The recent elections in Uttar Pradesh, the largest province/state in India, have shed light on the shifting paradigm of caste based politics in India. For decades the Congress party almost exclusively claimed to be the representative of the lower castes including the one-sixth of India’s population, the Dalits or the untouchables. One of their own, Mayawati had won the Chief Ministership of the state and ruled for the requisite term of five years. During her rule a lack of proper governance, rampant corruption and her own self enrichment resulted in little economic or social improvement in the lives of her constituency, the Dalits.
And the Samajwadi Party, a higher caste led political force drove Mayawati out of power with the help of the same Dalits who had voted her in. Why?
I believe that as the information age entrenches itself in most of urban and rural India as well as the increase in the literacy rate, it will become harder and harder for political mafias that have thrived on divisive and parochial methods. A new voter is emerging in India. A more informed, coldly calculating and analytical mass of humanity, sick and tired of unkept promises, nepotism and now much reviled corruption. They are seeking results from those elected to office and keeping tabs on them almost on a daily basis. Political parties seem terrified of the labels of ineptitude and searching for leaders with a grander vision and the competence to deliver the goods to the public. Already the green shoots of a much more mature and responsible system has taken root in several states where the Chief Ministers are highly educated and motivated, progressive and pragmatic, results oriented chief executives. These states are attracting most of the foreign direct investment and it is showing in the improving economic situation of their domains.
Now what needs to happen is that a similar trend occurs in New Delhi. It is time for the entitlement mentality of princelings like Rahul Gandhi to be brought to an end thus removing the political impediments to the nation’s dreams of peace and prosperity.