|Source :NewsBharati Date :26-Jun-2018|
THE NIGHTMARE DREAMS IN THE AFTERMATH OF 2019: The uncertain future in India is calling aghast. Every intellectual, every political analyst, every phesphologist and of course every citizen in India is worried over the outcome of the post-2019 electoral scenario. If Modi government succeeds and returns to the power, there would be a problem, if Modi government is defeated in the electoral battle and a hung parliament emerges as the order of the day, there would be a problem. Political cynicism has engulfed the psyche of the political leaders in general and the non-BJP elements called ‘opposition’ parties would not tolerate in case of BJP in general and Modi in particular re-ascending to the power at the Center. These party leaders pretend to believe that the assumption of power by the BJP is a dangerous signal to the very continuation of parliamentary democracy.
It is the most awesome misfortune of the Indian democracy that almost all the party leaders in India appear to be possessed by the craze for power esp. the political power. The definition of democracy for these leaders is ‘being in power’ moreover, aiming at grabbing ‘power at any cost’. Several groups opposed to one another engage themselves in a ferocious battle intending to eliminate the other from the race. Verbal indecent battles are waged over any trifling matter and these lead to the end in destroying the other. Each of these groups violates all the norms of decency and practices and the etiquettes of democracy while appealing to others for the maintenance of democracy on top of their voices. Each of these belligerent groups vows to fight for democracy while aiming at destroying each other.
On careful tracking, the events for the last four years, the common man in the street, has frantic fears in his mind about the future of his life as well as that of the society at large. Non-BJP parties are engaged relentlessly in maligning the image of the party in power as if the BJP has committed some sin in winning the electoral battle and the INC and its periodically exposed splinter groups over a period of time have been deprived of their inherent right to rule the country.
THE OMINOUS NEXT YEAR
Agitating political parties , pressure groups, lobbies , associations , unions , rallies , marches , slogans of self-immolations , threats of destroying public property, officials of the State on duty discharging their duties are beaten up ( at times even killed ) in the name of public interest , judicial officials crossing their well-set norms and limits of decency out crying for justice in public , duly elected representatives seen throwing at winds all the norms of legislative functions on the floor of the Houses making a mockery of the parliamentary democracy , several social groups proclaiming themselves to be the sole defenders and the rightful savior of the Constitution by resorting to the unconstitutional means , and there is no end to these eventualities.
Exaggeration of the meaning of every incidence in public life seems to carry the day. Might is the right. Those who are mightier, become entitled to commit the acts, and that becomes the rightful act and that is the justice. The weak are not heard. Meek submission by the weak becomes the order of the day…. These are the confessions made by the ordinary common man in the street. The freight which he is possessed of, he fears that it might turn into reality and the day is not far away.
The political analysts and the administrators need to take these confessions of the commoners very seriously lest these do not culminate into a chaotic revolutionary polity where under the hard-earned stable political system is overthrown. The life cycle of the society and esp. the individual has reached a road, where there seems to be no comeback.
There is a school of thought which believes that the immediate threat to the Indian democracy is in fact from the so-called ’opposition’. The issues which the political leaders pick up for protests are in fact intrinsic issues in the process of economic growth which are governed by the principles of economic development esp. the market forces which are also dependent on international relations. These are neither dictated by the political Vikings nor led by the political leaders. Several of the agitations are seen undertaken without any rationale, completely ignoring the facts and figures esp. at the instigation of the ill-informed mischievous media.
ABOUT THE TERM—OPPOSITION:
“Official Opposition is a term used in India to designate the political party which has secured the largest number of seats in the Lower House of parliament (Lok Sabha) but is not a part of the ruling party or coalition.
A political party defined: A political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The political parties are well organized which agree on some proposed policies and programs, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.
A political party is officially accorded the status of an opposition party in Lok Sabha, only if it secures at least 10 per cent of the seats.”
1977- 1979: Indian National Congress
1989 - 1991: Indian National Congress
1991 - 1998: Bharatiya Janata Party
1998 - 2004: Indian National Congress
2004 - 2009: Bharatiya Janata Party
2009 - 2014: Bharatiya Janata Party
2014 - 2019: vacant, No opposition party secured 10% of the total seats (55/543).
