“My father had saved BSP chief Mayawati when she was attacked by the Samajwadi Party goons at the state guest house in Lucknow in 1995. Today, she is trying to shake hands with the same party whose legislator killed my father”. This is an emotional statement which came from a devastated son whose father fought to protect a woman’s honour and forced the assailants to flee. This is the story of Mayawati and the late RSS functionary Brahma Dutt Dwivedi, whom she later referred to as her “brother” on many occasions.
The infamous incident occurred in 1995 when Mayawati was attacked by infuriated SP workers because she had withdrawn support to the then Mulayam Singh government and joined hands with the BJP. It is said that Dwivedi who was skilled in use of lathi due to his RSS background, fought hard and compelled the assailants to flee. Two years later, Dwivedi was shot dead outside his house on February 10th 1997. The prime accused in Dwivedi’s murder case was Vijay Singh, who at the time of Dwivedi’s death was a member of the Congress. Vijay Singh was arrested but later released on bail. Singh later joined the Samajwadi Party and became an MLA in 2007 and 2012. After a long wait, justice finally prevailed in 2017 and the High Court upheld the life sentence imposed on Vijay Singh.
Even though the law took its course and justice prevailed, Mayawati failed to do justice to Dwivedi, whom she used to call her “brother”. Dwivedi risked his life to save Mayawati, but Mayawati seems to have conveniently forgotten her brother’s sacrifice. When encountered with the prospect of political annihilation, she joined hands with the SP, the same party which had attacked her and whose member murdered her brother. As stated by the deceased’s son Sunil Dutt Dwivedi, who has now become a BJP MLA by defeating his father’s killer in the 2017 Assembly elections, the SP-BSP alliance epitomizes opportunism in the current political set up.
It is heart-wrenching how the valiant act of the deceased was first used by the BSP chief for political and electoral gains, but it all vanished into thin air just before the recent by-poll when she thought it would be advantageous to join hands with the SP. Her opportunism is apparent because she has used the incident several times in the past to derive political mileage. In 2007, Mayawati marked the twelfth anniversary of the state guest house attack and announced the release of 4,000 prisoners from the jails to mark the day and, also declared the day as Sarvajan Sukhay-Sarvajan Hitay. Thereafter, more recently in the month of August 2014, she rejected Lalu’s proposal of forming an alliance with the SP against the BJP on account of the guest house attack. One of the senior BSP leaders of that time, the then zonal president RK Chaudhary, stated that Mayawati had always taken the guest house incident as a “personal attack on her”. He further said that there were hordes of SP workers trying to break open the door as if they wanted to kill Mayawati. He lamented that this was an attack on a Dalit leader, and that it cannot be forgotten.
Mayawati seems to have made complete political use of the guest house attack. She even forgot that her “brother” fought tooth and nail for her and ultimately died at the hands of a man belonging to the same party which attacked her. She linked the attack with her honour, prestige and even with Dalit pride. However, once they felt that BJP is too much to handle alone, she suddenly forgot how the attack was a really personal one and how it violated her honour. Dalit pride soon became a thing of the past and the only consideration was how to defeat the BJP, even if it meant joining hands with her assailants and her brother’s killers.