Akhilesh Yadav’s Icons are both Ambedkar and Lohia
Samajwadi Party president Tailoring Bespoke Alliances for #UPElections2022

In Akhilesh Yadav

By Socialist Factor Bureau

The SP leader is trying to do what his father failed to recognise
The ex CM Akhilesh changes the face and image of the SP and makes it All-inclusive
Akhilesh is adopting the political tactics reminiscent of BSP founder Kanshiram
Akhilesh realizes the importance and crucial role of Dr.BR Ambedkar in achieving social emancipation like Dr.Ram Manohar Lohia did in the last years of Babasaheb

Indian Mainstream had once media branded the Samajwadi Party as MY (Muslim+Yadav) Combination indicating that it gets the votes of only Muslims and Yadavs but, now Akhilesh is bound to prove it false, emphasizing M=Mahila & Y=Youth
Akhilesh inherits the Lohia’s Socialist Ideology and in his late forties he adopts and takes Ambedkar as an Icon of all subalterns and Bahujan Sections of the Hindu society

For Dalits or all scheduled castes including Jatavs or Chamars of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh and the SP is more acceptable than Mulayam and his party as the SP national president now signals change in his party’s perception of Dalits and other downtrodden castes of UP
Akhilesh surprises one and all by his actions and words in broadening the social base of Samajwadi Party
The SP chief not only brings the most backward and numerically weak OBC castes into his alliance or social coalition but also many non-Jatav SC castes and the parties representing them

The Big political picture in UP before the assembly polls shows the widening support base of the Samajwadi Party and the increasing acceptance of Akhilesh as leader of all the weaker sections of Uttar Pradesh

Like Dr.Ram Manohar Lohia’s late realization of Ambedkar’s greatness and relevance in the sphere of achieving political power for the drowntrodden, Akhilesh also recognises the importance of Babasaheb’s ideology and the need to get the support of Dalits
As Dr.Ram Manohar was born 18 years after BR Ambedkar’s birth in 1891 and sailed with Congress Socialist Party (CSP) within the Congress he realised the importance and greatness of Ambedkar in the fifties. Former psephologist and activist leader of Swaraj India Yogendra Yadav wrote an article in the prestigious monthly magazine The #Seminar and later in #Socialist_Factor magazine in 2015 about Lohia’s attempts to meet Ambedkar in 1955-56. Yadav wrote in the article, “Once Lohia split from the parent party, the then Praja Socialist Party, and decided to set up his own Socialist Party, he got in touch with Ambedkar. His letter of 10 December 1955 invites Ambedkar to write for #Mankind, the journal Lohia had recently launched, to address a study camp and to attend the foundation conference of the Socialist Party. In that letter Lohia refers to the ‘speeches I made about you in the parliamentary campaign in Madhya Pradesh.’ The reference here is perhaps to the Lok Sabha by-election of 1954 when Ambedkar contested with support from the Socialist Party. We do not know the content of the speeches Lohia refers to, but the following sentence gives a sense of what Lohia must have said: ‘Even now I very much wish that sympathy should be joined to anger and that you become a leader not alone of the scheduled castes, but also of the Indian people.’

Lohia writes to Madhu Limaye, another Lohia socialist former colleague of Mulayam about his wish to meet and work with Dr.Ambedkar
Yogendra Yadav continued in his article, “Subsequent correspondence indicates that some of Lohia’s colleagues met Ambedkar in September 1956 and started informal discussions about an alliance between the two parties. Ambedkar’s letter of 24 September 1956 confirmed this and paved the way for formal consultations between the Socialist Party and the All India Scheduled Castes Federation. Ambedkar and Lohia tried to fix a meeting and missed each other due to scheduling problems. But the talks went on. Ambedkar passed away before the two of them could meet for a dialogue. Lohia recorded his regret in a letter (dated 1 July 1957) to his closest associate in the Socialist Party, Madhu Limaye:

‘You can well understand that my sorrow at Dr Ambedkar’s sudden death has been and is somewhat personal. It had always been my ambition to draw him into our fold, not only organizationally but also in full ideological sense, and that moment seemed to be approaching.
‘…Dr Ambedkar was to me, a great man in Indian politics, and apart from Gandhiji, as great as the greatest of caste Hindus. This fact had always given me solace and confidence that the caste system of Hinduism could one day be destroyed.

‘I have always been trying to communicate to the Harijans in India, an idea which is basic with me. Dr Ambedkar and Sri Jagjivan Ram are the two types of modern Harijans in India. Dr Ambedkar was learned, a man of integrity, courage and independence; he could be shown to the outside world as a symbol of upright India, but he was bitter and exclusive. He refused to become a leader of non-Harijans. I can well understand the agony of the last 5000 years and their continuing impact on the Harijans. But that is precisely the point. Such a great Indian as Dr Ambedkar, I had hoped, would someday be able to rise above the situation, but death came early.’

