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All Hail Mayawati, But Not The One Who Really Needs The Daily Bread

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By Anshul Tewari:

I wanted to shout that title standing a top my four floor building when the 33-acre Dalit Prerna Sthal or the Ambedkar Park was being inaugurated by the auspicious hands of Mayawati in Noida. Her pet project, which cost the tax payer a whopping Rs. 650 crore was started a few years ago.

A look at the features: The park has 24 pink sandstone elephants, the electoral symbol of BSP, 12 life-size statues of Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram and the UP Chief Minister herself! The estimated cost of each statue is over Rs 6 crore and each elephant statue Rs 70 lakh of public money. In fact Mayawati spent Rs 2500 crores on five such major parks across UP. (source)

This park will represent the growing face of Uttar Pradesh, the development that has happened and the exquisite architecture that the craftsmen of the state are capable of. Lovely, isn’t it.

Here’s what. In 2007, 18 children died of hunger and starvation in Varanasi, U.P. According to the third National Family Health Survey, in Uttar Pradesh at least 47 per cent of all children up to the age of three are underweight and at least 14 per cent are “wasted”, which is worse than the 11 per cent recorded in the previous survey. According to a report in The Hindu newspaper, most Dalit families cannot afford pulses or vegetables. Multiple vitamin deficiency is common and many children are at risk of losing their eyesight. Dalit seem to suffer the most in the state with a Dalit Chief Minister who has a Dalit vote bank.

In the last 8 years, around 300 farmer suicides, around the same number of hunger-deaths and over 400 suicide attempts by the poor have been reported in Bundelkhand, UP. According to Tehelka, of 133 lakh Dalit children in the 5-14 age group, only 58.3 lakh have been attending school. Work participation rate (WPR) of the SC population is 34.7 percent, lower than that of the national average for SCs (40.4 percent). Among the total workers, 65.2 percent are main workers, again lower than what is recorded for all-India SCs (73 percent).

But the hunger for power and fame that drives Mayawati does not allow her to give these facts and figures even a single look. With audacious claims of development, this Chief Minister is on her way to glory after constructing statues of herself all across Uttar Pradesh.

I live in Uttar Pradesh, and it’s a daily sight to see the ever growing beggary in the state, to see the homelessness. Leave aside these social issues. My parents are from Lucknow-Kanpur. A few years ago I lost a very dear cousin due to the poorly constructed roads in Kanpur. A visit to my grandma’s house in Kanpur/Lucknow makes sure I get a back-ache because of the distorted-disastrous roadways.

What could have happened in the staggering Rs. 2500 crore (most of which is public money)? Roads, houses, food grains, jobs! And what ever would have been left would certainly have accommodated a few parks across U.P.

But hey, Miss Mayawati is not interested in listening to us – or anyone for that matter; and then there are those (like me) who argue that the poverty stricken state like Uttar Pradesh should not be spending money on parks and luxurious statues which show how the Chief Minister is establishing her brand identity.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. Ummm… I guess I am straying from the topic here.

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  1. Chitraparna Sinha

    Mayawati is nothing but a narcissist. The amount she spent on glorifying herself should have been put to better use….She is a worthless politician. I think she joined politics so she could lay her hands on crores of public money and squander it the way she is acting now.

    1. Anshul Tewari

      Yeah! We haven’t yet seen any real developmental work being done. There is rarely a ray of hope in U.P.

  2. Raghu

    She is a disgrace to the once she CLAIMS to be representing or leading! The worst part about it all is that the general public is aware of most of this yet nothing could be done about it!! Shouldn;t the Center be even a little concerned about where all this money has come from???

  3. Mahalakshmi

    hope Mayawati has a look at this article or best even steps out of her many mansions ,walks around to have a feel and look of the so called ‘development’ taking place in UP.Just building statues and Prerna Stals and glorifying oneself is not the way one must build one’s brand ,but sadly she has taken this route to fame.The irony remains that in her own state the development and empowerment of the dalits,whom she claims to represent is so minimum,one really wonders what her electoral manifesto really is…….really time to ponder over the state of affairs in UP ,taking into account the greed with which Mayawati wants the PM tag very soon

  4. Arpita Chakrabarty

    It’s very sad to see Mawayati spending 2500 crores on building parks that don’t help in real development of people. It just helps in employment of construction workers for a certain period of time. That’s it. A lot of politics of symbolism has come into play. She has immortalised Dalit leaders, Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram and also herself in mere statues made up of stones! You know what happens to statues later on! The people are remembered and garlanded on a day in the whole year! The problem with Indian democracy is that a majority of voters never went to school or college. The distinction between rational and irrational goes into oblivion. Hence, a lot can be manipulated!

  5. Alisha Kalra

    What this post fails to mention is the other side of it. What about all the statues and and stuff being built by the Nehru-Gandhi family. I understand that your focus is on Mayawati but that should also have been mentioned, at least in passing.

    She wasted money so do the rest of them, but lets not pound on her alone, it would have been interesting to see how much the other political figures or parties have spent on stuff like this.

    But anyway, a bloody wastage of money nevertheless.

    1. Md. Tayyab

      plz stop her to waste the money of Aam Aadmi of parks and Elephants…..

  6. Brototi Roy

    The real sad thing is that the below poverty line dalits fall for the pretty picture that Mayawati paints for them and are still supporting her. Let us hope that someday, and someday soon, these poor and cheated voters realize that “one of their own” as Mayawati claims, is only in it for more power and money.

  7. Ajay Kumar

    Dalit chief minister is facing the same comments through out media…

  8. Raj Kishore

    Why do we point fingers only at Mayawati ?????

    I would recommend others to understand the dynamics of Identity Politics in India.

    Why do people call her Dalit CM????

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