Yes... this must indeed be the saddest day in the life of an average voter of the world's most populous democracy!
Bharath is 2000+ years old. Hindustan is as old as the Moghul invasion. India is about 62 years old. In the middle of this confusion are caught millions of millions of people who do not know which concept justifies their geographical existence.
And today... it is all becoming very clear. The so-called world's largest democracy is after all the world's largest monarchy. Back up at the centre until the EIC came to rule us, we were always dynastic. Which ever way we look, our country had always had dynastic and monarchic rule. Down south, the Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas, Pallavas, Chalukyas... and now it is the Karunas. The fact that today the Indian voting majority has just about ended crowning Congress at the centre and the Tamils the DMK is proof of my proverbial pudding. Not that the BJP or the AIADMK are angels and the Congs and the DMKs are demons. All of them are the same flea abuzz the pee. But, the question is, are we the pee? or the peed? One good thing in the middle of this electoral melodrama is the Left is left behind and the Third Front has been put in its place. This just goes to show that if you desert those who depend and believe in you, Divine Providence takes over. The Mayawatis and the Karats and the Yechuris of the world can take a flying trip to moon and fall back or stay in the orbit.
It is always my belief that an ideal state to have is a two-party system, where one ascends power for the development of the country and the other becomes the watchdog opposition that criticises constructively. Not that my belief is unique or invented. It is at the root of the spirit of democracy. So, it is good in a way that the Congress is retaining power and without this time having to resorting to the barter-minded pimps who are ready to sell their ideologies for the sake of key portfolios or minimum common programme in their or their party's or their state's interest; or for that matter this time Congress is not going to be blackmailed by two-timing commies who won't even be respected in a communist state. I am glad for Congress for this result. This is one reason I feel it was better that BJP must not come to power this time... for they would have come to power only with the help of such species as we discussed above, although in different name packages! Now the Third and the Fourth are just that in the Houses when the parliamentary sessions would begin. The debate would happen primarily between the Party in Power and the Respected Opposition. The Third and the Fourth cannot topple any motion or there won't be no more armtwisting at no-confidence motions. Good for them, good for us.
Talking of the Opposition: yesterday, during my conversation with a long-time friend of mine, who also happens to be a psephologist - those guys who analyse elections and try justifying the statistics of ballots in retrospect! - I happened to mention that I had a feeling BJP would end up and must end up in the opposition because they would never get an absolute majority to go up the pedestal. Some of the reasons are: 1) Advani is not your ideal moderate head that is fit to be a Prime Minister of the country, 2) BJP is yet to come up with a prospective incumbent to that post (and Nitish is an ally, not an incumbent of the party and has also expressed his self-doubts), 3) the Mayawatis and the Sharad Pawars can only tug at the bit but not hold it - they are all too regional in their presence whatever said and done (and in Maya's case it has been proved so) and 4) the Congress orchestration is so fine-tuned and well-oiled a machinery that is almost 100 years old that they can sway sentiments and put together that vicious combination of pseudo-secular indoctrination and the image of Gandhi in the minds of the unsuspecting mass of the North... AND 5) they have too many more alliances to hammer up the 2/3rs majority that UPA requires. Look at what has happened. 202 out of 543 just by themselves. Give them another 3 months of campaigning time, they'll get 275 themselves!
How true! I have never been proved true thus in my entire life on any issue. I don't like the fact that UPA is forming the government, because I keep asking, albeit rhetorically, are these the choices before a voting Bharat-putra? The trouble with Indian politics is our Constitution. We need to urgently topple it over its head and scrap the IPC and build a fresh preamble and a constitutional rule book. We are stuck with the British colonial legacy, only we call it IPC. It could as well be EPC. Who better than Congress to run the legacy! Are they not the ones who connived with the British and made us A NATION DIVIDED? And then went out of their way give separate existence to the two physically divided parts of our neighborhood Spiderman Pakistan? After all, these Congressmen and women of the Gandhi family are all Britain educated, no? I have to digress here...
