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When Rajnath Singh fought for the country but lost an election

In case you don’t realize, the 1993 election in Uttar Pradesh is a particularly fond memory for India’s ‘secularists.’ It came just after the fall of Babri Masjid in Dec 1992. The BSP and the SP fought the election in alliance and defeated the BJP. It was seen as a great victory for the “idea of India” over Hindutva.

Today is the birthday of Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. And let me tell you a story about the time Rajnath Singh lost from Mohana Assembly constituency in the 1993 elections to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

What! Why am I being so unkind to him? Rajnath Singh has achieved so much : Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, BJP President, Home Minister and now Defense Minister. But for his birthday, all I want to discuss is how he lost an Assembly seat thirty years ago. Why?

Well, that is because sometimes, there can be great glory in losing an election. When you know you have done the right thing for the country and sacrificed your short term political interest for it.

The year was 1992 and Kalyan Singh was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Rajnath Singh was the education minister. The UP government brought in a tough new ordinance against the rampant cheating in board exams all across the state. Among other things, those found cheating could be arrested.

That may seem harsh. But consider this. As soon as the law came into effect, the percentage of candidates passing the Class 12 board exams dropped to a mere 30% from 80% a year ago. For the Class 10 board exams, the percentage of passing candidates dropped to a mere 15% from 58% a year ago.

Those are shocking statistics. A rough estimation therefore suggests that 50 out of every 80, or over 60% of the candidates who passed the Class 12 board exams in UP were using unfair means. For the Class 10 exams, the picture is even more stark. One can guess that 43 out of 58, or nearly 75% of those who passed the Class 10 exams needed unfair means. In other words, some 75% of people who had “passed” Class 10 had not passed at all!

In 1991, India’s literacy rate was just about 50%. And now we find out that in India’s most populous state, 75% of those who were thought to have completed Class 10 had not passed at all!

What kind of future could India have with a workforce such as this?

Somebody had to take desperate measures to stop the cheating mafia and Rajnath Singh did just that. And if it is unpopular, so what? That’s what education is. You work hard now so that you are better off tomorrow.

But then there is Indian secularism, willing to cater to the most foolish instincts of society. Even if it means throwing away our entire future.

In the elections of 1993, Mulayam Singh Yadav made the ordinance a huge political issue. He won. As Firstpost recalls

When Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party came to power in 1993, he repealed the law. Students rejoiced and raised cheers for the new government.”

Yeah, three cheers for cheating! And cheers for a generation of kids who have been fooled by Indian secularism into thinking that they will have a bright future by cheating in exams instead of studying for them.

Predictably, as soon as the law was repealed, the percentage of students passing the Class 12 exams jumped up to 54% and the year after to 73%. For Class 10, the number jumped up immediately to 38% and then to 54%. Our nation probably got a crop of students with high school certificates that were essentially fake. But who cares? Indian secularism won. The nation lost.

In case you don’t realize, the 1993 election in Uttar Pradesh is a particularly fond memory for India’s ‘secularists.’ It came just after the fall of Babri Masjid in Dec 1992. The BSP and the SP fought the election in alliance and defeated the BJP. It was seen as a great victory for the “idea of India” over Hindutva.

I have a question. Did any of the liberal elites who cheered the 1993 win send their own kids to UP government schools? Of course not. Their kids went to Doon school and then accessed privilege networks to obtain admission to elite colleges in England and America. Whose kids went to schools where cheating was the only way to pass exams? The kids of common people, the kids from the weakest and most marginalized in society.

The liberal elite took away schools from the poorest and weakest for the love of five star NGO activism and their beloved Babri Masjid. Next time, one of these five star elites asks “Why not a hospital?” … tell them this story.

By the way, one of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s favorite arguments against the anti-copying measure was that it would be harder to marry off girls who were caught cheating. Tell this to some woke feminist organization headquartered around JNU. This is the legacy of Indian secularism. Those who swear by secularism must own up to it.

Happy Birthday Rajnath Singh ji.

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

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