Among things that the Samajwadi Party officially opposes are fancy English education, computers, farm machinery, stock-trading, and shopping malls. If this stuff is seriously meant, it reveals the SP’s intellectual vacuity and disconnect with the outside world. If it is a text merely meant to rally the faithful (with no bearing on actual governance), it is shocking in its condescension to the people.
Mulayam Singh’s plan involves phasing out computers wherever human labour can be substituted — a plank that even the Left has left behind, because of its patent absurdity. Warming over a centuries-old man versus machine debate, the manifesto also pushes for some prelapsarian past where farmers would directly cultivate the land. India’s biggest global advantage has been its IT-competent, English-speaking population — a segment that more and more young people openly aspire to — and the SP’s manifesto essentially promises to send his imagined constituency spinning away from that orbit.