ROLE OF THE OPPOSITION:
“The Opposition’s main role is to question the government of the day and hold them accountable to the public. The Opposition is equally responsible in upholding the best interests of the people of the country. They have to ensure that the Government does not take any steps, which might have negative implications on the people of the country.
Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. This article uses the term government as it is used in Parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration or the cabinet rather than the state. The title of "Official Opposition" usually goes to the largest of the parties sitting in opposition with its leader being given the title "Leader of the Opposition".
The role of the opposition in parliament is basically to check the excesses of the ruling or dominant party, and not to be totally antagonistic. There are actions of the ruling party which may be beneficial to the masses and opposition is expected to support such steps.
In Parliament, Opposition Party has a major role and must act to discourage the party in power from acting against the interests of the country and the common man. They are expected to alert the population and the Government on the content of any Bill, which they consider, is not in the best interests of the country.”
It is interesting to note the way in which the British Parliament works out its debating agenda to respectfully accommodate the share of the ‘opposition’ parties “Whilst most days in the House of Commons are set aside for government business, twenty days in each session are set aside for opposition debates. Of these days, seventeen are at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition and three can be used by the leader of the smaller, or Tertiary, opposition party (for most recent history this has been the Liberal Democrats, though currently they have been replaced by the Scottish National Party).”
“Although the Opposition has no more formal powers in setting the Parliamentary agenda, in reality, they have a certain influence through a process known as the usual channels.” (Source: Wikipedia ) .
PARTY- A DESTROYER OF SOCIAL AMITY:
In the political party system in India and its consequent polity, the opposition parties have treated the party as a device to settle their long pending scores in the caste conflicts and trying to get an upper hand in their social business. It becomes evident during the electoral battles. These very leaders while vehemently advocating for social justice and democracy in earlier times, without hesitation quickly resort to the use of caste and its affiliating units in setting the electoral game of superiority in the polity. Parliamentary democracy is converted into a comfortable showcase for giving way to indiscreet social arguments and feigned outcry for social justice.
POWER CRAZE- A FALL OUT OF AN EXAGGERATED UNDERSTANDING OF DEMOCRACY:
Power-thirsty opposition party leaders which were trounced in the last electoral battle are inflicting huge, almost irreparable damage to the constitutional pillars viz., legislature, executive and the judiciary. These appear to belittle these three pillars. Opposition party leaders by their behaviour tend to undermine the authority of these three pillars. The parliamentary sessions are washed out, legislative business seemed almost impossible. Every Executive action is challenged, opposed, contradicted, twisted, undermined and forcibly mismanaged. Clever legal luminaries do not hesitate to resort to the PILs in any matter, which has become handy but formidable judicial subterfuge which stalls the easy Executive process at the cost of ‘public interest’. As at present the opposition party leaders appear prepared to disregard everything constitutional and embrace all methods which these consider helpful in regaining the lost power at any cost. These leaders consider pandemonium, wreckage, ransom or stalling, a democratic right of the individual, group or the society. These leaders practice these methods and create ruckus at every place of public interest. Welfare thought is a far away consideration.
DEGENERATION OF THE SOCIO-CULTURAL HIERARCHY
There is a school of thought which believes in absolute equality amongst human beings. It is believed that all are equal, and moreover, all are equal before the law. There is another school which believes that ‘equality is a myth’. In spite of the equality, there is another scale –scale of cultural advantage—individual excellence which puts the individual a little ahead or above the known ordinary caliber of the individual, by virtue of his intrinsic competence which does command respect of his superiority over all others—considered as higher in acquired cultural superiority i.e. in ‘bourgeoisie’ term- hierarchy highlighted. The political parties which believe in the ‘myth’ take a particular stand on the issue of cultural status, while others take an aggressive stance which leads these to a war-like scenario. On the whole, the concept of ‘mutual respect’ in the society which is required to make the society a better efficient political society, is receding, inviting a chaotic atmosphere replete with anarchic seeds. The individual seems to reel under a tremendous pressure facing an uncertain and unsafe livelihood. All political parties exploit such an unrest while clandestinely lend their support to the established system (of upper and lower echelons). However, the hypocrisy is systematized under different garbs.
