19 April, 2009

The Happy Post

Its election time again, and predictably, everyone’s talking elections. So could I refrain? Atleast that’s my lame excuse for loading a whole post with boring political talk and analysis last time. But then again, I really wanted to say that, and anyway, you rely on my commentaries on the stock market. Then why not some politics? So hears the deal – You read politics, but I promise to keep it interesting as I can, not to mention insightful! Okay?


Politicians are known to talk big. Or rather, have a loose tongue. Someone once characterized all politicians as liars. Others just settle for calling them opportunists. Nevertheless, they speak of seemingly implausible things with so much of conviction that you begin to suspect that they actually believe whatever it is they say to be true.

Take for instance the number of leaders claiming that they will win the elections convincingly. Now, these leaders who are known as the best political strategists would surely have us believing that they knew the electorate as nobody else can. Only thing, even their opponents make the same wild claim of victory that leaves you quizzed.

Mayawati (oh btw, does she have a first name or something?) thinks that this is her year of reckoning. LK Advani thinks she doesn’t even stand a chance and is only dreaming. Both of them are Z category names that have had their share of wins so far. Could they be bad at feeling the pulse? One would think not. So why would they engage in such ramble? You would guess, so as to disillusion the voter into believing that the victory is already sealed and all he needed to do was be a part of it by voting for them.

Hmmm, that’s a point, but take this. Pinarayi Vijayan the secretary of the CPM in Kerala thinks his party will do one better than last time and win all 20 seats from the state. He claims a ‘Leftern wind is sweeping across the state’. And you read my last post.

So that leads me to conclude that maybe the leaders are not always telling you what they want you to hear. Rather, at the heights of desperation, they tell you what they would have someone telling them. Heights of disillusionment, wouldn’t you say? And they expect us to vote for them!

***

Talking of political rhetoric, it is sad, no pathetic, to hear the Congress keep on accusing the NDA of laying out a banquet for 3 terrorists some ten years ago, and then accompanying them all the way to Kandahar (Just to tickle your memory, that was when DD transformed itself into a 24 hour news channel – with hourly bulletins. Those were still the days when Prannoy Roy was only the Chairman of a news agency known as New Delhi Television). Now, that was a long way ago, but I remember clearly what happened then. No politician had come up with a solution then. So why make a deal of it now, when the intricacies have conveniently faded from public memory. That is where Indian politics needs to mature. We need to grow above the culture of saying anything and everything that suits our disposition at any given time. Home Minister Chidambaram’s statement early this year that the govt. of that day could not have done much better with the lives of so many hostages at stake was a solitary example of political honesty that transcends rhetoric. That’s why I respect that man. He has the guts to call a spade a spade.

But that said, even Advani’s allegation that 26/11 would not have happened under his rule is again crap. The thing is, no Indian government could have stopped it. The attacks were not a , but even in its simplicity, the only way those attacks could have gone wrong was if the terrorists themselves messed up. I think as a country we have to own up to that. That it is the system that failed us. And while the system ought to be improved, it isn’t something that features high on the agenda of any political party. And moreover, both Kandahar and Mumbai were one of a kind attacks. There was no way really that we could have seen it coming. Or atleast there was no way any govt. could have prevented it, given that we are talking about India.

L K Advani says the laws (POTA) during the previous govt. were much stronger and could have helped counter terrorism. But tell me, which terrorist has he stopped with that law? Ultimately, the law was only used by some regional satraps, trying to settle old scores with political rivals. And in any case, you have to give it to the Manmohan Singh govt. that terrorists started unleashing their venom only during his tenure.

***

Talking of POTA enforcement, one of the most significant instances of its misuse was Jayalalitha’s arrest of Vaiko. Today, Vaiko and Jayalalitha share a platform asking for a joint mandate. If there is an insult to a poor voter wielding his solitary vote that is to keep his mouth shut for five years or so, it is the presumption that he doesn’t even remember!

***

But this is nothing. Today, Advani stands up to the election commission for his partyman, Varun Gandhi. Now lets put that in perspective. Advani standing up for the son of Sanjay Gandhi, the very man who he ought to be accusing for the atrocities commited during the emergency, especially his own jailing which he still keeps crying hoarse about. Of course, he was just being fair and putting justice above his personal anguish. But tell me, by what stretch of logic can he still taunt the sister in law and the niece of the perpetrator, while he enlists the support of the son?

***

Congress without the dynasty, BJP without the RSS backing, or a progressive left. That’s what Ram Guha recently claimed would see the revival of mature politics in India. Ram Guha is a discerning man for sure. But has he forgotten the mess that the Congress party became during the only time that the dynasty wasn’t around to dictate things? 1996 was when the Congress actually threatened to become a political non entity till the videshi-bahu (thankfully the BJP has realized that that argument doesn’t really sell with us folks) rescued it, I must say, with her hard work.

Now the Gandhi family is not without its flaws. But these flaws are not the fallout of being the first family of India. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And that works just as much for Ms G. Im not justifying her. But whatever she did was in a way a reflection of what the BJP did for the previous six years, and in some cases, a taste of what they are going to do should they be bestowed power yet again.

But on the dynasty, the Congress is better of with it. Otherwise, it is just a party of unruly power hungry men who don’t realize their pettiness. Sonia Gandhi helped put them all in place.

The BJP without RSS support? Now before you say why not, let me ask you where would BJP get its cadres from if not from the RSS? The ideology is far imbibed into the party that it is but a hope that the two can be divorced. But of course, if that happens, it will be the best thing that happened to the country.

And a progressive left, you gotta be kidding me! No no, I was just joking. Like Buddhadev has shown in Bengal, the left can be progressive. What they cannot be is accommodating. The communist parties might have a really democratic party structure, and they might not be communal, but their apathy towards a new idea is disheartening. For some reason, they still cant accept anything unless it was clearly permitted in the communist manifesto, and still look up to China and Russia (two non communist countries) for ideological support.

***

“Lalu, who had hit out at L K Advani as well for his role in the mosque's demolition has been slammed by an upset BJP as well. The BJP in turn attacked the Prime Minister and said it will complain to the Election Commission”. Of course, it should have been an oversight by the editors at IBNpolitics, but that sentence made me laugh out loud.

Indeed that’s what it has come to. For just about anything this summer, the BJP has taken to blaming the PM, calling him weak. Im not sure anyone is impressed. Im not in any case.



There’s more, but this is enough food for thought for the moment, methinks. Ill be back with more shortly. And Monika, you think this wasn’t a happy me writing?

3 had something to say:

Monika said...

ha ha ok it was close but i think u should make it a little more happy ;)

it was an interesting analysis though

Maya said...

thats what politics is about, talking about all things that arent important.

The more worrying trend is the number of new parties that are springing up every year. I guess in the comming years seats of main political parties will get further diluted and fragmented. already coalition has become inevitable.

Avaran said...

#maya

hmmm well, im not so sure... i think the main political parties will be able to consolidate once they get their ideas right... like, when they start they start talking in a way that people feel they do care, and they make efforts to strengthen their organisation at the grassroots, they will get back their seats...

and i have a feeling the congress is trying to do just that... the way rahul gandhi is toiling in UP.. it might take a lot of time to actually show fruit, but im sure it will!

but yeah, th politicians are fools if they think the masses (as opposed to the educated elite) cant see through their blame game