oday, #Yogi4Development was trending on the Twitter, exactly two years back, the same was trending for Akhilesh Yadav. Leaving these microblogs and social media promotions aside, if we look at Uttar Pradesh, it’s evident that nothing has really changed. Uttar Pradesh breathes politics, this is a state said to produce the Prime Ministers. Perhaps, this is the reason, Modi preferred to contest from Varanasi.
Since the Prime Minister was supposed to be from UP all these years, the state became directly involved with national politics. The government in Lucknow would not think anything on its own or would work to improve departments under it, but would wait for the directive to come from Delhi. Also, though the Prime Ministers have hailed from UP, no PM ever has done whatsoever for Uttar Pradesh as a whole, except for their constituencies. From Panditji to NaMo, no PM ever thought of doing any development at large in this state.
The fed-up UPites in the late 80s elected a man called Mulayam Singh Yadav as their chief minister. He served for three non-consecutive terms as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1989 to 1991, 1993 to 1995, and 2003 to 2007 respectively. This man openly promoted hooliganism and mayhem. He lacked vision and leadership. All he promoted was nepotism, casteism, appeasement and vote bank politics. His Samajwadi Party became a gang of thugs and criminals. He became patron messiah of criminals in Uttar Pradesh — most of the Samajwadi Party candidates have a criminal record. Mulayam not only criminalised politics in UP, but he outlawed the society as well. Law and order became dead.
In 1991, the economy opened up, but he did nothing. He was too myopic to understand the policy changes and reap benefits. Since the last 20 years, there has been no foreign investment in UP, corporate sector was non-existent. Over these years, UP’s population has mushroomed without appropriate healthcare and infrastructure. Unemployment grew and UP residents migrated to other states in search of employment adding further to the perception that Uttar Pradesh is backward, impoverished and there are no employment opportunities.
Then UPites hammered another nail in their coffin by electing Mayawati as the CM. Her partial behaviour against the upper castes was very noticeable; she started taking revenge, instead of paying attention to the development. She lowered and disheartened civil servants of higher castes and promoted Dalit civil servants simply on caste prejudice. She frequently suspended doctors, policemen, bureaucrats and other government officials simply because they belonged to higher castes. Not only that, she also misspent taxpayers’ money in constructing extensive memorials, statues, and parks to please her vote bank. If you visit Lucknow or Noida, you will come across extensive memorials built on public money dedicated to Mayawati herself, her political mentor Kanshiram and Dr Ambedkar. She imported lamps from Belgium to illuminate them. Rest of UP would go without electricity, but her parks and memorials would be brightly lit. During her tenure, Bundelkhand region faced repeated droughts, but she didn’t have money to bring relief. Unemployment, poverty, and population kept growing, UP kept deviating. Apart from all this, she can be credited for improving the law and order situation in UP. During her tenure, crime rate was controlled.
Akhilesh tried doing some good work but his efforts were overshadowed by the crime and riots that took place in UP due to administrative negligence. But still there is noticeable development, UP is making progress but it’s still far away from the other places. Uttar Pradesh tops the chart in most densely populated states in India; hence, with many people being from the lower strata of the society and with lower level of education, crime is bound to be high and it is. And moreover, the people who commit such crimes somehow have some connections with politicians and other influential people hence, they slip the justice. Under such conditions for a state to grow is very difficult; hence, UP never developed at the same pace as the other states. Whatsoever, in 2014, Modi waves changed the political equations in UP. He came up with the agenda of development and many things like cleaning the Ganga, building Lord Rama’s temple and so on.
Somehow, people trusted his promises and showed BSP/SP their place and elected BJP trusting Modi. The first setback BJP gave to its voters was appointing Yogi Adityanath as the CM. Yogi of BJP became larger than the party. Entire UP became saffron in real. Not by ideology but by paints and colours. Corruption, negligence of duty and misconducts grew in UP government’s machinery and its departments. Teachers were hired in government schools who didn’t know who wrote India’s National Anthem. During board exams, individuals took ‘contracts’ at examination centres and conducted cheating at a mass scale, helping students copy answers and after some time, they refused to appear for exams. Directionless of leadership is at such extent that a man from Gujarat is MP from Varanasi and a man from Uttarakhand is the CM of UP. Still, it is the cauldron of nationalistic experiment going on. Uttar Pradesh is the largest state in India in terms of population. Corruption, poor infrastructure, and poor condition of law and order are some of the major distractions for industries in the state. Leadership is indifferent and is not much concerned about these issues. People are also content and don’t believe that condition can be changed.
Well! There is no point in blaming one particular political party as the UPites are actually to blame for electing such leaders. UP residents are sluggish, lethargic and apathetic. They are least bothered if the state is digressing as long as someone from their caste is elected MLA/MP. They are happy to migrate to greener pastures if they can’t get jobs in UP. In fact, the saddest part is that migrating to other parts of the country or to the Gulf has become a part of their culture. They would never question themselves while moving to Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Mumbai or Hyderabad that ‘why there are no jobs in Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra or Allahabad! When they work for other cities/states, you contribute to their growth, their development, and in the process and, most importantly, they lost their sense of pride, identity, and belongingness. Ask any UPites migrants, most of them will give you sad stories of their state. Nothing has changed and nothing will ever change, development is purely a jumla but reality is very harsh.
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