The present crisis in the UPA led government is of serious concern for the body polity of Indian Parliament. It shows one or two things.
One is: the fragility of this coalition, or for that matter all coalitions. Ever since the single party, absolute majority became a lost entity in the Indian political system, the coalition factor, regional politics, regional parties led to the decentralization of power in Indian politics, from a strong Centre, to a weak one, where it depended not only on essentially regional parties with a national colour, but also where regional parties started holding sway in some states, and some national parties controlled some states, as for example the BJP and the Leftists, which again is a coalition. Coalition politics therefore led to decentralization, and the body politic of a strong Centre gradually weakened.
|Whatever might be the political fabric in India, the Indian polity is very vulnerable as never before, because centrifugal forces are giving way, or have already given way to regional, decentralized forces.
Second, the majority party in the coalition, was always at the mercy and ransom of the other parties, essentially regional in both content and intent. Then again, in this present scenario the withdrawal of the Trinamool Congress underlies not only the adamant nature of its leader, but shows that she is adamantine as a rock. Anything going against what she considers to be against people's interests, she is relentlessly against. That is why she scored on Nandigram and Singur. She maybe dismissed as an unruly eccentric, but she can take an obdurate stance on issues.
The very fact that the ruling party capitulated to her stricture against a former Railway Minister, wanting him to be replaced by a person of her choice, shows clearly how she can hold powers that are, at ransom. She got her way. But the fact that she single handedly defeated the Leftists, who held sway for over three decades, should have sounded as a grim warning, to those who wanted to woo her, for obvious short term gains.
Now the whole question is, will she retract?
She is prone to whimsicality, as was evident in her dithering regarding selection of the Presidential candidate.
Whatever might be the political fabric in India, the Indian polity is very vulnerable as never before, because centrifugal forces are giving way, or have already given way to regional, decentralized forces. The Centre cannot hold, to use an Yeatsian expression. How long will the politics of shameless expediency continue? If it does not, then a single party without absolute majority is an impasse, and the situation of a hung Parliament. But gone are the days of one party, with two thirds majority. The last time it happened was in the seventies. We seem to be heading for an anarchic situation.