Today's Indian politics (Dr.Abdul Ruff Colachal)
Today's Indian politics
Although religion, caste and money dominate Indian "secular" politics, anti-Muslimism, Mosque,anti-Islamism and anti-Pakistanism have guided the special policies of the country so that domestic Muslims are kept under constant “check” by denying what is legitimately their due in national development. With the advent of coalition politics the where many parties join the ruling front, without addressing the genuine concerns of the Muslims, the position of common Muslims has become vulnerable and pathetic. Politics continues even if the Muslims don’t participate in it. Vote bank policies that make the Muslims also to exercise their franchise, keep the political process in full swing. One finds the appalling the efforts of the Indian media to promote the agenda of the policy makers in New Delhi and other state capitals to kick the Muslims as hard as it is possible with actions of nepotism, vengeance and diverting the national attention to the so-called terrorism.
Coffers of the parties both national and regional have been bulging with assets, movable as well as immovable along side the “profits’ being made by the politicians at individual levels for their 'services’ to the people. Poll campaigns financed by big business houses focus on anti-incumbency and negative portrayal of opponents in electoral campaigns—and not positive appraisal of one’s achievements-- characterize the poll scenes at national and regional levels. By the method of mud-slinging the voters are so sufficiently confused that they are indecisive about their choices and finally vote for the sake of others and thus uphold their democratic right
It is of anybody’s guess how much land and resources have been swindled by the politicians and bureaucrats in the country, while lecturing on Indian-ness, Hinduism and democratic values, secularism. In Kerala state it has come to the notice of the officials only very recently that various lobbies have “acquired” the government land, set up their own enterprises and enjoy the fruits of development all by themselves. Kerala is not an exceptional case any way, this fact could be easily generalized to include every Indian state in malpractices. Other states just keep mum about that aspect, primarily because the politicians and their associates have swindled the state properties worth crores of rupees.
Coalition politics has come to stay in India at least for unforeseen future. Personality clashes have given rise to mushrooming of parties in countries like India where power, money and profit motivate the people to enter politics. The government thus functions according to a plan accepted by the coalition partners in the government. Generally the party that has mustered largest number of seats to either State Assembly or parliament stakes claim to be the head of the government. While the chief-Minister ship is rotated among the partners the Prime-minister’s post remain with the largest party. But sharing the resources makes the partners fairly happy with not having the plum post of CM or PM.
The Central government, run by UPA coalition, today is composed of many regional and national parties, while the Left wing parties extend support from "outside". Each coalition partner in the UPA government is free to function the way they want and the prime-minister seemingly too busy with too many things at he same has no time or desire to control the partners, thereby allowing the each to make as much wealth and fortunes as it is feasible during the term periods. The only condition from him seems to be: "You all have full freedom to "operate" in concerted manner; Only remember, don't disturb me. Do, what you want, take care of "our" media guys too. Other wise, they might oppose our "national interests". I don't want to hear any complaint from any quarters, you know. Please function and enjoy. We must make use of the golden opportunity without any commitment to any one"
The Congress party having got more member of Parliament in the camp has made its own person the Prime-minister and refused to let the post rotate among the partners. If the UPA, like the JK government has done, has decided to have the CM rotated among the leaders of the coalition constituents, the Left would have also joined just as they have opted for the Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Parliament). There are qualifies leaders among the coalition partners eying for the top political chair of the county. Since each is busy with making as much “profit” as it’s possible during the term of the Parliament, they don’t pester for that post with the unwilling senior partner, the Congress party.
Not only democracy and welfare of people are given a goodbye in coalition regime, but even the "interests' of coalition partners is not respected by the main party in such arrangement. When in Jammu & Kashmir where the PDP party has faired well Congress demanded Chief-minister ship and forced a formula of rotation of the post among the two coalition partners, it is totally silent about that partnership at the centre where there is a coalition government in place.
The most interesting platform to day is the Left front. The Communist parties behave just like any other party in the country, having lost program and policies to justify their existence. Even in states where they rule the people elect them not for what they stand for, but for other reasons. So much so, it appears, people would continue to vote even when the parties change program totally.
