Post partition, Uttar Pradesh was one the most important states in India contributing a fair share of politicians, administrators, academics, artists and poets to the country. However the decades following saw the state slide into caste and communal politics, divisions so deep that they still define how people vote and how they think. This is a state where as soon as you meet somebody, you will be asked you surname, judged and put into a category.
On a micro level, decades of divisive politics have made the people inward thinking, anti-growth and more communal. Macro effects have been large scale migration, uncontrolled population, hooliganism and a strong goodna raj throughout the state.
State and Central election wins are dependent on which community the ‘leader’ represents and how much can the party workers coerce people into voting for their leader. Government after government has been embroiled into corruption scandals and has taken aid of goonda raj to rule the state, pushing it backward rather than forward. Like termite eating the state from inside, weakening it so its executive and judiciary are unable to function properly.
Each change of guard brings with it skepticism, hope for some community or the other (never for the entire state) and for the administration that some semblance of rules will be followed. A clean sweep by the Samajwadi Party has shown a voter confidence in son of three time Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav – Akhilesh Yadav.
Akhilesh Yadav, Courtsey CNN-IBN
Not only has be been the face of the campaign, going on a rigorous 3500 kilometer pre election trail and attending over 200 rallies, the party has had a progressive election manifesto – computers for students, English language and a promise of curbing goonda raj.
And now as the time to form the government has come closer, the party has announced Akhilesh Yadav as the Chief Minister of the state. Will the rise of the son lead to a new era? Will the state see development as it deserves? Will the rookie politician be able to afield the minefield of complex politics and come out unscathed? The answer to these questions will unfold in the next five years. Here’s hoping that the rise of the son will lead to rise of the state, from the ashes to where it belongs.