(un)fair weather friends

The definition of a true friend in Sanskrit:
Utsave Vyasane Chaiba (he is with me during festivals and good times)
Durbhikshye Rashtrabiplabe (….and during famines and mutiny)
Rajadware Shmashane Cha  (he gives me company in crisis and in death)
Jah Tisthati Sah Vandhavah  (the man who stands by me is a true friend)

It is near-death time for Congress (A), so it is up to the (B) team to deliver.

When Akhilesh Yadav (son of “mullah” Mulayam Yadav) came to power with a robust majority it was hoped that a new generation was rising and would bring with it the promise of good governance (with technology acting as disinfectant). That promise has not been kept, even the muslim vote-bank of the Samajwadi Party is disillusioned because of the many many riots (and more importantly the cavalier, callous govt response to the riot victims).  

The general attitude of secular parties is “there is no alternative for muslims.” However taking muslims for granted may not be possible any more. The “muslim faces” that have functioned as bridges with the community have lost their trust and will need serious effort to earn it back (if ever).

The way things are right now, it looks as if it will be tough going for the (B) team as well.

Doctors’ strike, riots, bad law & order and a scolding by your father…

Netaji (Mulayam Yadav) is both my leader and my father. If he says something, I have
to pay attention. Though sometimes I also get confused as to whether he
is talking to me as a leader or a father (smiles).

Azam Khan is a discredited figure and many believe you make a mistake in projecting him as the Muslim face of your party.

Azam Khan and Netaji go back to the Babri Masjid days when fir­ing
was ordered on the kar sevaks. They’ve seen and felt a lot together.

Now netaji wants to be PM.

This election is about choosing a PM. If Jayalalitha and Mamata
both want to increase their strength by saying they will be PM,
it is a good thing. Shows the pluralism of our country.

But most believe Modi is more likely to be the PM?

Whose voice is Modi’s voice? Crores of people of Uttar Pradesh and
Bihar are responsible for the prosperity of Gujarat that he talks of.
Thousands of cadres of the RSS are working for him.  

But secularism is in crisis and the kind of secular politics your party plays has also led to the growth of the BJP.

It is easy to be communal. Secular hona mushkil hai (it is
difficult to be secular).
UP is being circled by communal forces. What
happened in Muzaffarnagar was a great tragedy and we did what we could.
But we were not playing politics with that issue. The BJP and BSP did. 

Look how it has been done. One TV channel close to the BJP announces
that warm clothes for Muzaffarnagar refugees will be collected in the
Ambience Mall in Delhi three months after the riots. And look how the
VHP has been actively stoking trouble all over in Jhansi, Faizabad. And
every clash or incident is now described as communal.

You are not putting up candidates against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

When the Congress is in trouble, then we are its closest friends. There will be no SP candidates against the Big Two.

Do you support reservation for Jats?

I do not want to say anything about reservation as it is a sensitive issue and we have to take decisions as a party.


Brown Pundits