Lending support from outside to the otherwise minority the Congress-led UPA central government under the "strategic partnership" forged between them, the Left parties try to accommodate each other's concerns in a tactful way. As the Lefts support the Congress nominee for the President's post, Congress is expected to give up the Vice-President’s chair to the Left wings as a mark of gratitude. As they support the Congress nominee for the Presidential nominee, they had some expectations that the Vice-President would be a Leftist. But now it appears they don’t press for that, or the Congress has objected to a communist as being the country’s Vice-President.
Recent "understanding' reached between the Congress and the Leftists to kick President Abdul Kalam from the office by denying him another term is a clear message as to how the Congress, otherwise unwilling to appoint a Muslim to the Presidential chair, has now happily accepted the suggestions of the Leftists for the Presidential post. Decades ago, after President Fakruddin Ahmed's death, Congress systematically avoided a Muslim nomination for the post. (Whether or not he wad poisoned for not "listening" to the bosses is not the concern of this note. It was rumored that President Ahmed was poisoned for refusing to accept the then Government's dictates, thereby refusing to be an automatic rubber-stamp)
The latest "strategic partnership" between the Congress party and the Left wings has decided to officially kick " fantastic" Kalam possibly because refused to be an instant rubber-stamp and he was only eager to appease those that brought him to the post. Unless these parties retraced their awkward steps, Kalam has no other option but to return; to Sarnath to resume his sermons, but now would have to lecture on :pains of double-kick " and " Indian secular politics" as well. He may have gained sufficient experience to discuss the issues at length.
However there is clearly a rift between the tow segments with CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist), warning the government not to take the support of the Left parties for granted and not to deviate from the Common Minimum Program (CMP), agreed upon by both at the time of the ministry formation at the Center, though they know very well that the UPA government has indeed taken all MPs from the Left front, including the Speaker of Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee as well as politburo member Sitaram Yechury, for granted and float the CMP quite conveniently. The Congress party knows too well as to how to deal with the Leftists in a given situation by playing upon their supposed “weaknesses”.
But, however, one does not know if the Leftists raise the issue of "deviation" when they have some other difficulty or issue, vital for the party’s functioning and benefits, dealing with the Government. And the media generally don't try to reveal the actual causes of friction, whether in the appointment of governors and other important positions where the suggestions are not heeded by the government. In that case the government is not obliged or supposed to listen to others.
One thing is certain. The slow-peddling by the Leftists in stopping the Congress-led government from implementing its own agenda instead of CMP could be explained by the confidence they have in the continued support of people they receive as the Communists won the recent elections in states like West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, the catchment areas of the left front parties, defeating the Congress led parties. But the election reversals or victories don't necessarily reflect the political undercurrents in elections and the popular votes as such cannot be taken for their acceptance of Left support for the Congress-led government at the Centre. Mostly it is either anti-incumbency factor or the anti-congressism that help the Leftists come to power. Certainly people have not been convinced about any of the policies of the Communist parties being pursued in the country. .
Both the Congress and Congress are equally dangerous to the Muslims in India needs no elaboration. It is a fact that the Muslims get selectively victimized even by the governments by Congress party. The BJP-led coalition was in power at the Centre and it did not behave worse than the Congress with regard to "appeasement policies". Nor were they free from practices of corruption, fraud and crime and that makes them equal to the Congress.. The Congress governments promote the very sections that are favored by the BJP as well. Then, in which way is the BJP worse than the Congress?
True, under the BJP regime, the Muslims were in constant fear and under threat of dangerous arson. For this, all parties in the country, including the Congress that are keen to use the Muslims only as a reliable vote bank, are at fault. The last statement of CPM supremo Prakash Karat that the UPA government would not be destabilized would be music to the ears of ruling coalition parties that are busy making quick fortunes. Common man, including among the Muslims, no more trusts the parties across the political spectrum, but their empty promises and hollow smiles, however, do get the votes to be in power. Common Muslim, similarly, has no hopes either for the present or for the future, except that they can also feel proud of the fact that the Taj Mahal, the eternal love monument of cultural heritage created by the Mughal empire is still appreciated as a world wonder all over the world.
DR.ABDUL RUFF Colachal