MSY skewered priorities in family feud

If the psychological angularities of the turmoil in UP appear to be more intriguing than the political implications, the reason is that the normal familial attitudes have been turned on their heads in the ongoing battle in Mulayam Singh Yadav’s household.

In normal circumstances, a parent almost invariably stands by a son or daughter in a troublesome time even if the offspring is perceived to be less than competent — as in the Congress. 

In the SP, however, it’s the opposite. Although Mulayam Singh’s son, CM Akhilesh Yadav, is widely regarded as the best bet for the party because of his likeability and development-oriented outlook, the father has chosen to turn on him.

It is obvious that as a result of the spat, the father has irreparably damaged the SP’s prospects. It is a clear case of perverse priorities where Mulayam  has put his own personal grouse against Akhilesh for having outrun him in the popularity stakes.

Where the septuagenarian patriarch should have been happy that his son is seen as a person who may be able to overcome the anti-incumbency factor and ensure the party’s success when the elections are held in the state this year, the angry father has chosen to vent his spleen on a successful son.

Where psychology is concerned, the row in the SP may well go down as a test case of a warped outlook which borders on the bizarre, for it cannot be explained by the existence of a generation gap.

Since politics is involved, the father-son confrontation can only be seen in terms of thwarted ambition on Mulayam’s part and a refusal to abide by the subservient norms of an Indian joint family on Akhilesh’s part where the elders are concerned.

The father’s fear apparently is that the son’s rise will put an end to his own future. Having ruled the roost in U.P. after demonstrating his political mettle in the aftermath of the Babri masjid demolition in 1992 by defeating a rampaging Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the following year – in the Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) company – Mulayam Singh is simply unwilling to walk into the sunset.

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