Today, at my MYT workshop, there is this 9th standard kid who thinks the Gandhi - like a lot of uneducated people of India - in the Indira, Sanjay, Rajiv, Rahul etc. belongs to Mohandas Karamchand! I had to take her through a short course in history to clear where the Gandhi comes from! And there is someone else who has not heard of Win Chadda or Ottavio Quattrochi or the Italian antique dealer connection of Sonia. How much of history would Congress continue to dress up with 123 and Nuke Deal and Aam Aadmi and NREGA? I talked, also today, to a folk theatre activitist who gives me statistical take of how much of NREGA's 80 bucks a day reached the Aadmi. All this would look like Cong-bashing. So be it. They are not fit to rule even the come-full-moon submerging islands of the far coasts of Lakshadweep. Then again, neither is BJP.
Coming back... if this is the case of the country's only two national parties caught in the regional party politics, what way out for you and me? We keep alternating between these two parties and most people vote for Cong because they hate BJP because they have been so glamorously indoctrinated against BJP for what the Sene and the Sena and others do. One doesn't understand how easily the allegedly educated (because being educated seems to be a sin and crime to me as we don't take anything but reactionary measures) and urban Indians fall prey to well-orchestrated press campaigns of breast-groping men in Sene outfit which gets equated with Bhartiya Janata Party that also incidentally shares the saffron colour with other religiously Hindu in belief outfits. Why is it that an average Hindu has to shirk from the very terminology that defines his existence because every one who is not a Hindu and in a position to doctor things through their access to press is power-mongering and thus rally behind any one else who is not a Hindu in the name of secularism? Is secularism only Hindu bashing in this country? When the sewerage goes into the Bay of Bengal or Arabian Sea, does it gets separated on the basis of Hindu shit or Islamic shit or Christian shit or Dalit shit? Why then should we vote on the basis of secularism or the lack of it? It just dawns on me that the average voter of the world's most populous democracy is no better than that shit he shits, according to these politicians. And we continue to vote... and we continue to believe in the democratic process that extradicts the Quattrochis and the CBI that abides by a Supreme Court decision that always favours Congress. Is the Supreme Court also Congress' hand-puppet? How does Congress continue to keep its stranglehold so long? Will the allegedly educated urban Indian who is more bothered about his space to fornicate with or without reason and choose to consider morality as a conveniently changing view point depending on his inebriation levels ever wake up to ask the right questions even if the issues that bother this nation does not touch (leave alone affect) him/her? Don't get me wrong! I am not asking you to vote for options open besides Congress here! What use is the choice we have? Only remember... because one doesn't like the deep sea one can't dive into the devil's mouth or vice-versa. We need to create options, we need to take well-argued and analytical stand. How do you do that, ask you! I hear. I shall give one small example.
On my way to cast my vote, at the gates of my electoral booth, I ran into a friend who came out having voted. I asked him casually if he had done with the process. Inspite of my not asking, he volunteered that he had voted for Congress. I asked him aghast when he is going to change his family tradition when he - who used to work high up in a leading Chennai newspaper and as opinionated as a jehadi can get about Indian politics - countered me by asking what is the option? I told him several, one among which was 49(O). He said he was not willing to compromise on his physical security since 49(O) requires that you should disclose your identity! Now, if you do, that is what taking a stand is! Assuming that the goondas of the parties of India would sorround your house like the NSG during the Mumbai Taj Siege and hence do not want to compromise on your security is what I call the spinelessness of an educated urban Indian! Do we think that the powers that be are watching us like the Big Brother of 1984 or the Overseers of Zamyatin's WE and send people to destroy all the 49(o) voters? How shallow can we get? For god's sake, this is a country of 1.2 billion and 49(O) as of today can't usher India-shaking changes. But at least, one would have taken a stand! I really do adore all those who voted for the Independent candidates because at least they chose an option, winning or not! This is probably how we could begin.
We have FIVE GOOD YEARS TO DO THAT STARTING TODAY... let's begin... NOW!