Ambedkar’s involvement in drafting the Indian Constitution and his poor health did not allow him to work for the emanicipation of non-Dalit sections of the Hindu society

Though Ambedkar is portrayed as the only leader of Dalits, actually he was for all downtrodden or the subaltern sections of the Indian society. The Lohia socialists have immense faith in Ambedkar’s teachings and great respect for him. But they never tried to show it in public and did not toil extra hours to reach out to the scheduled castes in the Hindi belt states. The SP founder and the socialist patriarch Mulayam Singh had clinched an electoral alliance with Kanshiram’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 1993 UP assembly polls and achieved success. But, the SP-BSP coalition proved to be short-lived and fragile due to misunderstandings between the two senior leaders. Due to the failure of the SP-BSP alliance the distance between the scheduled castes and other backward castes remained unchanged until Akhilesh Yadav’s successful attempt to reach out to the former CM and the president of BSP Mayawati in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. In spite of the alliance’s failure to win the fifty percent of the parliament seats out of 80 in UP, Akhilesh had achieved what his father failed in getting Dalits’ goodwill. In the course of joint election campaign in Kannauj, Dimple Yadav, wife of the SP leader, touching the feet of Mayawati on a stage of public meeting sent the signal that the SP has respect for Ambedkarite leaders and treats Dalit leaders with utmost respect. Though the short-lived electoral experiment failed to achieve huge benefits for the two parties, Akhilesh won the hearts of the Dalits and Ambedkarites in UP. They realized Akhilesh is more accommodative to the needs of all sections of Bahujans and pleasantly receptive to the Ambedkarite ideology.

Akhilesh Yadav’s Bahujan outreach starts with a an alliance with OP Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) in October
With an alliance and political camaraderie with Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and its young president Jayant Chaudhary (Chaudhary Jayant Singh) going strong for the last four years, the SP national president is eager to have electoral understanding and alliances with subaltern sections of the society or the most backward classes parties like OP Rajbhar’s SBSP. He had a meeting with OP Rajbhar in October and addressed the foundation day of SBSP in the Poorvanchal region. Akhilesh was able to bring five smaller parties representing many backward castes both in the western and eastern UP. They are: OP Rajbhar’s SBSP, Sanjay Singh Chauhan’s Janawadi Party (Socialist) and the Mahan Dal, which have influence in western UP and Rohilkhand, ), Raghuraj Pratap Singh “Raja Bhaiya” of the Jansatta Dal (Democratic) and Krishna Patel of the Apna Dal (kamerawadi). And the SP leader had already had talks with AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and Bhim Army founder and Azad Samaj Party leader Chandrashekhar alias Raavan in the recent past. It is expected that the SP would have seat adjustments with the above said smaller parties representing the depressed sections of the Hindu society.

Akhilesh is enthusiastic about inviting the Dalit and OBC leaders from BSP and admitting them into the Samajwadi Party.
Over a dozen Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leaders, including former lawmakers, have joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) along with hundreds of workers since an alliance between the two parties ended following their dismal performance in this summer’s national polls. The most prominent among them have been Dalits. Their inclusion in the SP comes as the party seeks to strengthen its base among the Dalits, who account for 21% of Uttar Pradesh’s population, amid the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s attempts to also woo the community. Dalits have been the main support base of the BSP, while the SP is primarily seen as the party of Yadavs (around 12% of the state’s population) and Muslims (around 20%). The Samajwadi Party has thus far been able to attract many influential district-level leaders from both the BSP and Congress. In Ambedkarnagar, for instance, the most prominent BSP faces and OBC leaders Ram Achal Rajbhar and Lalji Verma have joined the SP.

Akhilesh Yadav’s Bahujan outreach is bound to bring electoral benefits to the SP alliance and bring justice and joy to the subaltern sections of the society

=Akhilesh Yadav studied the ideology and thinking of Ram Manohar Lohia under the benign guidance of the late leader Chota Lohia Janeswar Mishra. In the last five years the SP chief had thoroughly understood the ideology of Ambedkar and took necessary steps to groom and encourage the Dalit leaders in his party. In the last one year Akhilesh invited the prominent Dalit leaders from the parties like BSP, BJP and other parties to join SP. It seems Akhilesh is able to adopt the Bahujan thinking blending the teachings of the great leaders Dr.Ambedkar and Dr Lohia. As he is attracting more and more crowds and media attention nowadays, it will be cakewalk for the SP alliance to win the overwhelming majority in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election-2022 to be held in a few months.

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