INDIA’S POLITICAL HEART
COVER STORY beaten in Bihar and Delhi last year.
The elections may be five months away, but the heat and dust of India’s largest campaign is already swirling. Blood has been spilled in the SP camp. The BSP has sharpened its claws. The Congress has embarked on a massive recruitment drive. The BJP is sneaking in its guerrilla warriors. Their common objective is to woo, coax or bully India’s biggest electorate in the Hindi heartland, where the unforgiving poll arithmetic takes no prisoners. This is not another league game, as many state elections can be. It’s a knock-out match: the semi-final for 2019. It is the fourth largest state, with 7.3 per cent of India’s total area Between 2005 and 2014, Uttar Pradesh’s GDP grew at 6.6% The importance of Uttar Pradesh to India’s political history cannot
WVhiEleTiRtmIMakAeAs sizeable 7 per cent of India in terms of area, the unromantically named ‘Northern Province’ is the country’s most populous state—its 200 million inhabitants account for more than 16 per cent of India’s population. If Uttar Pradesh was a country, it would be the world’s sixth most populated.
This staggering statistic notwithstanding, the state’s impact on Indian Target: All castes and communities pAolmiticasnhaws
except Muslims, Yadavs and Jatavs lpaargses.Iitosnenadns8d0paorwliaemreontfaVrieantrsimaaraPnosistiuversv: Aivmeit Sthhaeh’ssoyrgsatneisamtional to the 543-member Lok Sabha, and push to the booth level seven of India’s eight prime ministers unBtiyl 1S9u9h1ahnai dSicnagllhed UP their home. This tally now stands at eight prime ministers out of 14—and the downward trenadmdeilepfilymbmotahkeerrs pVeotprilme aaof the statreabne’csauasaemit sauagdgmesitshtheeroes gradual dedmono’ttionstfarnodm a pochsiatinocneofin leadershipfr. oItnwt aosf tTohfaulfailivUaPr’,s wdehseirtheto be at therciet’nsthreis-sstwagaeggtheartoMr soudpi erphoawd edresc.idTehdetyoacroentmesotrferolimkeVlyartaonrausni firno2m01g4o,oannsdththaenntraekteainthtehme sheeaatd on. “aIftecranth’te ewlercitteionasboatuthseocmosetoonfehiws ho ioslduGnulijkaeratmi beasintioanlol fsGeannsdehs—inapghayrs.icallTy,hemdoet-iloinnkainllgy oafnUdttsaorcPiarlalyd,”esshays Vfreotmrimthaeanratniononal paoplithicoanlespinotleigrhvitew fbreogmanCihne1n9n8a9i., Hsoeoenlabftoerattheesporno-how hreisehrvearotiotnhMinakns,da“lIfCohmemisiscsioonfrontecdamweiitnhtotwfoorceg,uwysit,hhMeuwlaiylal mfi’gsht. If tShaemreajawraedfioPuarr,thyeemweilrlgninegoatsiatthee; but ivfoticheroef tahreenteewnl,yheemwpoilwl erruend baawcaky-.” Twhaartd mcaasytesm. Iatkaelsohilmedatoltohse rDainlitthe ecyoemsmouf ntihtyosrealalycicnugsbtoehmined tthoelBarSgPe, rtfhirasnt lelidfebhyeKraoneshtiyRpaicmalaonfdKtohlelynwboyod
TUTTAR PRADESH Uttar Pradesh’s population rivals that of Brazil. Home to 17% of India’s population At 69.7%, Uttar Pradesh’s literacy rate ranks 29th among states and UTs Supporters: Negatives: No CM candidate yet
A STILL FROM VISARANAI, INDIA’S SUBMISSION TO THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CATEGORY IN THE OSCARS
8 of India’s 14 PMs have come from UP Uttar Pradesh has the country’s highest Dalit population hits but Vetrimaaran’s protago0nist is practical, an ordinary man who lives on tShuepfproirntgeress: with routineTaisrgseute: sM.uslims Making the ordinary extraordiPositives: Muslims are not happy with nary is something Vetrimaaran does
SP, may side with Mayawati rather well. He has directed three filmNsegiantiv1e0s: Syeevaerrasl.seTnwioroleoadf ertshem— Aadhuavkealelaftmthe(p2a0rt1y1; n) o ainnflduenVtiiaslaranai Negatives: Weak organisational base; (20M15u)s—limhlaeavdeercollectively won nine not seen as a serious contender national awards, including a best 2012 Assembly polls director for Vetrimaaran. Visaranai, his last, was recently chosen as India’s entMry iAntJheOfoRreVignOlaTngEuaBgeAcNateKgoSry* at the Oscars. An adaptation of auto driver M. Chandrakumar’s book,
which44de%tails agonising22% Lock-Up, his experience as an inmate and sheds light on the nOeBxCus between police Dalits Supporters: Target: 2014 Lok Sabha polls VETRIMAARAN DMiuresclitmor s of VBisrahramnianis Thakurs