Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Frail political parties derail parliamentary democracy 


Soon after the Udaipur killing, the RSS held a three day meeting of its Prant Pracharaks and senior workers from across the country in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. The meeting was also attended by representatives from the BJP and other Sangh affiliates to discuss the barbarity that Udaipur witnessed and the intensity of the precariousness that the Hindus in the country have been thrown into, despite a humongous political victory in their favour. It was not long ago did the Congress party convene its Chintan Shibir in Udaipur and both the meetings by the RSS and the Congress were held with special purposes. The RSS might have found potential reasons to strategise an ouster of the Ashok Gehlot led Congress government in the upcoming state elections, which the Sangh feels remained passive throughout the unfolding of the gruesome killing and while the chilling waves of horror emanated from the state. And for the Congress, its Chintan Shibir should have been an occasion to deeply delve into the anomalies that the arrogance of the most powerful dynasty of the party landed it with, and find solutions to resolve the dissension and dissatisfaction among its cadre.

The BJP this time held its national conclave deep down in the south in the city of Hyderabad recently. The party’s executive meeting was to mainly focus on what it identified as a push for electoral victories in the south. Except Karnataka, the other South Indian states remained uphill territories for the party which predominantly have been under the control of the local satraps. Unable to hit the area with its usual political narratives of Hindi, Hindu and Hindutva, the party proposed to enter the scenario with a new recital- the ‘dynasty politics’. By bad mouthing on the political dynasties, the BJP aptly targets its arrows on Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu. The BJP is ready to wait for Andhra Pradesh as Jagan Mohan Reddy is not an untouchable for the party. And for Kerala, the state not being an electoral laboratory of any particular family, the BJP should frame different narratives to fit the political dynamics of the state. Nipping its winning aspirations in the bud, local coalitions, both the LDF and the UDF have so far been capable of keeping the BJP behind the fence. All the three conclaves had their own significance and cognizance with regard to their respective organisational structure and goals.

The RSS, as of now, is unable to fine-tune the symphony of its usual Hindutva protector song. And the barbarity after the Nupur Sharma episode has turned its sympathisers whipping questions on the outfit’s ability to protect the Hindutva ideology that it has been the founder and a propagandist since 1925.  The Sarsanghchalak’s remarks on the Gyanvapi controversy have probably brushed the emotions of a large number of Hindus under the carpet. Meaningfully fire-fighting the anger among the Hindus on what the Gyanvapi survey discovered; a shivling at the wash point of the controversial mosque – Bhagwat’s efforts were to block the gushing Hindu emotions from further damaging the BJP government’s image at the centre. An India without the BJP holding the power reins is unthinkable for the RSS at present. This is the reason that the Sangh, despite its understanding about Modi’s towering popularity beyond the standards and definitions drawn by it, is now ready to compromise to walk an extra mile of disguised compassion on anything that comes against its interest of protecting the Hindu rights. Its silence on the arrests of sadhus who provoked communal amity in their gathering at Haridwar and its efforts to systematically distance itself from all the controversial issues by assuming the image of a matured moderator, the RSS is trying to send messages across its critics to see it as a sovereign, seeking to present the liberal face of Hindutva. Spanning across its periphery of activities, the RSS accentuates by its gesticulations, a reality that has gone deeper into its reticence, that the popularity of Modi has brought the party out of the shadow of servitude that the RSS had once successfully managed to spread. The party has now managed to build its image astoundingly visible everywhere without much of its assistance coming from the RSS directly and the Sangh leadership is convinced of this truth.

The political prosperity that the RSS and the BJP could individually, and to some extent collectively achieve should press the nerves of the Congress and other dynasties in India. The more they sit idle the more devastating would be their political future. What comes as an advantage to the BJP- RSS coalition is that it never supports dynasties and the workers from the local level to the national, stay upright and fight to save its ideological embankment fearless and dedicated. Political victory that this coalition could manage to win in the most populous state Uttar Pradesh for the second time has almost made its fortunes rock solid in the Hindi-cow-belt areas. The party’s South India push should be seen as a calculative and achievable length that the party leadership has decided to pace forth. On the other hand, the Congress, with its Udaipur conclave declaring future course of action with inclusive and participatory endorsement has not taken much strides to bring about changes in its usual set of behaviour. The party often ends up committing the same mistakes of turning vituperative on Modi and thereby maligning the essence of India. Controversies surfacing on a daily basis on the party’s intentions have often been pressing it hard to an incongruent, immature and despicable position. It is a victim of its own internal contradictions and a leadership without commitment and political maturity lands its feeble fortunes in frequent turmoil, exacerbating its internal conflicts further.

What is undeniable at this juncture is the absence of a common opposition checkmating the belligerent BJP from celebrating its paramountcy. This was evident from the body language of the opposition parties who turned delirious on the BJP’s decision on fielding Draupadi Murmu as its Presidential candidate. The Modi fiefdom could successfully break the capricious walls of opposition unity once again, bringing many among the opposition parties to its side and garner support for its choice for the candidacy. This will be repeated in the Vice President elections too. Mostly being disarrayed and enmeshed in the contrariness of a self-defeatist approach; the opposition parties will keep distance from each other indirectly paving way to what the BJP plans. The outcome is clear and visible; a country without a strong and creative opposition will run amok. The ruling alliance gaining more confidence from the pitfalls of the opposition will grow more perverse and go unquestioned. The monsoon session in the parliament will once again witness uproars and disruptions without anything meaningful happening there. An opposition, overthrown by its own ill-will, would remain unproductive and scared of being resourceful and sagacious on matters that the common men in the country are illusive about. India needs to redefine its parliamentary democracy with more voices from the opposition side creatively echoing the issues of people. The Congress should pull its resolve from the dungeons of an uncanny forgetfulness and dizzy mindset and try to pick pebbles of political fortunes by becoming a candid opposition.

(Author is freelance journalist and social worker based in Kerala. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at [email protected])

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