‘Mayawati has become a
terror and a sort of dictator’
Nawab Mir Jafar Abdullah, a direct descendant of the Nawabs who ruled
Lucknow, tells Saisuresh Sivaswamy about what politics and Mayawati
have done to his city
Nawab Mir Jafar Abdullah, inset, is upset that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has not done anything to preserve Lucknow’s heritage
Lucknow was known for its values, tehzeeb (manners), akhlaf ( well-natured), brother- hood, tolerance for religions and participation with others. Gradually, after Partition in 1947, a lot of Lucknawis migrated to Pakistan and a lot of refugees came to Lucknow, and adapted
to the traditions of the city.
Of late, Lucknow being the political center, these politi-
cians and their people have spoilt Lucknow, especially
those who come from the eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Their culture is totally alien to what we have; the language
is totally different; their thinking is different.
Lucknow has also been changing very fast. And with the
change of governments, new chief ministers have taken
Lately, the lady (Mayawati) has taken over. She has total-
ly changed Lucknow’s atmosphere. She is concerned only
with a certain segment of society; she is concentrating on
that and trying to destroy Lucknow’s culture and intrinsic
She has even changed the name of King George’s Medical
College to Shahuji Maharaj, so the Georgians have turned
to Shahujians. So, you can understand to what extent she
is trying to destroy Lucknow’s character. She is not concen-
trating on the historical monuments or heritage; she is
coming up with those elephants and statues of certain fig-
ADNAN ABIDI/REU TERS
ures. That is all.
She is acquiring whatever she wants, because she has
absolute majority. So, instead of democracy, she has
become a terror and a sort of dictator.
And she doesn’t listen; she doesn’t meet people; she
hardly shakes hands or wishes anybody. She is arrogant.
The citizens of Lucknow recently faced sectarian clashes.
The police just acted as bystanders... People say this hap-
pened because of the elections.
Are we reacting to Mayawati as a woman, a Dalit? No,
that is not the case. Being a woman is not a problem. Being
a Dalit is not a problem. But the Dalit should behave like a
Dalit. A woman, who is the chief minister, should behave
like a woman. She cannot act like a rogue.
A woman should have certain delicacy, certain other fea-
tures of a woman, which is not the case here. Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi was also a lady. Although she was
not a Dalit, she cared about the Dalits.
This does not mean that a Dalit gets power and goes mad.
That cannot be the case.
She has built her own statues during her lifetime; she
says that was the wish of (Bahujan Samaj Party founder)
Kanshi Ram. That may be the case. But there are many
wishes that should be kept to oneself.
The election results are going to be very deceptive, not
along expected lines. They (the ruling Bahujan Samaj
Party) may not have majority this time, there could be a
coalition government. Some other party may also form the