Politics of the Beg Word
Politics has a myriad of shades and colors. Just now in India it has achieved another unique dimension—the politics of begging!
Rahul Gandhi, the youthful general secretary of the Congress party who has commanded tremendous youth following all over the country of late, was in Uttar Pradesh to kickstart the party’s campaign for the forthcoming assembly elections of the state. He lambasted the ruling party there for total lack of economic development and for resembling almost a mafia rule. He went on with his diatribe by saying that had there been some developmental progress the people there would not have been forced to migrate to other states and beg for work.
There was an inherent truth in what he said about the state and it had to be analyzed in the context of an opposition party leader addressing an election rally. But all hell broke loose because of just one word ‘beg’! Rahul Gandhi must have said it with bitter sarcasm and sentiments, but ‘beg’ created a chain effect of self-righteous protests and self-dignified ejaculations. Just how dare he call the people of the biggest state of India beggars!
Now, the word ‘beg’ has a deeper significance too. Maharashtra, a state in western India, was prominently included as the other ‘states’ due to the fact that regional parties there made it very clear that north Indian migrants were not at all welcome there. There had been disturbances, arguments, mini riots and running court cases over the issue in the last two years.
Because of the political significance of the ‘beg’ word the Congress party had been caught in a dilemma how to go about defending its leader while at the same time getting concerned for its north Indian votes. The main opposition party of the country held protests and effigy burnings in many parts defending the dignity of the north Indians. Even the regional leaders in Maharashtra who oppose north Indian migrants advised Rahul to take home all such beggars and feed them well so that they did not have to come to their state to ‘beg’ for work.
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati, cried hoarse for her hard working and self respecting people while on the very next day announcing a proposal for dividing the state into four parts or states to be placed in the coming assembly session. If this latest politicking is linked to the ‘beg’ and how one only time will tell.
Meanwhile rejoice O’ Indian beggars! Politics has finally caught up with you too!