An Open Letter to Ms. Mayawati

Posted on March 8, 2010 in Society, The Opinionated, YKA Editorials

Anshul Tewari:

Dear Ms. Mayawati,

Hope you are doing well. I have heard and seen a lot about you but haven’t yet got a chance to meet you in person. I am sure your early life inspires many of us. Recently, we saw that there was a stampede at an ashram in Uttar Pradesh and above 60 people died in the same. This is certainly shocking and heart wrenching for all of us. As usual, the blame game has begun, and the story will continue to make headlines until another such incident happens. There was a police outpost barely 50 metres from the ashram. Yet, when 15,000 people gathered and that too at a scheduled event, there was no attempt to manage the crowd, or bring in reinforcement. The judiciary (for the state) does come under your purview, and yet your people were blaming the ashram. I guess it is time for ashrams to hire body guards.

The people who died belonged to the lower strata, many of them being the sole earners of their families, women and children, and now that they are gone, there is no way their families can compensate for their loss. These days the first thing that the Chief Ministers of the affected states do is announce a monetary compensation. Similar was expected from you, to think of the least, but the press release you issued was not satisfactory ma’am.

You had mentioned that, “The state does not have the money to compensate the victims’ families. The emergency fund covers natural calamities, and not tragedies like stampedes.” Are you serious ma’am? This was probably the least you could have done for the victims.

I heard (from the Supreme Court’s orders) that you spent hundreds of crores (read as 2000 crore) on constructing Dalit icons’ statues, and now I hear that the UP treasure does not have 60 lakh (if you give one lakh each, minimum) for the people who died. I heard you say that you fight for upliftement of the Dalits, and guess what, a majority of the victims of this stampede were Dalits. Sad, but true! I really look forward to a change in statement (which I know won’t happen) from your side.

Moving on, this is certainly not where my concerns end. I am in no mood for comparisons, but look what Mr. Nitish Kumar has done to Bihar. I believe that even you can change the face of UP, and then you won’t even have to take the pain of building your own statues, maybe your followers (in true sense, no pun intended) would do that. As Mr. Nitish Kumar rightly said, “If Bihar can change, the whole nation can”. But Ms. Mayawati, we are not asking you to change the nation, we are talking about UP alone. Please do us this favour.

I did a small analysis for you to see, and would welcome suggestions from your side. As I read, you spent around 2,000 crore on building statues and parks in and around U.P, my (and many others’) calculations say that if these 2,000 crore had been invested in the judicial system of U.P, we would have had a better policing system, a much stricter one, for the better. Lower crime rates would have been observed. Promoti0n of trade and upliftment of the fringes could have been seen. Moreover, a higher GDP. Thus, all in all, happy UPites. (and more followers for you).

Mr. P. Chidambaram had once said, “Of what use will be the statues in that state. The Rs 1,000 crore will help wipe out poverty of thousands of people, provide basic amenities and education.”

I think this is the way to go ma’am. Also, I must not fail in pointing out that living in UP, I see a lot of goons (the local ones) creating troubles for all of us here, especially for the ladies. I hope this has been brought to your notice and you are already in the process of issuing actions against them.

And yes, education. I have still not been able to figure out the number of state run and municipal run schools in UP, and I heard that in villages near Kanpur and Lucknow (closer to you) the drop out rates have increased suddenly.

I don’t want to see that the state I live in is a subject of joke for my peers, or anyone in that case. And I hope that the people of my state trusted you for a few unfulfilled reasons. This is not a joke ma’am, and please do not take this letter lightly. There are many youngsters like myself who want to see an all pervasive growth of the state, but what have you been doing?

I do not intend to criticize you or your efforts, but request you to have more strategic plans and act in a more balanced way. I am sure UP has the potential to grow, and the people have the zest to excel. Then why stop them ma’am? Trust me when I say so, it will add to your popularity and people will trust you more than anyone. Or else a Rahul will come and take away your throne. By the way, for the positives, I congratulate you for the roads of Noida (but not for the deadly highways of Kanpur and the bad mad traffic rules of Lucknow).

I have much more to say and ask, but I know a better date awaits.

I am sure our readers here would have loads to add to this letter, so consider this as a popular voice.

With kind regards,

Anshul Tewari
Founder and Editor in Chief
Youth Ki Awaaz: Mouthpiece for the Youth


The writer is the Founder and Editor in Chief at Youth Ki Awaaz and holds special interest in rural development.