WELL, the results of Gujrat and Himachal Pradesh assembly election were out and as was expected Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) did a little below and over margin. After the successful conquest of one of the country's most socially conservative states, with the help of newly dream-up formula of social engineering, the BSP was speculatively fully turbo-charged to make in roads in both the states. But is that the results somewhat faltered Mayawatiji’s pan India dream? Well, it will be too foolhardy to say so. Because, if one goes through the fine print of the results, one would realise the ‘Damaging Force or Nuisance Value’ the BSP wielded especially against congress. It may not have won a single seat but it had damaged the prospects of the over dozen candidates of the Congress in Gujrat election. Its vote share rose to 2.62 per cent from 0.32 per cent of total votes polled in 2002 assembly election; earlier in 2004 parliamentary elections, its vote share was 1.48 per cent. In the s! tate where electorate largely remaining polarised between the BJP and Congress, the BSP came third in around 53 constituencies and fourth in 54 seats. The party had put up candidates in 166 out of 182 constituencies. It is the performance worth applauding as the BSP did this miracle in only 6 months time they had for the election-work, argues the BSP party workers. And in Himachal Pradesh’s election it did open its account by winning a seat and increased its share of total votes from 1.5 per cent to 3.0 per cent. The story here is same as that of Gujrat. It did damage to the congress with more or less same intensity. And before all this it was in Maharashtra assembly election held in year 2003 the BSP had done the same damage to the Congress-NCP led coalition- it ruined the prospects of over dozen candidates. Clearly, it signifies that the BSP has been able to leave a mark which it can consolidate in years to come. It is just an end of beginning of a long innings which Maya! watiji intends to play in the western state and yet to play in Souther n states.

SO, is it the social engineering formula, which was nurtured so dearly and partially optimized after working painstakingly on social-economic realities and considerations that brought Behenji to power in UP, failed comprehensively? Or the poor show of the party could have really been averted had the party played the game differently by giving varied consideration to the local socio-economic and developmental parameters by playing the cards of social engineering aptly? It was a case of fifth-time unlucky for the BSP which has been contesting some seats in Gujarat since 1990. It is most likely that the poll performance assessment of the BSP is being done under the shadow of the success of the social engineering formula in UP. And why not, the BSP this time too did try to play the trick again. So the out come of the whole fact the BSP’s trick of social engineering did not fetch it the results which were being anticipated.

BUT If one would make the assessment of the Gujrat results under the shadow of social engineering formula, then the case is pretty clear it failed, but on the other side it did end up as a gross gainer. The BSP is gainer in terms of vote share that it had managed to muster. In both the state the BSP precisely managed to bring the votes of Underclass along with some portion of the Muslim votes under its wing that was once considered the traditional vote bank of the congress. And the matter of the fact is that the experiments that carried out in the UP were replicated in both the states. Aftermath, the BSP had made a big dent in the traditional vote share of the congress.

Why was the Underclass votes rallied behind Mayawatiji in these two states after UP, where she and her mentor and founder of the BSP late Kanshiram consolidated vote-bank comprising of Underclass and Muslims? The answer of it laid in the fact her rise to power and becoming the first Underclass lady chief-minister that too with a clear majority on her own charisma. And this really strengthen the wings of ‘aspirations’ and nurtured a ‘can do mindset’ in Underclass. That’s the reason why the Underclass been trying to strengthen the BSP’s elephant. They are least bother about the fact whether it would fetch a win for their candidate or not their primary object is to stand behind Mayawatiji. It is a great success of Mayawatiji that she brought, if not all, then a sizable chunk of Underclass votes (In the states which went to poll recently) under her wings and tried to bring others (OBCs, Schedule tribes, Brahmins and other upper-class) to its fold without jeopardizing her base v! ote. In reaching out to the Brahmins (and other upper-class), the traditional oppressors of the Underclass, she has demonstrated her confidence in her own ability to make a success of this seemingly unlikely alliance. There she won half the battle; the fate of the rest will be decided on how innovatively and inventively she forges this different societal aspirational combination for furthering her prospects in the elections. She has to work out on the organizational strengths and build-up, cementing its all sections with common minimum goals and try to win over the support of the maximum section of the Indian society by breaking the shackles of societal-prejudices, which are deeply embedded in the mind of the so called upper-class. The task is daunting but headway is a real necessity. And this will only carve out script of success, as had happened in the UP election.

