The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday, 1 April 2013


Not now.

Though this is an old question, repeatedly asked, repeatedly analysed and repeatedly guessed, this time, it has got a seeding space that is generating galvanized responses from the political and media pundits as well as from the ‘aam aadmi’, the common man, who is going to be the centre of the short-lived attraction once more when the next general elections are held (when? – the raging debate is all about it!). The common consensus says the next general elections are going to be held by October-November this year.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) with 18 Lok Sabha MPs (members of the Parliament) withdrew support on March 19 from the UPA government on the issue of human rights violations and atrocities on Sri Lankan Tamils demanding India take a tough stand against the stubborn small island nation. Now, the stubbornness of Sri Lanka and the ineptness of the Indian foreign policy rule out any such intervention by India that the DMK so eagerly wants in order to help it reclaim its slipping electoral ground in Tamil Nadu.

But, in the process, it has made the life tougher for the Congress party led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that is, at the moment, running on leased breathers from two highly unaccountable political allies, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), especially the SP, that has, in post-March 19 crisis days, used tough words for the UPA government, on personal as well as political issues giving misleading signals on its support to the Manmohan Singh led government.

Whatever be the predicament of the UPA government or of the DMK, the ongoing crisis of UPA’s political survival has given fodder to the pundits and analysts that they would keep on chewing for sometime before arrives the next shipment of a volatile political development in the run-up to the next general elections of India.

But, really, is the UPA government going to fall on a day like this?

Has its survival become so vulnerable that Akhilesh Yadav says that his party could pull the plug even in the ongoing parliamentary session?

Akhilesh’s father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, a UPA savior at other times by voting for the government in the Parliament on contentious issues like the India-US Nuclear Deal or the Retail FDI, is actively pursuing the elusive ‘Third Front’ as an alternative to the Congress party and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

But, it doesn’t look like so, not now, not before the last quarter of this year as the historical perspective of the Indian politics during the UPA-2 days says, even if the Mulayam’s SP finds a trigger to pull the plug in the ongoing Parliament session.

What could be the political developments saving the day for the UPA government to give it time to create the outreach to let it exploit the populist dole-outs like the Food Security Bill or the direct cash subsidy transfer before the country goes to polls to elect the next Lok Sabha?


Efforts to woo Nitish Kumar might succeed: After managing good enough number of people in the Adhikar Rally held in Delhi, Nitish met almost every big political boss of the UPA government and got a favourable response from each of them, from the prime minister to the finance minister.

Now the reports say the UPA government is preparing to open its coffers to give Bihar Special Status, a demand Nitish has been making for years and is now all out to make it a major poll plank in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. If he doesn’t get it, he will play the victim. If he gets it, he will take the credit of opening new avenues of development for Bihar. A win-win situation, in any case, it seems for him, as of now. Transfer of the Bihar Governor Devanand Konwar to placate Nitish is yet another indicator of what the Congress party is working on.

Also, Narendra Modi’s elevation to the BJP’s parliamentary board is a direct message that BJP is going ahead with projecting Modi as the prime-ministerial candidate, something that Nitish and his party have vehemently opposed. Naturally, Nitish harbours prime-ministerial ambitions, too.  Even the Congress party is not going to offer Nitish the chance to run for the prime-ministerial chair, but Nitish could squeeze out more from the UPA government in case of a hard bargain.

Ever since the Congress party started facing pull-out problems from the allies in UPA-2, it has been working to woo the political parties like Janata Dal (United) to manage numbers in the Lok Sabha. Nitish, despite his prime-ministerial ambitions doesn’t stand a chance before Narendra Modi in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and might jump the wagon to join the UPA as his Bihar government can manage numbers without the BJP. JD(U) has 115 assembly members and can easily manage the seven more required to cross the half-way mark in 243-member Bihar legislative assembly. Others including the Congress party have 15 members in the state legislative assembly.

A softening Mamata Banarjee: After withdrawing support and creating a drama on many issues, Mamata’s All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) supported the UPA government in the presidential election last year. Now her open support to the UPA government over the UNHCR Resolution on Sri Lanka gives sustainable hopes to the Congress party floor managers that Mamata could be managed provided she is placated with what she has asking for long, something that she needs desperately before going to the next general elections – funds to get West Bengal rid of the mammoth debt and to implement development projects.

Reports say the UPA government is seriously considering offering special financial package to the West Bengal government.

And then, there is Mayawati: Mayawati would like to see the anti-incumbency consolidate even more in Uttar Pradesh before going to the parliamentary polls and given the rapidly deteriorating law and order situation in the state during the first year of Akhilesh Yadav’s rule, she has valid reasons to think that in another six months or so, the anti-SP votes would be a sizeable chunk.

She has another reason to think so in case the SP pulls the plug. In that case, the state would not be able to get any financial concession from the central government, making it difficult for the state government to implement populist schemes before the elections, and that would help Mayawati directly as the Congress party and the BJP have lost the political ground in India’s most populous state.

Now, JD(U) with 20 MPs,  AITC with 19 MPs and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with 21 MPs count for 60 MPs. Right now, the UPA has 227 members in the Lok Sabha and it is surviving with outside support of 58 MPs that includes 22 from the SP and 21 from the BSP.

Even if the 22 of 58 leave, the Congress party can manage it easily with 39 MPs from the JD(U) and the AITC. And add to that the possible bonus numbers from the DMK. The last UPA ally to leave the coalition is reportedly not in favour of bringing down the UPA government. A media report quoted K Anbazhagan, the DMK general secretary, as saying, “The Congress gave our party a lot of problems. But, we cannot allow communal forces to form a government”. That is additional 18 MPs for the Congress party when it comes to the voting on government’s survival in the Lok Sabha.

Mulayam has to think about all this and he is weighing all this, the political developments tell this. If Mulayam says on March 29 that the SP is not going to withdraw the support even if Akhilesh Yadav says on March 24 that the SP is ready to pull the plug in the Budget session or even if Mulayam calls the Congress party ‘cheat’.

The UPA government can very well survive even without the SP support Mulayam realizes it. So it is better to be in the boat than in open waters when the high tides are a real threat. The war of words is nothing more but a game of political compulsions (more like a friendly fight) being played to appeal to the concerned vote banks.
So, it is not going to happen now.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -