The politics of ultimatum, something that has damaged the fabric of the Indian polity since 1997 as it escalated into becoming a virulent virus, has reached the end of its tether and will hopefully die, allowing this country to restore dignity to the many processes of a robust democracy. The sight of leaders in wheelchairs indulging in self-serving tactics that play on short-term emotions rather than on good sense and on the building of a stable future, reinforces the degradation of the play of politics in India circa 2013.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam continues to keep its options open after having ‘pulled out’ of the ruling coalition in sheer peak. Obvious and predictable, this kind of politics and untenable partnership leave the public disgusted. If the party members want an ‘out’, there should be no caveats. They should come out of the United Progressive Alliance government and stand on their own feet. As for the ‘numbers’ required for a majority in Parliament, both Indira Gandhi and P.V. Narasimha Rao ruled with minority governments, and if this dispensation is forced to fall, elections can easily be brought some months forward. The Congress can go to the people with a great campaign — give us a complete mandate because a fractured dispensation at the Centre, caused by loose coalitions, pulls in different directions and is detrimental to the growth and development of India in this new millennium. Examples of blackmail politics abound and can become apt slogans for the battle of the ballot.
Elections are fought for a better, more vibrant future and not on the basis of past records. If Parliament is suspended or brought to its heels with pull-outs and suchlike, the ruling national party as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party can go out and make a concerted effort for full support, to save India from anarchy. It is becoming clearer by the day that this nation needs a government at the Centre that has a clear mandate.
Heed the call
In the states, regional leaders are strong. The Centre needs to decentralize power, both political and fiscal, to allow the states to compete with one another as they should, in a federal system. Centralized rule is disastrous for a complex country like India with its diversity of cultures, languages and faiths.
In this context of generational and attitudinal change, the powers that be need to go back to the drawing board and look again at the laws that govern us. The Constitution, civil, criminal, and municipal laws for a start, need a solid revamp and rewrite. Dignity and integrity needs to be restored if India is to compete with the world and find an appropriate place, once again, in the committee of nations. For a democratically elected leadership to have reduced this ancient civilization into a near anarchic republic is unacceptable.
The political class must start to work again and work hard at rebuilding India and Bharat. The ongoing betrayal, of the kind that has suffocated this vibrant and energetic emergent nation state in Asia, is not only unacceptable but also untenable. If forceful correctives do not kick in now, people will be drowned in an aggressive explosion across all layers of social and economic activity. It looks as if there are no national leaders who are energized by the challenge of change. Parochialism at the Centre has defied stability and national integrity. India wants intelligent, inclusive, participatory, clean and transparent governance delivered by stalwart, selfless leaders.
Why do politicians not heed the call? Do they not comprehend the idea of a modern India, the basis of which was laid by the founding fathers? And, if they feel that the inherited formula has failed, why do they not have the intellectual wherewithal to reframe the agenda? Why this incapacitation?