India 2010 - Political Musings
India with only four months into 2010 does not present a promising political picture and this extends to a wide spectrum of Indian politics from the record of governance of the Congress Government in the last seven years to the performance of India’s political class as a whole and the continuing downslide of overall political integrity in India’s political class. Such is the deplorable state of Indian politics that the emotions that are aroused today are one of anger, anguish, agony and disgust. Overall, the Congress Government has failed on all fronts from foreign policy, national security, internal security and overall political governance as a whole. The principal Opposition Party, the BJP, too has failed to harness the rising groundswell of political disgust in the Indian public into a sustainable and focused political pressure against the ruling Congress Party’s failures on all fronts. While in this Column one has dwelt at length on the failures of Indian foreign policy, national security and internal security, one has not touched the political scene for some time and political musings therefore is the focus this week.
Topically, nothing highlights more the Indian public’s cynicism with the ruling Congress Party politics than the widespread reactions all over India in the wake of the sentence of death to the surviving Pakistan terrorist Kasab. While an overwhelming cross-section all over India has voiced demands for speedy execution of the death sentence of the Pakistani terrorist mass murderer of Mumbai 28/11, Indian public opinion is currently apprehensive that the Congress Government will again soft-pedal and delay the execution of death sentence on political grounds as it has done in the case of Afzal Guru. It needs to be recalled that Afzal Guru’s death sentence stands confirmed by the Supreme Court even on appeal. Yet the Congress Government offers the disgusting excuse that Afzal Guru’s file is still pending for presidential clemency as his turn has not yet come.
Since when have Pakistani terrorists or their Indian accomplices qualified for clemency under the Indian Constitution when they have indulged in murderous attacks on the Indian Republic. They need to be hanged like war criminals. The United States did not squirm when they had to hang President Saddam of Iraq as in American perceptions he waged war against the United States. Why does the Congress Government squirm when it came to hanging Afzal Guru and may do the same in Kasab case?
Moving to India’s domestic politics, in recent weeks one observes the curious spectacle where on political issues made contentious by the Congress Government, one finds the BJP and the Communist Parties on the same side of the political fence opposing the Congress Government. The Congress Government manages to maintain its wafer thin majority by cajoling the regional parties’ leaders to side with them by soft-pedaling the alleged corruption cases against them. The Congress Government survived the Cut Motion against it in Parliament by this ruse which does not portray it in good light as far as political integrity is concerned.
Well they may cynically argue that when was Indian politics about political integrity, any way?
The BJP and the Communist Parties have earned more respect politically in the process while the Congress Government’s image stands diminished. One wishes that the Communist Parties under a more youthful leadership would learn new lessons of not blindly supporting Congress Governments and not being accommodative where political convergence exists between them and the BJP. Such a trend would be a healthy development for Indian democracy
The Congress Government like in its first spell of governance is repeating its record of not having the guts to remove corruption-tainted Ministers because of coalition politics pressures and not endangering its political survival. What is the use of having a Prime Minister of impeccable personal honesty and integrity if he has to carry for political compulsions tainted baggage in his Cabinet?
Politically disturbing is the sordid spectacle of both Houses of the Indian Parliament where those who adorn its benches tear viciously into shreds even the least remaining modicum of political dignity and sobriety that should be the hallmarks of the Parliament of the most populous democracy of the world
India requires a complete political transformation of the Indian Republic and the complete restructuring of its political institutions and organs. The present generation of India’s political leaders including the Gen-X in Parliament of all hues has failed the people of India and their very basic aspirations.
India’s new political leaders must emerge from outside the existing political framework and imbued with a strategic and political vision to cleanse ruthlessly the ills which now define the Indian political system. Then only will India attain her ‘Manifest Destiny’.
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Dr. Subhash Kapila
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