Should public money be spent to guard Mayawati's statues?


Ajay Singh | January 29, 2010

After the symbolic empowerment of dalits in Uttar Pradesh, by way of raising monuments to dalit icons including herself, Chief minister Mayawati seems hell-bent on giving legislative legitimacy to her eccentricity. Her decision to raise an exclusive force to protect statues housed in those monuments located in Lucknow and Noida only reflects the megalomania that has gripped her. That she has been seeking such legitimacy by introducing a bill to this effect in the state assembly makes her crime worse.

No doubt, Mayawati has an absolute majority in the UP assembly where she can muscle her way through. After her recent victories in UP assembly and council elections, her party gained absolute majority in both the houses. But would it be right if she interprets her mandate as people's endorsement of her authoritarian streak?

It would cost the state exchequer Rs 67 crore to raise just one battalion of the special force and entail further recurring cost of Rs 14 crore every year. Shouldn't she be utilizing public money for more productive and useful purposes?  Take the case of the state police. The police-population ratio in UP is one of the lowest in the country.  The state needs more constables, more officers and better weapons and other equipments to ensure safety and security of the people. Had public good been in her mind, Mayawati could have planned to strengthen the police force with the money she would be spending on guarding the statues!

one battalion will be raised at a cost of Rs 67 crore and it would entail a recurring cost of Rs 14 crore every year.



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