THE result of two states indicated a unique trend that her base vote is strikingly making her elephant a potent threat to the prospects of the Congress. And the congress should on its own peril ignore this fact in the four states which are likely to go in for poll this year viz. Karnatka, Chhatissgarh, Delhi and Rajasthan. The base vote of Mayawatiji helped her to acquire a strong bargaining position; if congress decides to forge some sort of pre poll alliance for brightening its chances, provided it learnt a lesson from the recently concluded two state’s elections.

IT’S too ruthless expectation that the BSP should have performed the way it did in UP on the basis of the social engineering formula. But one should not ignore the fact that the 1) Understanding the political circumstance in the State, 2) Party’s work, 3) Organizational make-up and build-up, 4) Societal parameters, 4) Party’s and candidate’s virtuousness and Charisma, 5) Party’s agenda and its acceptance by the voters, 6) Adherence to Ideology, 7) Mass and class appeal, 8) Staunch force of leaders and followers, 9) Firm Base-voter, 10) Management of dissidents ( like accepting and taming), 11) Election campaign and media management, 12) Emotive issues aligned with party’s manifesto, 13) Good faith earned and generated by the party leaders and workers, 14) Identifying the chunk of dejected voters and try to win over them, 15) Formulating and offering solutions for the current socio-political entanglement and making it a sellable entity, 16) Making socio-economic aspirational ! commitments and earn a faith to fulfill them, 17) Practical bold and reformist move, 18) Socio-economic and politically innovative and inventive 19) Strong fund raising mechanism and fund’s optimum utilization, 20) Party’s blue print of state’s development plan, 21) Properly gauging the anti incumbency wave, 22) Media management and PRO networking, And the chief factor 23 ) Proper assessment of Caste, Inter-caste, Religious and Inter-religious socio-economic political realities and compulsions. All these 23 points are the governing parameters of success-engineering.

Why is that the success of the Mayawatiji in UP is seen as the win on the social engineering plank? Unfortunately, it was projected as the success due to the ticket distribution on the caste calculation, which led her to unanticipated win. But it was widely misunderstood. Why had the caste based tickets distribution been encompassed in the social engineering term as a whole which was not heard before? It was typical upper-caste mind set that think that an Underclass lady could not secure a clear majority by her own and that too right under their noses. It is systematic effort of undermining her achievement. And the same has been continuing when her party failed to muster a win in the two states by ridiculing that her social engineering formula failed, which was mainly whirl around the caste based ticket distribution. Yes, of course, with the strong emergence of party like the BSP or small state centric parties in that sense it has been widely understood that caste based calc! ulation is must consideration for ticket distribution. In reality the social engineering is not caste-based ticket distribution but its one of the dominating factors. Had it been the case then the BSP or for that matter, any national or any other party would have won the maximum seats in elections. The win of the BSP in the UP election was mainly because it had scored better in the above mentioned 23 points over its arch political rivals and partly because it had played a caste card adroitly (one would understand it by going through the ticket distribution of the BSP in UP). And that really heralded the phenomena called social engineering. The other is that, as Chief Minister-designate Mayawatiji said after her party's victory, the common man rejected sectarian politics to rise above caste and religion. What does that mean? There is reason why social engineering success phenomenon is used with Mayawatiji because of her Underclass status and win that she managed which otherw! ise considered an upper class prerogative. Modi in Gujrat, Dhumal in H P won because they scored better in the above mentioned 23 points. And that is not called as social engineering even when they played the caste card too. Why is so?

IS it not that the Congress or the BJP does calculate caste equation before ticket distribution? If not in the past( half truth half lie), yes, of course, they do, in the present. They have too and the credit goes to the BSP. The best thing that has emerged out of this thing is that every other party is knowingly or unknowingly following the BSP’s election punch line ‘Jiske jitney sankhya bhari, utni uski Bhagidari’ (As per the one’s population it will get representation in the election) which it had coined during one of the Brahmin Bhaichara rallies held in UP. How about calling it Bhaichara engineering in political circle?

