Dear Leader, ‘Netaji’ Mulayam Singh Yadav turns 78. Let us hail the historic journey!

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“As long as poverty, inequality & injustice persist in India, none of us can truly rest: Mulayam Singh Yadav, former Defence Minister of India & socialist patriarch

The Old Man with Enormous Wings, Mulayam Singh turns 78.

 Mulayam SIngh Yadav, Socialist patriarch, former Defense Minister of India and three-time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and patron of Samajwadi Party, celebrated his 79th birthday, Wednesday, 22nd November, by cutting a cake with his son and president Akhilesh Yadav at SP Headquarters in Lucknow. .

It’s time to hail the colossal figure and his golden jubilee electoral politics journey, 50 years long saga of struggle and sacrifice since his first election in 1967 from Jaswant Nagar Assembly seats.

Like a magician, he has seamlessly swapped the role of protagonist and antagonist over the years. Any chronicle of post-Independent Indian politics and contemporary South Asian politics would never be written without mention of the feats of Mulayam Singh.

At times, he had been the Santiago and at times he had been the Marlin of Hemingway’s classical work. But he remained a beloved leader to the tens of millions of people of India, especially Hindi heartland where his reputation as ‘Dharti-Putr (son of the soil) in agrarian communities and as ‘Rafiq-ul-Mulk (Saviour and Dear Leader) in Muslims and other religious minorities has remained intact and unblemished.

Lohia chose his successor in the wrestler-turned-socialist braveheart ahead of taking a bow.

Like Santiago of the famous novella, The Old Man and the Sea by Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway, Mulayam had been a guide mentor to his boy, Tipu alias Akhilesh Yadav, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and national president of Asia’s largest socialist party, which MSY founded 25 years ago,

Days before, patriarch intervened in the politics of religious deities’ statue and said something very relevant and effective about two mass deities of India, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna.

Acclaimed as ‘Netaji–dear leader’ in the vast legion of his followers, he said, “One has to accept that Lord Ram is not as respected as Lord Krishna in parts beyond north India. The respect given to lord Krishna in southern India is more than that given in any other part of the country.”

The patriarch further added,”Go to south India, lord Krishna is respected there the most. I agree that our idol is lord Ram, but we need to accept that lord Krishna is much loved outside India. In north India only, lord Ram is considered an idol.”

Quite powerful statement for followers of the deities.

Happy Birthday, dear leader. You are truly a powerful inspirational figure. Stay blessed, and more power to your struggle and socialist movement.

 Politics is not a table tennis. It’s a game of chessmen. Mulayam Singh had been a magnificent grandmaster of Chessboard.

Realpolitik is different from social reform movement. Machiavellian politicians know the art of political possibility.

People expect stainless purity from socialist crusaders while conveniently covering the mountains of sins of right-wing uppercut BJP and Congress politicians. Caste discrimination is the reality of which torchbearers of socialist movement in India have been up and against for espousing the cause of downtrodden and depressed classes.

The political journey of Patriarch Mulayam Singh, as a matter of fact, brought me to the heartland. The epicentre of socialism in India, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has nourished my literary adventure and emboldened me to tell the story with greater flair and character. The Socialist is more than a biography. It’s an epic story…..

 His trajectory as one of the leaders of the developing world fighting for liberation and socialism is unmatched in its relentless pursuit and longevity.

Little Napoleon of Chaudhary Charan Singh, Mulayam is revered as the man, soft in heart and steely in determination, who transformed the political landscape of the Hindi heartland with his aggressive brand of agrarian politics in ’70s and ’80s and emerged with ultra-secular fundamentalism to earn the love and affection of Muslims in ’90s at a time when resurgent and militant Hindutva juggernaut began to roll.

Mulayam Singh Yadav is the name of India’s most significant socialist force, who had been the centre of attraction for anti-Congress and anti-BJP politics. The country’s politics has no parallel of any such leader in its history who has commanded such astonishing level of mass adulation and reverence.

After the valiant freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose, Mulayam is the only Indian leader to earn the popular sobriquet of ‘Netaji-Dear Leader.’

Mulayam has exhibited the ability to rise like Phoenix many times

“My memories take me a few decades back to the scenes of sit-in, protest and rally in the streets of Lucknow. There was a frail looking diminutive figure clothed in starch white kurta and Dhoti, loin cotton, who was cynosure of the Press Corps covering the protests in the Capital.

His slender nose like the beak of a bird, Hawk, and his stuttering voice could be deceptive. Here was Mulayam Singh Yadav, the famous wrestler from Saifai in the gallery of Vidhan Sabha, face to face with me.

The other day daily Hindustan had published my reports, which was quite critical of Mulayam Singh. Mulayam spotted me in the press gallery and walked over to congratulated me. I was stunned to hear him praise my criticism.

Being a seasoned political creature he sensed my mood and assured that he was truly appreciative of my critical reportage.

Mulayam told me in a very clear term, “It’s important for a politician to be in the news currency pool. Whether news reports about him is good or bad are immaterial.”

How many politicians today think like Mulayam Singh? Exceptional leaders think differently. His spectacular success in politics could be attributed to his acceptance of criticism with generous smile and laughter.”

Veteran journalist Madan Mohan Bahuguna in the November issue of Socialist Factor…

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Frank Huzur is a poet, playwright, biographer and editor of Socialist Factor. He has written political biography of Imran Khan, Imran Versus Imran-The Untold Story and The Fighter. He has also written political biography of socialist patriarch and former defence minister of India, Mulayam SIngh Yadav, The Book is titled, The Socialist. Frank Huzur has written biography of youth icon charismatic socialist leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav. Frank has also published his memoir, titled, Soho-Journey from Body to Soul and three plays, including the much controversially popular, Hitler in Love with Madonna. He is currently working on his poetry anthology and first novel, The Boca Harem. He is editor of international English magazine, Socialist Factor and its fortnightly Hindi edition.