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Lack of Coherence . . .
|by Ananya S Guha|
Finally the Government has been able to wriggle out of the FDI Retail polemic, or rather a controversy? I would prefer to opt for the former expression, because the controversy and the debate in Parliament was actually exacerbated by a disunited opposition, which is dithering and which is sore about everything in the country, which they are unhappy about; except of course themselves, who they think are redoutable.
But the point is that they carp on the same issues, and not in a single voice. When they have to come together they back out with ignominy and falsity, and come tumbling down like a pack of cards; so much for their opposition to the ruling combine. The Leftists are still smarting under a historic decision, because the people were disgruntled and wanted them out. I am speaking about West Bengal. In Kerala, they are a shade better, but a shadow of their impregnable past. The Trinamool of course continues with its peregrinations, over the FDI they did just that and refused to combine with anyone, with the BJP showing a mutual mistrust.
So what happened?
The BSP & the SP played an invigorating dual game, and by abstaining from voting actually put the UPA in. So, the ruling party must be having a big laugh. By delaying the debate in parliament the Prime Minister marshalled all his resources and played his cards towards the right direction, and shuttle diplomacy, but kudos to him for managing the opposition which was not at all well orchestrated.
The fact is that the Indian Polity is now on divisive lines with a conflict of interests between the so called national parties and the regional parties. Both have become national or regional according to the situation and to be frank a plain opportunism. This was an ideal situation for the opposition to break the back of the government but disunity prevailed and the scuttle policy also played a dominant role because no party had the guts to call the shots, and unite on a common front. The Leftists are anathema to the Rightists and the reverse. And we do not know who are at the middle of these two polarities. In the midst of this national parties or supposed national parties like the Congress or the NCP talk about national interests but also carry favour with regional elements.
The result is more than a muddle and a veritable hotch -potch. Take for example the NCP. In the centre it is part of the alliance but at the regional level in Meghalaya it is the opposition! How can a party with such paradoxical credentials ever survive or sustain itself? The BJP of course is still powerful in some states and has allies like Nitish Kumar who has been acclaimed by all and sundry for doing a world of good to Bihar. But the Indian Public is still wary of any community tensions based on religion and that is why the BJP was thrown back vehemently in 2004 and 2009. It might be holding fort in some states, but that is mainly due to regional and doctrinaire considerations.
So the truth is that the Indian Polity is hocus-pocus and things are not only in confusion but in a state of anarchy. This deceleration process started in the 80s when regionalism started gaining fissures in the Indian political system and body polity. In such a situation one wonders what exactly will happen in the next elections, but for the time being the UPA is safe as the opposition has played into their hands, by squabbling and lacking the kind of coherence that is needed to dismantle political processeses and pull the shutters down.
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