Symbolism is important in society. It provides a convenient way to propagate ideas and concepts to the masses. The national or religious symbols in itself don't carry any meaning but they still carry a lot of meanings with them. It's an instrument to convey the abstract thoughts and give them a concrete shape. However just holding the symbols may not qualify one to be the torch bearer of the concept. That needs justification in various other ways. An extreme follower of one religion if holds the symbols of another religion, would people of the religion representing the symbol start following him or her? The symbols just represent the culmination of ideas in a convenient form and in itself don't represent the epitome of power.
In the same context, the feud between Samajwadi factions is not really the fight of symbol but is the fight for legacy. It does not matter who wins the ownership of election symbol, the legacy has been squarely put under the ownership of Akhilesh. It's an irony also that one of the two stakeholders of Mulayam Yadav's legacy is Mulayam Yadav itself. It's not first of it's kind also in Indian politics. Not long ago, NT Ramarao's legacy was taken by N Chandrababu Naidu from NTR.
With the show of strength that Akhilesh did on 1st of Jan, it was clear that the war of legacy is over and Akhilesh is a winner. With most of the Samajwadi party leaders and cadres following him, Mulayam Singh Yadav is alone to put a stake on his own legacy. In this turn of events, Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh have no powerful role to play after Akhilesh got most of the leaders and cadres rallying behind him.
Mulayam Singh with Shivpal and Amar Singh are going to EC to put a stake over election symbol. They might get it also but the battle of supremacy is already won by Akhilesh. Symbols would have carried a lot of meaning in older days when the speed of news was very slow. It would have been a herculean task to tell about new symbol, in case Akhilesh had to choose one. In the world of whatsapp, twitter, facebook and 24 hours channel it's a matter of minutes. Here news get propagated before it's even created.
What will be the future of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Being a veteran of Indian politics, I am sure he has his own aces up his sleeves. But this fight is also difficult for him. Fighting an enemy is way easier than fighting own son. It has been clearly evident also that Mulayam Singh is still not convinced that Akhilesh is doing this on his own. A typical father is still saying "My son can never be wrong".
The other remote possibility is that everything is scripted. Everything is fair in politics as long as it helps in gaining power. But whatever it is, the legacy for sure is now with Akhilesh.