Episode 10: Seema Chishti

Caravan Baatcheet: What is Mulayam Singh Yadav’s political legacy?

29 October 2022

In the latest episode of The Caravan Baatcheet, writer and journalist Seema Chishti talks about the divisive but influential politician who passed away on 10 October this year. The 82-year-old founder of the Samajwadi Party formerly served as India’s defence minister and was a three-time chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. His party was founded on the basis of a voter alliance between Hindu Yadavs and Muslims. At pivotal moments, Yadav reached out to oppressed caste leaders, attempting to formulate a socialist alliance that would counter the Hindu nationalist politics of the BJP. Though the Samajwadi Party failed this mandate, the attempt of a progressive coalition among the socially discriminated changed the face of politics in India.

“Mulayam became an MLA at a very crucial time,” Chishti says. In 1967, Mulayam had won the assembly elections from Jaswant Nagar constituency as a member of the Samyukta Socialist Party, which was the precursor to the Samajwadi Party. He gets elected from this platform in 1967. “This is a very important time in the politics of India, because Nehru died three years earlier. And it was the first time that the Congress’ back was breaking all over India.”

The Caravan Baatcheet is a Hindi talk show featuring engaging discussions on politics, culture and society. Every fortnight, our host Vishnu Sharma will be in conversation with journalists, writers, experts and observers on pivotal issues that matter to you.

Keywords: Mulayam Singh Yadav Samajwadi Party Akhilesh Yadav Uttar Pradesh The Caravan Baatcheet