Samajwadi Party hogs limelight as rise of Akhilesh Yadav threatens 'chacha' Shivpal's raj

"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation."—said Nobel laureate, Pearl S Buck.

Yes, you just can’t come to grips with what’s happening in battle-scarred Lucknow at this point of time unless you view things in the correct historical perspective.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. AFP

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. AFP

Here three relevant examples: First, we all saw how a young Indira Gandhi, who was considered as nothing more than a ‘baby doll’ by the ‘syndicate lobby’ consisting of political heavyweights such as K Kamraj, Morarji Desai, S Nijalingappa, Neelam Sanjva Reddy, Atulya Ghosh and SK Patil, emerged victorious after a bitter war within the Congress in the second half of 1960s. The ‘baby doll’ grew into ‘an iron lady’ from there on. And now even world-history acknowledges her as one of the strongest prime ministers of all time.

Second, we also saw how an otherwise little-known Narendra Modi came into his own slowly but surely, triumphing over a towering RSS-BJP stalwart, Keshubhai Patel, in the generational transition in Gujarat at the turn of this century. Patel is now irrelevant for all political purposes while Modi rides high globally as, like Indira Gandhi, one of India’s most powerful prime ministers.

And third, we are all aware of the fate of BJP’s famous but toothless ‘Marg Darshak Mandal’ consisting of towering men of yester years – Lal Krishna Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and Yashwant Sinha. All these big names have been watching helplessly the surface slip away from under their feet in more recent times. What’s perhaps even more bewildering is that there are hardly any tears for them – neither within their party nor in the society as a whole. Perhaps, we have accepted it all as a natural by-product of the generational change. It has happened in the past. It’s happening now. And it shall happen in future as well.

Let’s now bring back our focus on the on-going developments in the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow. The ‘bechara boy’, who had taken over as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in his 38th year in 2012, seems to have grown into a strong young man with a spine. He has shown that he can not only take decisions but implement them ruthlessly as well.
Remember, Akhilesh was earlier known as the ‘5th chief minister’ in his own government, the first four being Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shivpal Singh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav and Azam Khan! This perception was based on the fact that Akhilesh was in no position to exercise his mind independently. But now things have changed in the aftermath of the surgical pruning of Chacha Shivpal’s portfolios.

Developing stories don’t call for hurried conclusive judgements. Only time will tell us how and when the fluid scenario would crystallise. But one thing is certain: The older generation, which includes Chacha Shivpal Singh Yadav, will have to cede more elbow-room to Bhatija (nephew) Akhilesh’. And as far as the fate of an ‘outsider’ Amar Singh is concerned, chances are that even Mulayam Singh Yadav may not be able to save him from further disgrace this time.

Political observers aren’t at a loss to see the new reality in the Yadav clan: While the patriarch, Mulayam Singh, has taken a neutral position, Ram Gopal Yadav, who happens to be the party’s face in Delhi, is seen to be backing Akhilesh’s cause solidly. This means that Chacha Shivpal stands almost alone. And that’s why he rushed to resign from the Akhilesh government late last night. The chief minister hasn’t accepted his chacha’s resignation so far. All the dramatis personae in the Yadav family-feud are awaiting the neutral patriarch’s final word on the subject. Thus far ‘Netaji’ has come out with a one-liner: "Akhilesh will obey my commands." But nobody knows what his commandments are. Perhaps, he shall clarify things later.

It’s quite ironical that the Samajwadi Party family feud is seen to be paying the party rich political dividends ahead of elections. Yes, the party has been hogging all the limelight during the past four tumultuous days. And there is no stopping the unending debates and discussions in TV studios. It looks as if the Samajwadi Party is the only party that deserves attention. And the Yadav clan is made to look like reigning monarchs of Uttar Pradesh.

Reactions of political adversaries from the Congress, the BSP and the BJP have been consigned to the inside pages. But don’t blame media for all this. For, it doesn’t make news if a dog bites a man. But when a man bites a dog, it’s big news. Long live journalism!

Updated Date: Sep 16, 2016 16:24 PM

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