DISSENT NEEDS REORIENTATION:
It is quite evident that the dissent in the form of opposition political parties with no exception whatsoever has been displaying ugliest possible behaviour in their respective public posture and performance. Every executive action is immediately countered ferociously by the opposition parties (in Maharashtra a strange scenario seems to have been emerged wherein the ruling alliance partner is continuously and consistently playing a discordant cord, at times to the point of voting against the official line), furthering the media created and sponsored unrest through the splinter- pressure groups and lobbies, seems to be the real threat to the Indian parliamentary democracy. The BJP, wherever it is in opposition, has a good opportunity to become a good example of a good opposition.
MEDIA’S DISTORTING PROJECTIONS:
Indian media, unfortunately, seems to believe in dissection and not research-based analysis. Most of the channels miserably lack in quality audio-video production, a better script writing and a good choice of pure and meaningful entertaining stories. Most of the electronic media persons such as inexperienced anchors, reporters, and editorial staff appear arrogant, ill-informed on the subject matter, with no fluency in the oral delivery, rustic expression suffering from and arrogating superiority complex, verbose anchoring belittling the personalities and disrespectfully conduct cross-examination of those who are interviewed. These sort of media establishments instigate the dissenting competing party leaders creating a furore over non-existent issues inviting the abominable spectre of political instability. The present author feels as if the media world has no society or social commitment, nation or national boundary. According to these media stalwarts their task has no limits or any national territory. However, in no way, there is any suggestion that India needs a committed ‘fourth estate’. In a democracy, the media is legitimately entitled to complete freedom and liberty to defend the solitary ‘individual’. It is the ‘media’ which has to draw its own limit line between liberty and responsible discharge of its functions. Media seems to have failed to realize that their actions have almost destroyed the culture of adoring mutual respect esp. the high placed State Offices such as the Office of the Prime Minister, other Ministers, leading public figures etc. The language used to refer to these high office bearers by the electronic media is found to be so disgusting and irritating, that these, in fact, attract penal course of actions against the concerned media persons. These media bouncers in their story write-ups undermine the authority of these high dignitaries, and make fun of these causing irreparable damage to their images as well, in the eyes of the public domain.
MEDIA FORMING AND FRAMING A MONSTROUS DISSENT:
It is unfortunate that the media does not seem to share its positive role in the development process in the Indian political and socio-economic national affairs. Its negative role threatens to disrupt the Executive functions. Its negative attitude proves to be detrimental to the process of development of the national economy and public welfare. Viewers of the ‘idiot box’ begin to believe in what these continue to watch the whole day whatever the truth in it, are naturally swayed by the ‘Gobble’s propaganda on the small screen. Although there is much a larger percentage of people who are aware of the facts and figures and who do not subscribe to the propagandist news bulletins and discussion programs on the channels, the dissident party leaders find the spirited small group effective enough to create unrest playing a faux-pas. The first casualty of such a consequent violence in the State is the Executive. On every issue, the Prime Minister is directly targeted, he is taken to task, and the Minister concerned is publicly asked to resign, at times the resignation of the entire Ministry is sought. The Executive finds itself in an embarrassing situation and it is compelled to face the situation and explain its official stand from a political platform rather than concentrating on deploying administrative machinery in the rescue operations. The second casualty is the ‘common man in the street’. The ordinary citizen is always helpless and a lonely species, thrown at the mercy of the political bouncers. The poor helpless loner does not receive the legitimate dues which he is entitled to under the precarious conditions created by the cynic media and the rowdy opposition parties and their power crazy followers. The third casualty is the bureaucracy which is disheartened and demoralized in the process of implementation of the decisions. It is also observed that the bureaucracy is tempted to use such conflicts between the opposition parties and the ruling party as an opportunity to twist the matters and delay the implementation at the cost of someone and to the advantage of someone. The ultimate beneficiary remains stranded without the desired fruits. The media exploits the political conflict between the ruling and the opposition parties to its own advantage to increase its popularity.
