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Setting the stone

india Updated: Jun 30, 2009 21:11 IST

Hindustan Times
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Groucho marx once said, “Why should I do anything for posterity? What has posterity done for me?” Our Mayabehenji may not fall about laughing at this one but we think that her critics are making too much of the Formula 1 speed with which she’s building statues of herself, her mentor Kanshi Ram, her party symbol and, of course, Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar. Her logic, we are sure, is foolproof. What if people in times to come don’t understand her legacy, like that of Gandhi or, indeed, Ambedkar? What if the deluded fools were to say, ‘let’s use money to build schools and hospitals’? What if they were to ask what Behenji has done, barring injecting a spot of pride into Dalits, while adorning herself in rocks which would put Liz Taylor in a shade?

Mayawati has simply decided to leave nothing to chance. Yes, many in UP may not get one full meal a day. But they do get their fill of their beloved leader at all corners of the state, which should keep them going for a bit. Now professional quibblers may ask why it’s necessary for statues of our dear sister to be adorned with her ubiquitous handbag. Well, is she not well-known for her ability to raise donations from the willing, even the unwilling? So the handbag represents this unique gift.

But, why single out Behenji? We’re all fond of putting our leaders on a pedestal. In Bengal, the bhadralok is quite adept at pulling them off. Our Tamil brethren believe that big is dutiful, and towering images of Dravidian leaders dot the skyscape. Yes, we are a nation of builders. And that’s cast in stone.