Tag Archives: Uttar Pradesh Elections 2012

सत्ता और हिंसा : बद्री नारायण

बद्री नारायण का यह लेख लखनऊ के एक हिंदी अख़बार को दिया गया था पर उन्होंने छापने से मना कर दिया.

शक्ति अपने संस्थागत रुप में सत्ता में तब्दील हो जाती है। सत्ता अपने मूल अर्थ में भय एवं हिंसा पर टिकी होती है। सत्ता का अभ्यांतरिकरण हो या सत्ता का प्रतिरोध, दोनों ही अर्थो में हिंसा उसके सह उत्पादक के रुप में दिखाई पड़ती है। जनतंत्र को एक ऐसी प्रक्रिया के रुप में परिकल्पित किया गया था जो सत्ता को उसके हिंसक पक्ष से मुक्त कराके सेवाभाव के एजेन्सी के रुप में सक्रिय रखे। यह माना जा रहा था कि जनतंत्र सत्ता को रेशनालाइज कर उसे सेवा-भावि प्रशासकीय स्वरुप में तब्दील कर देती है। यह काफी कुछ हुआ भी किन्तु अपने कार्य-प्रक्रिया में इस जनतांत्रिक समय में भी सत्ता हिंसा को उत्पादित करते रहने वाली शक्तिस्रोत के रुप में सामने आई है। सत्ता पहले अपने भीतर अपने ही कारणो से क्राइसिस को जन्म देती है, फिर उससे उबरने के लिए हिंसा रचती है। बंगाल, झारखण्ड, आन्ध्र के जंगलों में पहले तो बाजार शासित विकास के तहत आदिवासी जीवन के संसाधनों पर कब्जा कर उन्हे बहुराष्ट्रीय कम्पनियों को बेचना, फिर उसके विरोध में आदिवासी जनता का नक्सलवादी विचारों एवं नेतृत्व में हिंसक प्रतिरोध का बढ़ते जाना, पुनः उसे दबाने के लिए राज्य द्वारा की जाने वाली ज्यादा आक्रामक एवं खुंखार हिंसा को इसी रुप में देखा जा सकता है। Continue reading सत्ता और हिंसा : बद्री नारायण

The Many Uses of a U.P Election

I live in Noida, which is the child of an extra-legal union between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Noida is not-quite Delhi, not-quite U.P, not quite itself on most days. Living in a cusp has several advantages, however, the main one being that one can look either way, up at Delhi and right down over U.P’s scruffy head. I found myself doing both in the recently-concluded U.P election. Curiously it seemed, for Delhi people, U.P’s 2012 elections were flush with new meaning. For decades the favourite whipping boy of Delhi, U.P had overnight become its favourite gap-toothed angel. For Pratap Bhanu Mehta of the Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research, the U.P election was a historic battle between empowerment and patronage, the future and the past, performance and rhetoric, sincerity and cynicism, and (this is my favourite) ‘rootedness over disembodied charm’. Mehta believes that while voters ‘carefully assessed’ candidates through the ‘prism of local circumstances’, they were no longer prisoners of their identity. Most confounding is Mehta’s view of democracy, “In a democracy, where you are going should be more important than where you are coming from”. These U.P elections “redeemed that promise” according to Mehta, since they were “without a trace of community polarisation: no one felt on the edge or under siege, all could exercise options without being unduly burdened by the past.”

Continue reading The Many Uses of a U.P Election

Thinking through UP election results with numbers: Rahul Verma

Guest post by RAHUL VERMA

Here’s a closer analysis of Uttar Pradesh 2012 election results

In an article the Times of India says the Samajwadi Party’s victory in Uttar Pradesh seems to be an even more impressive sweep than the BSP’s 2007 showing, but it’s actually a less comprehensive domination. According to the same article, the SP did not do well in western UP and Bundelkhand. They do not provide any reason for this.