LEADER-DOMINANT POLITICAL PARTIES:
The decisions of almost all political parties are dominated by the individual personalities. It can be observed that the party’s behaviour is guided by the leaders and not by the party ideologies. The so-called ‘conclaves’ are merely the get-together of the short-term friendly leaders, and the ideology or thought based policy making is simply absent in such conclaves. ‘Let us all come together and fight the main enemy, (as at present it is the Modi factor)’. This is what everything means by ‘opposition’ in India. Identify a common enemy and join hands with each other only to oust him, this is a single item agenda of the opposition parties in India. Aiming at creating an egalitarian society and launching welfare programmes is supposed to be the objective of every political party. The ruling party has a bounden duty to think of the welfare of all the people and accordingly plan to bring about the growth in the economy. The opposition parties do not seem to have an optional programme for economic development. These do not have programmes simply because these do not seem to be interested in the welfare of the poor. The statement may sound a little exaggerated, but after careful analysis, one should agree with it.
PRIORITY IS FOR ‘POWER’, NOT ‘ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT’:
Power of every kind is a basic human instinct. Every political party is organized for the same objective. A new definition could be articulated that a political party is a group of people whose common desire is to seek power. In a democracy, elections provide such an opportunity to such competing groups. The Indian diaspora is an apt example of such a definition. We find in India, that there are a plethora of political parties each pretending to represent a different political opinion and offer to present options to choose from.
POWER CRAZE FOR SELF-AGGRANDIZEMENT AND NOT FOR PUBLIC WELFARE:
The subtitle is quite self-evident after a careful study of the Indian polity. It becomes simple to realize that in most of the cases, those who are financially stronger, are elected, and these continue to grow stronger and stronger after these assume power. The tendency to usurp authority in order to gain something extra which one is not entitled to, opens the floodgate for an unauthorized accumulation of wealth. Corruption stems from authority to comply with an illegitimate demand of an expectant and which has been acceded in return for some assurance or a gift. Wealth accumulated in this manner prompts such a wealthy person to enter into politics and earn both power and wealth. If he wins, he assumes power, if he doesn’t, he earns wealth by being in the opposition as a blackmailer. Everything for power and wealth. ‘Never ever think of public welfare’!!
A BACKDROP OF THE PRESENT INDIAN DISCORD:
In view of the above, I for one feel that the real threat for the parliamentary democracy in India, is not from chaos, or even a weak Executive, but from the rowdy opposition parties whose collective behaviour has crossed all limits of public decency and humility. Since the astounding defeat of the heterogeneous coalition government in 2014, the obvious split in the coalition partners has completely demoralized the century-old Indian National Congress, it could not bear the humiliating drubbing in the General Elections, so much so, that it could barely reach the 1/10th figure of the total number in the House to claim the Office of the ‘opposition leader ‘in (54 out of a total of 542) the lower House. The INC as is well known could muster hardly 44 MPs. In several States, the INC was literally wiped out.This was a stunning outcome. One can understand that a century-old political party and the coteries therein which enjoyed the fruits of unfettered power and authority in several States and at the Center for so long a period, suddenly found itself out of power, those concerned had to undergo psychological trauma which is still sulking in their minds. The condition of other smaller political groups was no different but it could somehow sustain the shock. All those who had been defeated suffered a huge loss of wealth and power. This trauma made the opposition parties uneasy and the minds rattled. The enraged party leaders seem to adopt every possible method, ways and means to oppose the Executive tooth and nail, in and outside the legislative Houses at the centre and the State level on every issue, irrespective of its merits and facts, without any consideration for the public good.
Apparently, the derailed psyche of the opposition party leaders was the result of lust for power on the one hand, and ‘doors closed’ situation for the aggrandizement of wealth creation, on the other. Excessive greed with the help of power and authority had been sown over a period of several decades after Indian independence by almost all political parties. Even the ordinary individual citizens too were swayed by such a psyche which vitiated the political conditions in the society. Leaders, esp. in the opposition parties is the culmination of this churning, became restless without power which these were so used for several years, were bent on doing anything to wrest the reins of power from Modi. These appeared to have developed a sort of Modi-phobia which threw these leaders into that phobia and these were forced to spend sleepless nights. Leaders, their parties, groups all thought about their own survival and their future. Public welfare was not on their agenda at all. Revenge at any cost, ‘Modi hataav’, is their venomous slogan. These were seized of a psychical trauma which led them to animalistic tendencies. The society around has been watching the situation with disgust and remorse.
