It has been over a year since Mayawati came to power in UP and I am absolutely sick of seeing news reports beginning with the comment, “In a state ruled by a Dalit chief minister, a Dalit youth was killed…” This hostility towards Mayawati is ironically couched in the language of ‘Dalit empowerment’, the phrase used so loosely its is completely devoid of meaning. Where were all these reporters and their editorialising and their concern for Dalits when Yadavs were running the state?
What has Mayaywati been doing for Dalits? That question will be answered again and again without talking to a single Dalit. But if you do go looking for something, you will find it. The redoubtable Nilanjana Bose reports:
A resident of Sakrar, Kamlesh Ahirwal says, “Ever since Behenji (Mayawati) has come to power, we have no worries about water.”
In a land that has witnessed drought-like conditions for the last several years, water comes at a premium, but Dalit villages like Sakrar don’t have to worry anymore – at least not while Mayawati’s there.
Immediately after the Dalit Chief Minister came to power, Bundelkhand – and specially the lower castes in the area – became a priority issue for her.
Tankers were sent to the furthest corners of Bundelkhand to quench parched houses that had voted her to power. [Link]
How many reporters and editors in Lucknow care about whether some dalit family in Bundelkhand gets drinking water or not? But that’s the sort of thing where the story lies. If only you visit Gomti Nagar a little less and control your blood pressure about the Ambedkar Udayan…