Convention Against Communalism

— Flawed Strategy for New Front!

Fourteen regional parties representing 100 Lok Sabha MPs participated in a convention against communalism which targeted the BJP and Mr. Narendra Modi. Although the participating leaders denied it, clearly the exercise was a trial balloon to judge the feasibility of forming a new front.

The idea to forge a new front before the election is sound. The Congress is floundering and the field is left open for the BJP to exploit. There is space and need for another claimant. Because the convention was hosted by the Left Front the Trinamul Congress did not attend. Miss Mamata Banerjee earlier had already mooted the idea of forming a Federal Front. Nor did the BSP, the DMK or the RJD attend. Miss Mayawati’s presence was incompatible with Mr. Mulayam Singh who was a prominent invitee. Miss Jayalalithaa did not attend but sent a party leader to represent the ADMK. If the Left Front and the SP were replaced by Trinamul and BSP the strength of the group would remain about the same. Therefore whether it is the Left Front or the Trinamul which initiates a new front the potential for a new alternative remains relevant.

The first reactions by the regional parties are very flawed if they intend to mount a credible electoral challenge in 2014. Most leaders were at pains to stress that they would form an alliance only after the poll and not before it. This was the first huge mistake. The public is sick of unstable coalitions haggling after forging opportunistic alliances. To create a credible alternative a pre-poll arrangement is imperative.

The second serious shortcoming of the regional parties is their failure to think beyond a Front and plan a stable Federation which contests parliamentary elections under one symbol while allowing the regional parties to retain their respective identities and symbols at the state level. It has been pointed out before in these columns that this can be accomplished by giving full clout to the regional parties at the center without in any way compromising or weakening their authority at the state level. A common symbol for parliament would preclude defection and mutual blackmail threats to present an image of stability and coherence that the Indian public desperately seeks. An acceptable poll agenda and a constitution for the planned Federation that protects the interests of the regional parties are feasible and achievable.

Apart from the above mentioned shortcomings the basic approach of the regional parties betrays flawed strategy. These parties perceive Mr. Narendra Modi and the BJP as their main challenge. This perception is right. But the strategy that follows from this is horribly wrong. They are targeting the BJP. This gives them the appearance of being a B-team of the Congress which is also targeting the BJP. But the main strength of the BJP currently arises from the very strong anti-incumbency mood across the nation. Therefore the winning strategy for the regional parties would be to mount an attack against the Congress that is much fiercer than the one mounted by the BJP. This should be easy given the inexplicable failure of BJP leaders, including Mr. Modi, to launch a vitriolic attack against the many cases of individual corruption by Congress leaders. The generalized criticism of corruption by the BJP leaders appears to be little more than a cosmetic gimmick.

Mr. Modi has given a call to liberate the nation from Congress rule. All that he means is that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi should be defeated at the next election. That is no liberation from the Congress. The regional parties should delve into history and demand that the Congress be dissolved and buried as Mahatma Gandhi had wanted because it has outlived its utility and role in history. That will help to undo the spirit of the Partition. Unless that is done India’s future remains bleak.

Respectfully and armed with irrefutable facts they must demolish myths woven around Congress icons of the past to demonstrate that they were human with many errors to their credit, and at time less than human as in 1984!

If the regional parties could summon the guts to do this one predicts that they would make the BJP appear as the B-team of the Congress and win the election of 2014. The party which exploits to the maximum extent the strong anti-Congress mood across the nation will have the best chance to win in 2014.


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

Top | Analysis

Views: 3387      Comments: 3

Comment The so-called Third Front is a mass of confusion and a loose combo of disparate groups with no common factor of unity among them. None of them have a holistic or national perspective. At best they aspire to serve as a pressure group. They jump into the arena only with a view to helping the Congress by labouring to show the BJP in the worst light. Their criticism of Congress is only for record’s sake and is just a mask. Just because the Congress and the BJP are bad in their view, it doesn’t ipso facto make the Communists credible, pious and welcome. Their hypocrisy and megalomania are easily seen through. They always pray against absolute majority to the Congress and the BJP so that they can leverage more than their due.
The communists and other pseudo-secularists always itch to raise the bogey of Hindu communalism and brand it as much more dangerous than minority communalism. When Communists who are inherently disbelievers in god and religion, always prop up and provoke the minorities against Hindu organisations, how can they become non-communal? Posing as authority on international matters, they talk of the affairs in many countries but always keep silent on the plight of Hindu minorities especially in Islamic countries? Don’t the communists know that Hindus are a global minority and that they substantially exist only in India? Would they talk of the plight of Hindus in India only when they are reduced to a weak minority? The communists and other pseudo-secularists don’t have the guts to decry the intolerance, fanaticism and superstitions in non-Hindu religions but are vocal in arraigning Hinduism through their various frontal organisations. If dividing the people on communal lines is wrong, can dividing the people on provocative caste-class-political lines be right?
The communists who are the floaters of a perpetual Third Front and what with their alien and un-Indian ideology are a misfit in the Indian political scene. Theirs is a case of high-decibel low-worth tactics. A frustrated lot, they always want to ride the Congress piggyback. When they sense that the anti-Congress sentiment is very strong, they blast the Congress at the hustings, only to end up in their lap after the polls.
The very right exhortation by Rajinder Puri that the communists and regional parties should demand the disbandment of Congress as per Mahatma Gandhi’s wishes won’t at all be heeded for their very existence is dependent on Congress.

07-Nov-2013 06:01 AM

Comment Sir,

Best governance comes from best leader and not from bunch of people from all the regions/sections of the country grouped together.

I challenged the view that democracy is best served when there is 'representation' from all sections of the nation - when a group of JNU professors chanted this during some function during ny college-hood. In this way, the number of 'sections' will keep on increasing and will exceed no. Of seats in parliament... while even then none of the people representing 'sections' will be the true leader needed to effectively govern.

So this third front and fourth front and federal front, all this is waste of time apart from waste of many more things.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
04-Nov-2013 12:52 PM

Comment Ha,ha,, what a humourous article.all these jokers passing off as third front barring probably CPI(M) have CBI cases which the caged parrots will hoist the moment they talk against Cong(i).These jokers can raise their head/voice against the dubious gandu family only if the cong(i) is banished.Now for me as an Indian , the third front is the worst possible solution to current crisis.We need atleast 10 years of Modi headed BJP rule to atleast start correcting some of the blunders the leftist loonies have hoisted upon this country piggying back the crooked gandu family shoulders.Rajinder should start worrying what is good for law abiding people than what is good for the crooks and scamsters.

03-Nov-2013 00:58 AM

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