India Politics
Brahmin, Muslim ministers avoid touching Mayawati's feet
May 13, 2007 - 9:28:47 PM

Lucknow, May 13 - Newly appointed Brahmin and Muslim ministers in Uttar Pradesh Sunday discreetly avoided touching Chief Minister Mayawati's feet even as most of the other ministers did so to seek her blessings.

At the oath-taking ceremony here, instead of touching Mayawati's feet the Brahmin ministers bent down to pay their obeisance to their political mentor. Some of them even bowed down lower than their waist to express their gratitude to her.

Regarded as a traditional Hindu manifestation of showing respect to the elders, feet-touching in politics too has become an expression of the feudal mindset highly prevalent in India's most populous state.

One Brahmin minister went to the extent of cleverly avoiding to touch Mayawati's feet even as he did so with the chief minister's new found Brahmin mascot Satish Chandra Misra, seated just behind her on the dais.

A conscious Misra subsequently made it a point to ensure that this was not repeated by any other upper caste minister.

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