"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion," had said Nobel laureate Albert Camus, known for his relentless thoughts on absurdism.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav clearly thinks his own existence is an act of rebellion, given the trying circumstances. He has chosen to move ahead freely on an uncharted course in the theatre of the absurd. He has broken all shackles. He is bent upon defying all party norms and all rules of political business. And what's even more important is that he has, in the process, raised the banner of revolt against his father, who painstakingly built the Samajwadi Party, brick by brick, in the last 25 years.
But young Akhilesh doesn't seem to realise there is a difference between rebellion and revolution: If you fail in your fight against the established authority, you'll be labelled a rebel; and should you succeed against all odds, people will hail you a revolutionary. It is success — and not the cause — that is important. History is replete with burning examples: Indira Gandhi was hailed as a hero after the all-too-famous struggle for power between 'Indicate and Syndicate'. But Leon Trotsky, who failed in his fight against Joseph Stalin despite the loftiness of his cause, was exiled from the Soviet Union.
Yes, ignominy, disgrace and humiliation await those who fail. What else?
Now that the UP chief minister has made public a parallel list of his own contestants for the upcoming Assembly elections against the party's "official" list, it's time to take a look at the various possibilities that have suddenly cropped up in Lucknow:
Possibility 1: Father Mulayam Singh Yadav might expel his son from the party. Or, he might try once again to drill sense into the head of the rebellious chief minister. The old, wily, all-weather politician that he is, Mulayam still retains his powers and, maybe, an ace up his sleeve. But he is so unpredictable; you just can't read his mind. There is a saying that is still relevant in Lucknow: "Jiska jalwa kayam hai, uska naam Mulayam hai." You never know, the son might ultimately see reason and listen to the father, and the two might have a far-fetched compromise formula. It will be uncle Shivpal Yadav who becomes the biggest loser in such a situation.
Possibility 2: Regardless of what his father thinks or does, Akhilesh might proceed further on the road to rebellion. In this scenario, he would formally divide the party, just like Indira Gandhi did in the late 60s. According to well-placed sources in the party, Akhilesh does enjoy the support of a larger number of party MLAs. Sooner rather than later, Akhilesh's men would announce the formation of a new party with a new name and a different symbol — maybe, a motorcycle. And this entity would rush ahead to strike alliances with Congress and other like-minded parties.
Possibility 3: The strife torn party wouldn't suffer a formal split. Instead, Akhilesh's candidates would fight as "independents" against the official nominees in this election, further causing confusion among those who form the core of the pro-SP vote bank — Yadavas and Muslims. In this case, SP's adversaries — BJP and BSP — would stand to gain.
Possibility 4: This is a rather unlikely option, one that sees Mulayam give leeway to the rebellious son, letting him emerge the ultimate winner — either by letting him rein in the disparate forces within the party if he can; or by splitting the party if he can't. Don't be surprised if you get to know that this possibility is already doing rounds in the corridors of power. Perhaps those who are discussing this theory know Mulayam more than we do.
But forget all these possibilities for a moment and look at the big picture that has already emerged in the aftermath of the intra-party bloodbath in the all too crucial Uttar Pradesh. The BJP has come up from behind to be a serious contender for power for the first time since 1991. See what Mohammad Azam Khan says now: "We seem to be presenting power to the BJP on a platter."
Indeed, even Azam Khan can speak out the truth for once. Aloud.
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Updated Date: Dec 30, 2016 16:02:26 IST