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START AGAIN

Delhi has become much like a leaking sieve, with all kinds of government employees, from section officers to senior secretaries, breaking their code of conduct with abandon. This has become quite unpleasant because the ‘half truth’, laced with carefully crafted, partisan leaks to favour one dispensation against the other, is corroding the processes of both government and politics. It is shameful. It is equally disturbing that ‘responsible’ and experienced parliamentarians and members of the press are encouraging the spewing of unsubstantiated information into the public domain as they attempt to discredit every single decision and government action regardless of whether it is good or bad, right or wrong. It is as though the political class is rooting for ‘anarchy’ to protect itself and its misdeeds in an environment that abides by no decent rules or norms. There is zero accountability at every level of governance and politics. Democracy is being insulted.

This ‘free for all’ has led us into a ‘free fall’, which has severely damaged our body politic. People have begun to describe us as a bungling, failed State, worse than a third world country. The ruling alliance and the Opposition are operating at cross purpose to serve themselves at the cost of the nation. In this unholy and mindless mess, Arvind Kejriwal and his group of supporters have formed a new ‘party’ called the Aam Aadmi Party. Their goal is swaraj. Their systems and operating manual are, till now, unknown to the larger public. Their rhetoric is nothing new, nothing different. Why has India been unable to present a credible and attractive alternative political party that speaks a new and futuristic language to a generation that does not carry the baggage of the last century? Why do all political symbols belong to a past long gone? Why is there such a wide lacuna when it comes to political creativity?

Eager beavers

Kejriwal and his ‘politburo’ have not come up with a single idea that titillates the mind. So, another opportunity melts into a familiar, frayed pattern of abuse and counter-abuse, of negatives rather than positives.

We are back to square one. The Congress seems to have got into the election mode, seeing the writing on the wall of a possible third term at the Centre. This is because the single largest opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is in a shambles even though it claims to be in a good condition. Comparatively smaller regional satraps are watching like eager beavers, hoping to latch onto the winners when the time comes. There is no ideology in the exercise. What appears to be the motive is a selfish desperation to grab some of the spoils of office if the opportunity arises. Political partnerships seem to be based on greed for both power and money rather than on a commitment to nation building, growth and change. A rapidly corroding administrative machinery and a largely inept bureaucracy have propped up this dilution in overall governance. In a scenario such as this, the party with the longest experience and, therefore, resilience, has a better chance of being first through the goal post.

Analysts will harp on about how the results of the elections in Gujarat and Narendra Modi’s hat trick will impact the result of the general elections. We shall all be inflicted with endless theories churned out by ‘guests’ on television shows, often without any basis. We will hear and not listen.

With the Opposition parties having stalled Parliament for practically the entire session of this House, parliamentary democracy has been insulted and brutalized. To save face and start again, we should call for the elections and give the country a chance to decide whether it wants the fundamentals of democratic rights to be amputated or not. Does India want the Congress, the BJP, or another alliance that may emerge, to rule?