IT is not a hidden fact that if any political party is to rule over Delhi it has to widen its base in all the sections of the society and the BSP is no exception to it. The congress party has always been harping on secular credential and boasting for the support of all sections of the society- mainly thanks to its contribution in the independence struggle. The BJP which has been chillingly following the dictates of the hard-and-mild Hindutva as per the guiding principals of its mentor non-political, spiritual and cultural entities too claims and enjoys hard and mild supports of almost all the sections of the society barring Muslims. There are myriads of the parties on the political horizon of India those too enjoy the support of specific followers depending on how fervently they tune their agenda in to the local flavors with spillover effect on national polity. Considering the political realities of India one party rule is clearly a bygone era. Coalition government of like m! inded groups or combination would, with majority in place, rule over Delhi. The groups have got distributed between the BJP and Congress, by considering the legitimate allowances of some parties which are likely to shift loyalties. But it is quite certain that either the BJP or Congress group would come to power on the basis of pre-or-post poll alliances bonded with common individual-cum-minimum goals.

BUT one should not forget that in the coalition era certainty of political combination is an uncertain phenomena. The attracting forces -depending upon the current situation- among groups trump up alternatives. And if left parties continue to show its performance the way it did in the last general election of 2003, and make swift efforts to revitalize the third front in that case things might go little tougher for either the BJP or Congress, of course, lot will depend upon how third front allies perform and stick together. This will only change certain uncertainties in the India politics of coalition otherwise lot will remain predictable after the great or bad show of the BJP or Congress. And the fourth should closely be watched out for alternative is how good the BSP performs. If it does well then the BSP will emerge as a real king or king maker, of course, it should secure not less than 65 seats.

But this is not an easy task. The BSP has to work on the 23 point success formula in each state where it wanted to make a debut. The BSP had managed to strengthen her base vote and that is turning out to be its strong point. Now it’s time to widen the vote share and base. Chief Minister-designate Mayawatiji said after her party's victory, the common man rejected sectarian politics to rise above caste and religion. It’s acid test for the Mayawatiji to affirm the faith of common man to prompt them to reject sectarian politics to rise above caste and religion in other states as well. Work with the people, win their faith, try and project yourself as a fresh, effective and potent alternative as was done in the UP.

The real key of the success of the BSP is its high scoring in 23 points of success-engineering and that it needed to be replicate in all the state which it’s aiming at. It’s not easy to build up a strong network of stanch leaders and followers in short period in politics. It’s a continuance process. But here the BSP can utilize its experience that it had gained during the building of UP state BSP. It can open an Academy of ‘Governance and Leadership Management’ where it can train the potential leaders in various cadres. And can build up a army of leaders and party workers those can authoritatively talk on the states problems and issues, as has been following in Karnatka. State general secretary, Karnatka, Jigni Shankar says they have been going from village to village in the state to understand the pulse of the people. He adds the indication they are getting is that the people are willing to give the BSP a shot in the state. A local leader with vision, skilled problem manage! r, sensing nerves of the people and offering practical solutions with a caring attitude, it’s all what required for earning a good faith and a long lasting socio-political courtship. Can the BSP do it? It has to because if it fails to keep the winning momentum going it might face tougher challenges ahead, which could decelerate or terminate the organic growth of the party. Or that will undo magical effects of all the advantages it has earned after winning the UP election. The BSP has to exhibit remarkable political maturity by adopting stratagems that would augment its position as a national party with a humane face. And this will only herald an era of Bahujan rule of all inclusive growth– a real pan India reach. It’s a dream. Indeed, a big majestic dream. Can be realized? Undoubtedly, just do voluntarily, firmly and faithfully stand by your own ‘Elephant’.

“Give it a chance and get the re-configured nation”

Jai Bharat, Jai Bhim
Praful Sakya -:- econfab@gmail.com

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