Note: ഓണത്തിനിടെ പൂട്ടു കച്ചവടമോ? What has Modi or Amul Baby to do with people absorbed in deep religious church reform discussions? some of you my good friends may ask and quite rightly.
It is because the day prior to Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the high and mighty in the Orthodox church there also were discussing what should be the colour of vestments they should wear for Mass the following morning with no agreement. But the revolutionaries decided it for them. It was to be crimson Red. The whole gang of churchmen were drowned in blood the following day.
In India a bloody revolution is already on, led by Maoists in backward states of the North, warns a sober person like Abdul Kalam. When the poor, hungry and exploited millions of India are driven into the arms of Maoists as saviours in the absence of a caring State what is the relevance of discussing divisive religious temple, mandir and church related issues?
Is not the very idea of India itself at stake when its political parties are on a suicidal path even on the very eve of a general election? Politicians, not religious pundits, are to be the guardians of the common good. What then should be our priorities here and now? Other-worldly religious issues or downright mundane ones of survival for India’s exploited and have-nots? Hence the post below.
Election Prospects for 2014
NaMo, Amul Baby or Federal Front?
Three types of rule at the centre loom large – one led by UPA, NDA or Federal Front. All are putting their best foot forward to win the race. What are their positive and negative traits? Who could be or should be the winner?
In the wake of parting of ways between Nitish and Modi, which amounts to a total break up of the NDA what are the prospects for NaMo(Modi), Amul Baby or Federal Front in 2014? That is the BIG question facing the nation. It has sent all political parties into a huddle to engage themselves in frantic discussions in feverish pitch to find ways to keep themselves relevant and survive – all thanks to the national Hero or villain of the moment: Narendra Modi.
Thanks to Modi, for becoming the much needed Churning Rod of the dirty Palazhi called Indian politics. What sort of soul-nourishing Nectar or deadly poison disfiguring Indian body politics will he produce? Indeed the name Modi has become music to many dreaming for all round economic development for India. The young, educated and internet savvy battalion look up to him as the one and only leader to take the country out of the mess of mammoth corruption drowning the nation. But the elderly and experienced haunted by the ghost of Godhra, especially in the Muslim minority community shudder at the thought of him as India’s PM. In effect he has become a mobilizing and polarising figure, uniting or dividing sections of well-meaning people on the Indian horizon.
Public Perception of Modi
This public perception is not uniform. It is strikingly different in Gujarat from what it is outside. His three consecutive election victories are mainly responsible for making him the matchless man of Gujarat and for wiping out nearly every trace of dissent (by threat? one wonders) even among the minority community there. But Gujarat is not India and those in other states refuse to buy his claims as pointed by election results in other states like Karnataka where Modi was sent to campaign for BJP and Modi magic failed to work.
Again while Modi mania is at fever pitch in scattered sections, it is in mortal conflict both among former NDA allies and even in the BJP fraternity. Nitish Kumar of Bihar and Advani the Iron Man of BJP are incontrovertible living proofs. These two have literally punctured the exaggerated euphoria created around Modi and the present BJP leadership especially by their intoxicated fans. Think also of the BJP stalwarts who failed to show up at the Goa conclave for reasons of Advani-like ill-health or similar excuses.
Facts speak loud and clear. So do also principles. And the principle is that a house divided against itself cannot stand erect for long. It is bound to collapse and crumble under onslaughts more from within than from outside. For one thing Modi has failed miserably to put his own personal home in order as his estranged wife Jashodaben Chimanlal Modi reportedly is forced to live in a 100 sq. ft. tin-roofed, toilet-less, bath-room-less one-room hut and takes bath early dawn at a tap out side to beat the lime light of day, in Rajosana Village, writes a correspondent in Times of India, June 15. If this is true, and there is no reason to believe it is not, how can a person who is not able to cultivate the sunshine of joy, wellbeing, camaraderie and bonhomie in his own little home, pretend to provide them for the whole nation?