My analysis of the election results data shows that average number of candidates per assembly constituency and average number of candidates per one lakh electorate in west UP and Bundelkhand, was slightly lower than other regions of the state. In west UP and Bundelkhand, the average number of candidates per one lakh electorate was approximately 8.5 and average number of candidates per assembly constituency was approximately 16. Whereas in other parts of the state average number of candidates per one lakh electors was approximately 9.5 and average number of candidates per assembly constituency was 17. This means that in other regions of the state votes were more divided and thus the SP got an edge in terms of winning seats. In the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system with multi-cornered contests, even such small gaps lead to big swings in terms of seats a party can win. Continue reading Thinking through UP election results with numbers: Rahul Verma

A Flawed Democracy – The Case for Proportional Representation in India: Srinivasan Ramani


Times of India graphic

For all the chest thumping and tomtoming about the Samajwadi Party’s emphatic victory – winning 224 seats out of 403 in the UP Assembly elections – a true reflection of the mandate is to be seen in the individual vote shares of the four main (“effective”) parties in the elections (the Bahujan Samaj Party – Bhartiya Janata Party, the Samajwadi Party, and the Congress – in alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal). Data from the Election Commission of India website shows the following in terms of vote shares:

Continue reading A Flawed Democracy – The Case for Proportional Representation in India: Srinivasan Ramani

Why Mayawati’s defeat is the BSP’s victory

Satish Chandra Mishra with Mayawati at a rally near Delhi during the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, amongst the last such appearances together

Even before the results came out, the Mayawati cabinet passed a resolution to dissolve the assembly. Never before has an incumbent shown such confidence about losing. Mayawati’s body language during the campaign was proof of the same lack of confidence. Mayawati was going to lose, the Samajwadi Party was in the air. And yet, Mayawati must be relieved right now. She knows that this defeat of hers is, ironically, a victory of the Bahujan Samaj Party and what it stands for. Here’s how.

Continue reading Why Mayawati’s defeat is the BSP’s victory

Some thoughts on the “hawa” in Indian elections

‘Public transmitter’ nahi ban sakey Mulayam aur Mayawati. (Mulayam and Mayawati could not become public transmitters.)

In the Hindi original of that line, the phrase public transmitter is in single quotes only because they are English words in a Hindi paper. The entire sentence is not in quotes. A sentence like this, if it were the title of a text, would count as an expression of opinion. And yet, it was a news headline in the Varanasi edition of UP’s largest selling daily, Dainik Jagran. In case you could not guess who it was trying to help, there was the photo of Rahul Gandhi below the headline. This was the lead story. Continue reading Some thoughts on the “hawa” in Indian elections

Seeing UP from Phulpur

Photograph by Akif Ahmad for Fountain Ink magazine

In which I go to Phulpur, once famous as Nehru’s seat, and do walk-the-talk with village-level workers of the four main political parties in Uttar Pradesh. Here. Continue reading Seeing UP from Phulpur

मायावती जी के मुख्यमंत्रित्व काल का एक संक्षिप्त विवरण: राम कुमार

This guest post by RAM KUMAR is a review of five years of Mayawati’s administration in Uttar Pradesh. An English translation has appeared in Fountain Ink magazine, here.

मुख्यमंत्री मायावती जी को 2007 में मिला स्पष्ट जनादेश  महज मुलायम सिंह यादव के खिलाफ एन्टी-इनकमवंसी फैक्टर ही नहीं था, बलिक अराजकता और गुंडागर्दी के खिलाफ भी जनादेश  था। सरकार का खुले रूप से एन्टी-दलित चरित्र और प्रदेश  के अन्दर सरकार  के एन्टी ब्राहम्ण टोन के चलते प्रदेश  में मुलायम सिंह की सरकार के खिलाफ दलित अति पिछड़े हो गये थे। मुलायम सिंह के  कल्याण सिंह प्रेम की वजह से माइनारिटी (अल्पसंख्यक) भी  मुलायम से नाराज हो  गए। बहन जी ने सर्वजन समाज का नारा देकर   विक्षुब्द तबकों को समेटा। सभी को समेटने में रणनीति के तहत अपना नारा बदल “हाथी नहीं गणेष है ब्रम्हा, विष्णु, महेष है” का नारा लगाया। सर्वजन  फार्मूला और मुलायम के खिलाफ गुस्सा बहन जी को पूर्ण बहुमत से सत्ता में लेकर के आया।

