Mulayam Singh and his cohorts sing Bloodhound Gang’s “The Roof is on Fire”(we don’t need no water let the motherfuckers burn) while the records of their sterling efforts to convert Uttar Pradesh into what BigB called Uttam Pradesh (Amitabh Bachchan would be well advised to drop all prints of Toofan and Ajooba in the bonfire also) go up in smoke. Amar Singh’s phone calls are met with a “This number does not exist”, Jaya Prada comes to the realization that she just may have had the last of her 35 lacs a pop dance performances paid for by the government of UP. Jaya Bachchan understands that the people of UP do not really see her as an Aishwaryan daughter-in-law who is quiet, listens and stands behind which is why her vote-grub: that of being a bahu, who had “rarely asked them for anything” fell on cold ears. Celina Jaitley learns a life lesson that it is one thing to push up her assets and quite another thing to keep upthrust the Congress’s flagging fortunes.
And amidst all the smoke and introspection, Mayawati, is crowned the empress to cheers of “Huzoor Waah Taaj boliye” bringing to a spectacular climax the Kumbh mela for criminals otherwise known as the Uttar Pradesh elections and starting off yet another series of manic transfers within a few hours of her ascension.
With an absolute majority and now in striking distance of her ultimate ambition: to be India’s most outrageously fashionable Prime Minister, Mayawati’s ascension to the top has been spectacular. With the “Tilak, tarazu aur talwaar/ Maro inko jootay chaar” violently casteist slogans being sought to be downplayed for a kinder, gentler upper-caste friendly image brought out about by the cute realization that the elephant symbol of the BSP is actually the Bramhinical Ganesh, Mayawati’s inclusive politics this time round is a winner, not just for the votes it has gotten her.
And why so?
Because Mayawati just increased her “catchment area” manifold. Now even a “tilak” or a “tarazu” can give her a few “green” birthday (known as Swabhimaan Divas and celebrated in the past with 1 crore rupees taken from the state’s relief fund) bumps, whereas in past years they stayed away, afraid of her sandal-slapping. Because now when BSP tickets are being sold, she is able to get higher prices as the bidding process will be finally open to all, regardless of the family you were born in. (Read this for a charming story of a Brahmin man whose first foray with the BSP went thusly ” Just before one of Mayawati’s birthdays, a district president of the BSP had met him and asked for a small donation of Rs 500 towards the celebrations. “I thought it was too little and it embarrassed me to give such a small amount. I was doing well in my business, so I gave him Rs 5000.“)
For the first time in many years, an egalitarian order may be established in UP where for the most part, the privileges you can extract from the government will be governed simply by the cash you can shell out and by how many times you touch your head to Mayawati’s feet and not by your caste and religion.
Ironically, this is the most social justice you can ever expect in Uttar Pradesh.
[Am in Calcutta now. Blogging and replying to comments will be sporadic.]