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A monumental tusk

india Updated: Aug 06, 2009 23:14 IST

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Any resemblance between the herds of stone elephants dotting the Uttar Pradesh landscape and the Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) pachydermian symbol is coincidental. For those who have been tusk, tusking that the party is using public funds to create elephant statues, the BSP has made it clear. The party haathi has its trunk down, while the statues have them raised in welcome.

How silly of all those doubting Thomases out there not to have seen that straightaway. The elephant is our national pride and joy as are those gadzillion statues of B.R. Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram and our very own Mayawati. Our only worry is that if a new government takes over, it might not be able to appreciate the aesthetics and sentiment that went into building these monumental tributes. The statue most at risk is that of our beloved sister. Ambedkar is a sacred cow, Kanshi Ram the revered founder of the party of Dalit pride. So given our veneration of the departed, let us assume they will be spared.

But then again, we are sure that any attempts to pull Mayawati off her pedestal will be countered by her emotional supporters who will uproot, preferably public property, for her any day. Also given that ‘Behenji’ has an elephantine memory, especially about those who have wittingly or unwittingly, cast slurs on her, not too many will cast the first stone. Since the UP government is not one to trumpet its considerable achievements, especially its relentless park and stadium building, we need more symbols to remind us of the fact that the BSP means business. And if the bill is a jumbo one, rely on the government to be thick-skinned on that.