INDIAN POLITY AND THE VALUELESS POLITICOS - THE POLITICAL
JAMBOREE CALLED INDIA
By Opposition, I mean to say here the political parties who form
the current opposing group of the government in the Parliament.
Given on the electoral wisdom or manipulation (if not
interchangeably, both terms can be used alternatively to explain the confusion
that prevails in the mind of the Indian voter in absence of good candidates to
go for), these parties form the ruling or the opposition groups based on the
number game. A party that is in Opposition today, might well be in the government
tomorrow; could well have been in the government yesterday.
Main Opposition party of the day, the BJP, is a sorry tale
of internal bickering, lost opportunities and flawed fundamentals. The BJP and
its senior brotherhood in the RSS have their origins and growth in following the
Hindu nationalist ideology. There was nothing wrong in it provided it would
have been allowed to remain an ideological following like many Muslim political
outfits do (but with no base at all). So in order to gain the wider political
canvas, the BJP went on to manipulate the ideology with militant elements of
radical fundamentalism when it started fueling religious hatred that culminated
with the Babri demolition episode. The instant reaction brought the BJP to
power in Uttar Pradesh and paved its way for governing seat in Delhi.
But Uttar Pradesh was not enough and with emergence of casteist
political groups like the SP and the BSP in the state and a deliberately
delayed Ayodhya temple construction promise midst the piled-up court cases on
the demolition issue, the voter started drifting away from the BJP. After
Kalyan Singh’s government, BJP has always been languishing in Uttar Pradesh
looking for the wider political background.
Though the BJP could form government at centre, and could
from again, it had to bite the dust the way it had begun. It could form
government only in coalition with many others. That made the BJP realize the
need of a moderate approach politics and Atal Behari Vajpayee could lead a successful
government at the centre.
But the BJP’s character had not changed. We saw it in
Gujarat riots. First, Hindus were killed. The state had the responsibility to
stop the reaction. Instead, it became complicit in the riots that followed
killing around 1200.
Religion is the opium of the masses – the ‘so often’ quoted
quote says – and that tells us its universal nature. Political leaders have
manipulated it to the extreme and Indian politics is a burning example of it. But
equally universal is its immediate aftermath – public gets fed-up of
provocation if the same line is repeated again and again without any element of
newness and militant spark and then even religion cannot hold the scattering
Of and on, the BJP has been changing tracks to find a viable
political alternative without making efforts to bring fundamental changes in
its core ideology.
Babri gave the BJP the national political canvas. Godhra
aftermath gave Narendra Modi an unbridled run in Gujarat since 2001 and he is
expected to continue for another five years after the upcoming Gujarat assembly
But as Modi is harbouring prime-ministerial ambitions, he
needs to come out of the mode of the politics that he does in Gujarat (and
Gujarat’s demographics suits his hardline brand of politics blended well with
real good development). He has been trying to reach out to the wider sections
including the Muslims but there is little hope for him.
That leaves BJP in a quagmire of political fate – confusing the
voter and the party worker of which line to toe.
And the BJP is not alone in practicing religious
appeasement. Two other parties, the Congress party and the SP are always there
to show their excessive zeal for Muslim appeasement.
But given India’s demographical statistics, no party or
coalition can think of coming into power across the country by targeting one or
few categories of vote banks. And that leads to the dirty game of opportunist and
crude political agenda of every other party.
The other important Opposition group, the Janta Dal (United)
that finds its political existence in Congress’ opposition (in words of Nitish
Kumar), has been giving hints that it might tag along with the UPA if the
centre adequately fulfills Bihar’s coffers. JDU shares power with BJP in Bihar
but is going to fight against the BJP in Gujarat assembly polls.
The Left Front, decimated in its stronghold of West Bengal,
was always a ruin of the Left ideology. They fought Congress in West Bengal but
helped the Congress party form the government at the centre during UPA-1 days
before pulling out the support on the India-US Nuke Deal issue.
Recently, they have been trying to plead with Mulayam Singh Yadav
to join the Third Front going as far as saying Mulayam should lead it. Prakash
Karat said yesterday, “Mulayam as the
leader of the largest group should take the lead in this movement. Among our
eight parties he should take the initiative, both inside and outside
Parliament. He is the leader of the biggest party”. Only a day later, the
seasoned U-turner, Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav announced that his support to the
UPA government would continue though he would continue to oppose the diesel,
LPG and retail FDI moves. Certainly, Mulayam has got a big, fat bargain in the trade-off that ensued earlier this week with Mamata's move to pull-out of the UPA-2.
Did you say something of ideology?