MODI’S RISE IN 2014 STANDS FOR RESOLUTION OF THE ‘IDENTITY CRISES’ IN INDIA
Fortunately, the Indian society is wise enough to read ‘Modi’, ignore the coarse opposition leaders. That is why several opinion polls even after 4 years seem to indicate the common man’s solid support to the Prime Minister. The citizenry at times forgives some mistakes or ignores the lacunas discovered en route in the development process.
MODI’S HUMANE TOUCH TO THE PLANNING PROCESS
Economics teaches its students that the planning process is governed by some principles which are arithmetically considered taking into account the human factor. Modi’s contribution seems to be, that it must also prescribe ‘humane touch’. Several Modi decisions suggest that he tried to resolve the entanglement and manmade intricacies in the planning process and its execution. On the other hand, his efforts in that direction also indicate the extent of his observations and careful study of human life. ‘Ayushmaan LIC scheme’, ‘Ujjwala’ Gas schemes could be cited as examples in that regard. In other words, he has preferred to prepare long-term plans, programmes and policies for the upliftment of the ‘haves not’ and the deprived ones in the society irrespective of one’s faith. He has signalled that he is bound to follow the ‘raj dharma’ depicting the slogan ‘sabka saath sabkaa vikas’.
THE RIDICULED OPPOSITION:
The leaders in the opposition seem to clamour for a speedy action to eradicate poverty, unearth the black money hid in the foreign banks' accounts, end corruption, and remind the BJP government of fulfilling its promises made during the electoral battle. There are well educated and well-read leaders in the opposition parties and these are aware that such hollow and empty rhetoric would mislead the uneducated ones but the knowledgeable and well-read persons would not be fooled. On the contrary, these leaders have made themselves a laughing stalk and an object of ridicule. The irrational attitude of these leaders cannot convince the poor any longer. The common man is very much aware that the implementation of development policies and programmes are not magical sticks which would bring change overnight. The opposition leaders who announce such ridiculous expectation of ‘overnight’ growth, are increasingly isolated by the circumstances around. These stand exposed in the public. In fact, tarnishing their own image has been to the advantage of the ruling party.
THE REAL DETRACTORS OF THE PRE-BATTLE UNEASE:
If we take the stalk of the fodder and the ammunition deployed by the leaders in the opposition parties and their fellow groups, against the Modi government, the following could be listed. False propaganda, hearsay episodes of scams, imaginary stories, twisted stories with half-truth, misleading figures, baked incidences, manipulated research, deliberately built news stories, fabricated pieces of evidence, biased narration and presentation and several other factors could be further enlisted. The ugly war proclaimed by the opposition parties and their leaders against a duly elected government has castrated the spirit of the Executive. It is interesting to note that but for the leadership of Narendra Modi, any other government would have been floored by the gruesome and persistent attacks carried out by a rabid opposition. In fact, Narendra Modi deserves compliments for saving the country from a preposterous, crestfallen and dreadful opposition lot. Most of the leaders are scared by the very thought of a ‘possible’ repeat defeat in the 2019 electoral battle ending their political career.
Who are the real detractors? The factors which are going to make the ensuing general elections a scary affair, even for the ruling party as well, are as following: Several arrests of all those who are found involved in the earlier scams, several charge-sheets filed against the accused, several convictions ruled by the higher judiciary, fatal attacks on political adversaries, exodus of party defectors thereby changing the complexions of parties sending waves of tremors in all parties, intimidated and the helpless voters, to mention a few, could be cited.
The electoral college of India has to be aware and alert over the following adversaries of the parliamentary democracy: a) Status-quo prone bureaucracy, (b) the cynic media, (c) corruption prone psyche of every one, (d) absence of technosavy attitude on the part of the individual, and (e) pessimistic attitude of the people.
The electoral college of India has one more golden opportunity in the year 2019 to reinforce their resolve to extricate India from ominous Macaulayan parrots of the intelligentsia and enthrone Modi with a more decisive mandate. The citizens have to guard their inherent parliamentary democracy in their ancient nation which is advancing in substance and spirit, and under the spiritual leadership of Narendra Modi who has laid before the society –his prime mantra—‘NATION FIRST’.