बहन जी एक  सशक्त शासनकर्ता के रूप में जानी जाती थीं। इस बार भी बहन जी सत्ता में आयींऔर  सत्ता में आते ही तुरन्त उन्होनें  घोषणा की कि अराजकता और गुडागर्दी नहीं चलेगी, कानून का राज्य चलेगा। इसको  सिद्ध करने के लिये उन्होंने सबसे पहले जो राजनेता अपने साथ बहुत सारे शस्त्रधारियों को लेकर चलते थे,  उन पर प्रतिबंध  लगाया और एलान किया कि  कोई भी नेता सार्वजनिक स्थल पर तीन हथियार से  ज्यादा में दिखे तो उनके खिलाफ कार्यवाही की जायेगी। यही नहीं अपनी पार्टी के एम. पी. रमाकान्त यादव जो आजमगढ़ से हैं, एक गरीब मुसिलम के मकान पर जमीन कबजाने के चक्कर में जबरदस्ती बुलडोजर चलवाया इसकी खबर जब बहन जी को लगी उन्होंने रमाकान्त यादव को अपने मुख्यमंत्री आवास पर मिलने के लिये बुलाया और वहीं से उनको गिरफ्तार करवाया। यह संदेश  देने की कोशिशकी  कि सत्ताधारी दल के हों या विपक्षी पाटी के हों, कानून सबके लिये समान है। अपनी ही सरकार के खाधमंत्री और विधायक आनन्द सेन को एक महिला के अपहरण केस  में बर्खास्त कर जेल भिजवाया और अभी तक 26 प्रभावशाली नेता एवं मंत्रियों को पार्टी के बाहर का रास्ता दिखा चुकी हैं। पिछली सरकार में हुयी 17,868 पुलिस जवानों की भर्ती में हुयी धांधली के चलते भर्ती  प्रक्रिया को निरस्त किया और 25 आई .पी.एस. अधिकारियों को भी सस्पेन्ड किया।

Continue reading मायावती जी के मुख्यमंत्रित्व काल का एक संक्षिप्त विवरण: राम कुमार

An Election in Sarvajan Samaj

This photograph was taken by Salman Usmani in Ganguali village in Unnao near Lucknow, in early January. On the left is Prabhat Pandey and on the right, Ram Khilawan. Pandey is a Brahmin and Khilawan a Dalit. They’re the BSP’s men in this village, responsible for urging Brahmins and Dalits to vote for the BSP candidate, also a Brahmin. The photo was taken when I asked them to pose together. This is all the ‘brotherhood’ they could show before the camera.

Here’s my story on UP elections, seen through the prism of Brahmins and Dalits. Continue reading An Election in Sarvajan Samaj

The untold stories of a political process

AP Photo by Altaf Qadri

Less than a month before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the wedding of a top Uttar Pradesh bureaucrat’s daughter at the Taj Hotel in Lucknow presented senior journalists invited from Delhi with an opportunity to interact with the state’s leading bureaucrats—who are, in Chief Minister Mayawati’s reign, more important than politicians. For a select few celebrity editors, there was even a rare durbar with Mayawati herself, who carefully arrived after the governor had left, presented flowers to the newly married, and proceeded to a barricaded enclosure to meet India’s opinionmakers. I don’t know what the conversation was like, but I saw the journalists’ lips move more than hers.

