Elitism has worked in Indian politics. This was the British policy of keeping a safe distance from masses and making looks everything grand in order to create awe. Many of the Indian politicians have used this tactic to hide their incompetence or lack of public dealing skills. Some, like Mayawati, has used elitist approach in perfection to create mass following. In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is now improving upon her earlier elitist approach to connect with public directly.
But many of the small cronies have also imbibed elitism even though they are political minnow. One of them is Manvendra Singh Jasol. Son of former defense and foreign minister Jaswant Singh, this mayo educated colonel of Territorial Army has all the claims to be elite. Jaswant Singh has been, no doubt, a statesman in his own rights had humble beginning when he planned to start a dairy with few cows in Jodhpur after leaving army. He went on to become one of the most astute experts on defense and foreign affairs, peaking during the regime of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Manvendra Singh Jasol’s claims to elitism come from his lineage. Jaswant Singh had never been an active participant in politics of Barmer until he suddenly decide to fight his last election and people loved him whole heartedly albeit for their own different reasons. Manvendra Singh was ousted from BJP during 2014 election and maintained a safe distance from Vasundhara Raje dominated Jaipur political circles. His mother Sheetal Kanwar is a known bête-noire of Raje and was involved in many public spats.
Manvendra Singh recently in an article tried to done the mantle of his father’s legacy in full when he cited him as ‘Hanuman’ of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He forgot to mention that it was Bhairon Singh Shekhwat who facilitated the way for the retired army officer who was all ready to lead an oblivious life in a dairy farm serving and milking cows.
Though claiming to be political elite or at least posing to be as such, Manvendra Singh is facing a bleak political future as far as his politics in BJP is concerned. An event in Harsani in Barmer has not went down with many. Reason – Shiv MLA held a meeting for listening to public grievances in the village but only one chair was put up on dais a la Mayawati. Many of the aged local people had no option to sit on cold floor. Reaction of such attitude may certainly send a chill up the spine for political career of Manvendra Singh in coming election season. But for the time being, he can claim to be an ‘elite’ in Delhi circles as Sachin Pilot claims himself to be undisputed leader of Congress in Rajasthan.