to go back to their communities to educate the community, especially the children on the many oral traditions that exist in Dalit history. Unless the Dalit community is strengthened from within just as all other communities have done, sharing in political power for Dalits is likely to remain only a mirage for a long time to come.

 

Ambedkar himself changed his political trajectory in the year 1955. On 27 August 1955, under the chairpersonship of Ambedkar the National Federation of Scheduled Castes passed a resolution saying that the Dalits do not need separate electorate nor do they need reserved seats as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Instead Ambedkar proposed an electoral system with multi-member constituencies clearly indicating a reformation in the electoral system of the country in favor of the Dalit and other minorities. The present FPTP electoral system of India is best suited for the dominant caste forces who would like to co-opt the Dalits as their biggest vote bank.

The serious business of building up the Dalit people as a strong and vibrant community in order to pave way for the emergence of a national Dalit party will require all the imagination and capacity of Dalit leadership for a period of time. Can we say that for another period of 15 years the entire Dalit leadership in the country converge all its energy and time for building up the community as an organic entity while at the same time working towards the creation of a national Dalit party? Will Mayawati be willing to take up the onerous task of forging a new national alliance? Such a path will actually propel her to dizzy heights in Indian political horizon.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
M C Raj is a human rights activist and award-winning author of more than 18 books. He has initiated a national campaign for proportionate electoral system, popularly known as CERI, in India. He is deeply involved in Climate Change issues.
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