After the meeting was over, I asked one celebrity TV anchor what he thought the election results were going to look like. He said the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was very strong, and predicted she could win 50 of the 80 seats the party was contesting. The Delhi media’s awe of Mayawati was at a historic peak; they had taken her prime ministerial ambitions seriously. I told this studio journalist that the buzz in Lucknow was that the Congress could spring a surprise. “No chance,” he said. “They don’t have any organisation. Azharuddin is my friend and he called me to say he needs my help. Even a celebrity like Azharuddin is going to lose!” Read More…

उत्तर प्रदेश चुनाव 2012 और पसमांदा मुस्लिम समाज

This is the text of a pamphlet released by the PASMANDA INTELLECTUALS FORUM, Lucknow. It comes to us via Khalid Anis Ansari

पसमांदा समाज की मुख्य माँगें

हमने उत्तर प्रदेश विधान सभा चुनाव, 2012 के मद्देनज़र पसमांदा (दलित और पिछड़े) मुसलमानों   की पांच बड़ी मांगें तय की हैं. आइए, आगे बढ़ने से पहले हम इन मांगों पर नज़र डालें:

  1. पसमांदा मुसलमानों की उत्तर प्रदेश में 15% आबादी है. इस कारण सारी पार्टियां उनकी आबादी  के हिसाब से टिकट दें;
  2. सवर्ण (अशराफ) मुसलमानों को सर्वोच्च न्यायालय के मंडल (इंदिरा साहनी) फैसले (1992) के तहत आरक्षण की  परिधि से बाहर रखा जाये क्योंकि वह संविधान केअनुच्छेद 16 (4) और 15 (4) के तहत ‘सामाजिक और शैक्षिक’ तौर पर पिछड़े तबके नहीं माने जा सकते हैं;
  3. केन्द्र और उत्तर प्रदेश की ओबीसी लिस्ट को बिहार फार्मूले के तहत पिछड़ा वर्ग और अति-पिछड़ा वर्ग में विभाजित किया जाये और सारे पिछड़े मुसलमानों को सामानांतर रूप से पिछड़ी हिंदू जातियों के साथ अति-पिछड़ा श्रेणी में विधिवत शामिल किया जाये;
  4. दलित मुसलमानों / ईसाइयों को 1950 के राष्ट्रपति आदेश (पैरा 3) को रद्द कर के एससी लिस्ट में शामिल किया जाये;
  5. भूमंडलीकरण और नवउदारवादी आर्थिक नीतियों के चलते पसमांदा समाज के कारीगर/दस्तकार/मजदूर तबकों और लघु-उद्योग की बर्बादी को रोका जाए और उनको फिर से पटरी पर लाने वास्ते उचित नीतियां बनाई जाएँ.

Continue reading उत्तर प्रदेश चुनाव 2012 और पसमांदा मुस्लिम समाज

You can’t show light to those who have chosen darkness: The Case of Imam Bukhari

The Delhi Jama Masjid. Photo via Wikipedia.

The Imam of the Delhi Jama Masjid has issued a statement that calls upon the Muslim voters of Uttar Pradesh to vote for the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav. A whole lot of poll experts are going to rejig their forecasts to factor in this new and hitherto unexpected development.

We would be told that this call is going to alter the political equations in UP in a very profound manner. We will be told that the Muslim electorate is going to shift to the SP and that this shift will create serious problems for the Bahujan Samaj Party in its bid for a comeback and for the Congress that is making serious efforts to emerge as Number Two.

The assumption behind these two assertions is that Muslims who voted for these parties in the last election are going to desert them now because of the statement issued by the Imam of Jama Masjid of Delhi.

Before the psephologists get down to business with their abacuses, their TINA factor analysis, their complex equations dealing with social demographics, voter fatigue,  identity markers and what have you, it might be useful for them to contemplate three questions: Continue reading You can’t show light to those who have chosen darkness: The Case of Imam Bukhari