“Bandhugon!desh ekhon ghabheer sankat er sammukhin”(“Friends! Our country today faces a serious threat!).
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” etc. etc. can be aptly quoted from the book of Dickens to describe the pre-poll atmosphere of fervent excitement. Every single political party starts their verbose speech with the above quoted line and goes on their own way to describe what,they think,is the most serious and primary issue plaguing India, a country the love for which can not be proved until they yell their lungs to the bursting point. The issues do present a colorful platter.
There is an old man from the West, white beard and Nehru jacket and a perpetually raised index finger. He thinks that the biggest problem is that he is not he the Prime Minister and the solution is that he should be the Prime-Minister. His love for his motherland is so profound that he decided to complete the unfinished task of Alexander and brought him to the bank of Ganga( may be even forced him to take a holy dip).Also to his credit is his paramount hatred for the Islamist neighbours that by no means can be agree that Taxila( the ancient seat of learning) can exist in the present day Islamist nations!
Now let us focus to the young man of Indian Politics. India is the land of Markandey rishi.So here, a man of 43 can very well be considered as a youth icon, especially so if he has the grand pedigree! To this man, everything thing under the sun is a problem. The solution is RTI, women empowerment and any other acts which are the products of the most infertile parliament in Indian history. Unlike the old man, he has taken recourse to science and can often be founds making statements about escape velocity and number of mosquitoes in Bundelkhand.
There is another party this time, which has baffled many political specialists, the man with the Gandhi cap and muffler! An almost Vini Vidi Vici situation, this party, has given a new dimension to the existing political scenario. With the only flagship agenda of anti-corruption and an anarchist approach to government(!?!), they have definitely created a turbulence in the otherwise stagnant situation.Problem:Corruption.Solution:AAP ko pata h.
If the first two constitute the main dish, the third is the pickle while the rest of the political parties and the bankrupt Left can be equated with the variety of chutneys that accompanies an Indian thali.
Okay, in the above paragraphs, I have tried my hand at political-party bashing, which is a quite in-thing for intellectuals to do and I am trying really hard to get included in the bracket of intellectuals! It gives such a clever aura and glitter to whatever one says, doesn’t it?
On a serious note,the truth is that we are afraid,we are tensed, we are worried.
We are afraid not because Narendra Modi can be very well accused of state-sponsored killings in Gujarat,not because he is intolerant, not because he is a proponent of crony capitalism, not because he encourages moral policing, these are rather tractable problems when compared to the hero worship that is surfacing centered around him. The new band of Modi followers have been created who poses Modi as the solution to all problems, economic, social, political and anything else.The slogan raised is “Har Har Modi!Ghar Ghar Modi”!Modi is a man and definitely not a common man.Being a politician,a public figure, he should be subjected to the harshest possible scrutiny because criticism-both just and unjust are important in the check and balance that is imperative for a functional democracy.But making Modi a larger that life figure is taking away the right of criticism from people,taking away the right to be heard from the dissenting voices.A din is created such that nothing can be heard other than what they choose to yell,what they say is right, what Modi says is law! A dangerously aggressive attitude which is absolutely demeaning to the freedom of expression and detrimental to democracy which India so proudly flaunts.
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” This line of Voltaire can be accepted as the tenet of freedom of expression which forms a cornerstone of democracy,because democracy also means right to information,right to dissention,right to criticism.And this is under threat. The Modi wave that is,they tell, sweeping the country reminds one with fear and pain about the rise of Hitler.The election of Hitler to Reichstag was through a perfectly constitutional election,but it had paved the way for the most painful and hated period of human history,it had raped humanity.The NSDAP spoke of pan-Germanism and extreme nationalism.The BJP speaks of Hindutva and extremely nationalism. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that the then Germany demamded a man of iron to restore itself and build an empire.A book called ‘Moditva’ has already been published. Doesn’t it sound like the claim that Modi makes everyday that the feeble leadership has weakened India and now it is time we chose a man of iron to strengthen it?This is why we are afraid.We, of all our neighbours have been successful to maintain our democracy.Our democracy is definitely not the best form of government, we are torn by problems, scarred with diseases, but still, in the given situation this is the best we can have. Modi,with his fervent and blind band of followers, pose a threat to the very fabric of democracy in India.Modi’r rise can herald an era of fascism in India!
Rahul Gandhi, the “prince” of Indian politics. All that one is reminded, apart from that fiasco with Arnab Goswami, is gimmick, gimmick and gimmick! One day he tears an ordinance, the other day he condemns a comment by his own party member. This bares the situation of the Congress party where “the boss is always right”.RaGa is so apt at creating mess out of nothing that a firm is required for his image recovery. Not a single sensible line can be heard from him about the important issues. Talk about corruption, he tells RTI.RTI just makes the government bound to inform us about certain things, if we want to know. We all know about corruption, we don’t require an RTI for that. But how do we prevent corruption? There are a bunch of laws to combat corruption,they say.Indeed,there are,but what about the implementation? With all their RTIs and whatnots, UPA has successfully created a plethora of scams which will not be easy for the next government to attain. Did RTI stop them then? Did RTI stop the Congress to safeguard Virbhadra Singh? Did RTI prevent Congress from protecting Ashok Chavan? It did not!
He barks out empowerment at every single chance! What the hell does empowerment mean when the politicians refuse all accountability to people! What does empowerment mean when getting the barest amount of justice makes us run from pillar to post!What does empowerment mean when existing laws are not implemented and the politicians continue to tantalize the people with promises which, even if implemented, are ineffectual.
The recent gas pricing formula! The trade is within India and the prices are fixed in dollars.The prices are going to be doubled from April and Congress does nothing, Modi, with all his words and fury,says nothing. The cost of production is 1USD per unit while the proposed price is 8USD/mmbtu. What does the Prince and the Messiah do?They do nothing because the people are expected to tow whatever line they want them to. The way things are going, even the façade of being pro-people that the parties used to don is falling off. The raw lust for power makes us cringe with hatred and fear, and still we cannot do anything.The entire political scenario is a situation where common people are shunned, cast aside, days in and days out. The seething anger of people goes unseen, the cries go unheard.
But yes, sometimes, these frustrations do get an expression, like they did in Delhi elections, like they did in spontaneous participation of people during the Delhi rape case, like they did in the Lokpal movement in Ramleela Maidan. The viability and success of the protests can always and should be questions but one has to agree that these movements relieved us of the helplessness that we feel. One also has to agree that these movements, the win in Delhi election has shown that without any definitely ideology, a mass movement can achieve its mass character but can never sustain the momentum. Either it fails, or it ends in the labyrinth of electoral politics where the end can even negate the means, like the case in Delhi. The zeal of Arvind Kejriwal couldn’t counter lack of political pragmatism. The spirit of changing the ‘system’ got defeated by the existing political machinery. This indicates how fickle any change is unless it is deeply rooted in some ideology. This also shows that over the years, the way in which our parliamentary politics have degenerated bit by bit, changing the facia is an extremely difficult task. We have seen that a few good men cannot change the rules of the game, a few honest men in politics cannot purge it of corruption. History tells that nothing has ever happened without the participation of people and nothing can happen that way.
What is the way out? That needs to be searched. Whatever it is, we cannot let a communal fascist regime to start in India, our democracy, however tattered it is, is a better option. We cannot let the dynastic prince fool us with his verbose lectures that signify nothing. We cannot let all mass movements share a fate as lamentable as that happened, the travesty in name of people’s hope and government. We need to find a way out, we need to understand that the solution to these problems can come up only in the form of protracted and continuous struggle of people that is fueled not by just some immediate wrong done to us, but in the form of continuous ideological struggle.