Millennium Post

Politics has taken an acerbic turn

The generally shrill Indian political theatre has turned its decibels up by several times. If the Sunday sentiments of the top three national leaders, Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, are subjected to scrutiny under harsh daylight, most of their talk would appear to be fluffy and without much meat, except during the moments they take potshots at each other. In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, except maybe in the instance of Kejriwal, the campaign heads of the two rival camps look more engaged in dishing out acerbic aphorisms against one another rather than laying out substantial plans on how to reinvigorate the sagging India growth story. While Modi falls back on the corruption plank to belittle Congress-led UPA, Gandhi accuses the BJP prime ministerial nominee of indulging in ‘politics of blood’, drawing fault lines along communal and religious axes, thereby fomenting dormant and extant tensions. Though not untrue, this mechanism of holding a mirror to the other’s follies but not to one’s own, as well as trying to score brownie points through empty rhetoric and not with political and economic visions of inclusiveness, tolerance and expanded civil liberties, reeks of the same old politics of one-upmanship that has till date held the nation hostage to either dynastic or cultural nationalist agenda. Neither Gandhi, nor Modi has cleared the air over the respective pogroms their parties have been blamed for, and despite clearances in ‘staged’ inquiry commissions, much remains to be done in those matters even as the leaders pitch for the national stage.

Evidently, both the big political parties and their respective alliances have failed to offer a credible solution to the string of crises staring at the country, the fragile nation-state, the chaotic politics of everyman and the delicate condition of the economy. With issues like stagflation, steep hike in utility prices, rising violence and corruption facing the aam aadmi, it is extraordinary how the political top brass is still adamant on raking up the communal dust, instead of offering inclusive, non-exploitative and non-discriminatory solutions to the people. Already, the saffron camp’s emphasis on a corporate-friendly hardened majoritarianism has alienated the minorities, while the UPA’s deplorable record in notching up one scam after the other has distanced the middle and lower classes in both urban and rural electorates. Despite a slew of pro-people measures, UPA’s has been the era of rampant crony capitalism, wherein the sops have only been the tiny lid to cover up the massive holes in the government exchequer drilled by corporate defaulters. In hindsight, both the national parties and their allies have proved that what the country needs right now is an alternative to this tried and tested politics of disillusionment. In this light, the time is ripe for the emergence of a cohesive Third or Federal Front, with regional leaders coming together on a common platform of delivering good politics, provided they come to mutual understanding not based on convenience but democratic principles.
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