All this does not in any way diminish the value of another general perception, that what India needs today is a benevolent dictator, but one with vision, conviction and action, not a person like Manmohanji, who is too slow either to see, to speak or to act. Modi, no doubt has all the traits of a dictator. He is too much like Indira Gandhi, who brings to naught everyone who stands in her way – friend or foe, master (Advani) or disciple. But such extremes cannot survive for long with India’s teeming millions who are generally democratic and pacific
Who else then will fit the post of the next PM of India? Rahul Gandhi, nicknamed Amul Baby, the very opposite of Modi in character? Rahul is humble, simple, unassuming and absolutely with no craze for power, position and popularity. What is bad, he is too reluctant to take up responsibility in spite of all the prodding, cajoling and coaxing from all quarters especially from his mother Sonia who seems to be totally bent on making him the next PM at any cost. The illiterate Aam Aadmi would love to have him as their leader, since Rahul too feels quite comfortable in their company and they in his. Just think of his forays into Dalit homes and villages to eat and sleep and stories surrounding persons like Kalavathi.
But what about the so called educated class, especially his peers in the social media? They seem to be very critical of his abilities? Still his chances to become PM are bright just because of corruption galore and infightings going on in the BJP. One wonders whether a Karnataka type of triumph awaits Rahul? And it is the High Command who decides who would be the leader in Congress. In BJP that high command is the RSS as demonstrated by the withdrawal of resignations from all posts by Advaniji at the unsolicited advice proffered by its supremo Mohan Bhaghat. But will the people, disgusted already with massive corruption deign to give a third chance uninterrupted to a Congress rule at the centre? Of course even the impossible can happen when the public is left with no other choice other than the present corrupt parties and candidates to vote for. The fact is the discerning public is already fed up with both BJP and Congress.
It is here that the on-going talk for a Federal Front sounds appealing like a silver lining in our dark political horizon. The name is appealing just because of the presence of the word “Federal”. One of the thorny issues India has been discussing in the recent past was the question of Federalism versing Centralism especially when FDI in retail was introduced through an ordinance. Besides regional satraps like Nitish, Navin Patnaik, Mulayam, Mayawathi, Mamatha, Chandrababu Naidu, Jayalalithaa, Karunanithi and so on have become a threat to national parties who are such today more in name only than in reality because of the diminished number of states under their rule and control. The fact is national parties need and depends very much on regional parties to form a government just as regional parties need the former for their survival and growth.
In spite of it all regional parties can become a formidable force to challenge national parties provided they all can be brought together and held together on a common platform. Here comes the BIG problem. Can anyone dream of getting a CM like Mamatha Banerjee work with any of the left parties in Bengal? Of course there should not be any untouchables or enemies in politics especially for those who want to form a government at the centre which should be all inclusive, excluding none in the country. Think again of the possibility of three lady satraps – Mamatha, Mayawathi and Jayalalithaa – working together in a coalition government?
Suppose we exclude such conflicting combinations and try to bring together only agreeable regional parties. In such a combination will it be easy or even possible to find enough parties whose combined strength and effort can win more seats than any of our weakened national parties? The final test in such a combination will be the fight for the PM’s post all satraps are longing for. So the left parties see Federal Front as a non-starter. It can work out only if all are prepared to place national interest above personal and regional interests. An exercise to capture the moon? Coming days are going to be the testing days for this experiment.
Again what better things has this Federal Front to offer to the voting public looking for deliverance at any cost from the curse of a corrupt and foul smelling BJP or Congress rule?
What the public is looking for is positive programs and constructive policies which will bring relief to the harsh realities of their daily life like the necessity of bribe-giving in every government office for services, paying ever increasing prices for essential commodities like petrol, diesel, kerosene, electricity, train and bus tickets without rhyme or reason and lack of job opportunities to earn a living wage. Do the possible or probable partners in the Federal Front have any of these concerns in common except their common hatred for the so called national parties?
Proper functioning of ration shops, good prices for agricultural produce, affordable fees in schools and colleges, protection for women from rapists in offices and public roads, banning criminals from electoral fray, passing of women’s reservation bill, making the CBI independent, banning death penalty and implementing an awful lot of other civilised measures are also cherished expectations of the general public.
The end result of this study is that we don’t have any sure, cut and dry answers on the three election prospects. That is another reason why all patriotic persons in the country should put their heads together to come up with viable alternatives for 2014 for the good of the nation. Where there is a will there is a way. Necessity is the mother of invention. Deliverance from the unbearable corrupt rule of Congress and BJP – both incorrigible and beyond redemption – is a pressing necessity. Carthage must be destroyed. Strategies for making sanity and sobriety triumph must be found. Victory is for those who never give up trying.
The writer can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org