Random Thoughts

Indian Election Results

Many BJP or Hindutva oriented websites have relentlessly abused and maligned Sonia Gandhi and the Nehru family's personal lives and there is major concern about Italian born Christian, Sonia becoming the prime minister of a predominantly Hindu, nuclear armed India. There are legitimate worries about Sonia's intellect and politics but her origins and religion should not be one, as they do not forbid her that position and are compatible with the Constitution of India.

The BJP had the opportunity to legally alter the rules but failed to do so in their arrogant confidence in their own victory. The secular ignoramuses will crow about how India is a true democracy and preen like peacocks. The real lesson is that the majority of the population has not benefited from the economic growth. The lack of education, infrastructure, jobs, irrigation and power keeps the common laborer and farmer mired in poverty with no hope for betterment. It is the nature of globalization to increase the gaps between haves and have-nots and polarize societies and nations. Excessive dependence on foreign trade and generation of surpluses to acquire capital and technology by an underdeveloped nation can only be achieved by enslaving the masses with low wages as China is doing currently, or under the aegis of a rich power like Britain or America while protecting domestic industry by tariffs or other barriers, as America itself and East Asia respectively did in the past.

The bigger worry of the election results are the linguistic parties triumph in Northeastern and Southern states and the persistence of elected communist control in Bengal and Kerala. The repeated triumphs of a failed ideology clearly shows that they must either have a perennial appeal to the electorate or that they are doing something right. It is the combination of poverty, education and political consciousness in a milieu of glaring disparities and unfulfilled dreams that explains the anomaly.

The BJP catered to the consuming urban middle class, which often does not take the trouble to vote. In spite of its rants about a common civil code, repealing religious subsidies and Article 370, it did none of them. The Indian electorate is against incumbents and rightly concerned with their economic interests, so they threw the rascals out. The problem is that the Congress in 50 years of 'Garibi Hatao' failed to deliver as well. Unfortunately the people have limited choice, so in this election the Congress benefited. The Indian psyche is oblivious to who rules, if they are of no benefit to the people. This is why the Scythians, Huns, Greeks, Turks, Afghans, Moghuls, British, French and Portuguese have ruled in the past, so why discriminate against Italians?

There are unfortunately major upheavals in the world currently and they will need a deft helmsman to steer the ship of state through the treacherous shoals. The American policy in Iraq and Afghanistan is unraveling. Its top priorities of not allowing Pakistani nuclear weapons to not fall in the hands of Islamic terrorists and the control of Pakistan and Afghanistan for access to the landlocked oil and gas rich nations of Central Asia will dictate pro-Pakistani policies. India is unlikely to get technology or sympathy and will have to be satisfied with outsourcing and providing cheap labor rewarded with depreciating dollars which must be invested at low interest rates to continue fueling a profligate American spending binge. China and the Arab countries are moving some of their reserves into Euros. The second problem is relationship with Pakistan and the Kashmir dilemma. Instability due to the LTTE and Maoist insurgencies in Sri Lanka and Nepal further compound India's worries. The insurgencies in the Northeast also aggravate the situation. On top of this are the trio of overhanging specters of rising oil prices, stagnant European economies and unstable US economy due to exploding budget, trade and current account deficits.

A recent poll in Latin America revealed a disenchantment with democracy and willingness to accept authoritarian government if it leads to economic betterment of the masses. It is idle nonsense to speak of freedom of speech and religion and human rights when people cannot afford even one square meal a day. The compass of religion that guided people towards an ethical and peaceful life by the promise of salvation, rebirth, paradise, heaven or hell is wavering aimlessly and communism, communalism, Maoism, Naxalism etc. are becoming the newly pervasive philosophies. As the old scriptures so rightly predicted, 'Bubhukshitam kim na karoti papam'. What sin will a hungry person not commit?


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

Top | Random Thoughts

Views: 3408      Comments: 0

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.