Saturday, January 10, 2009

Vindicated by the electorate! Defeated by the elected!!

March-Apr 2004: BJP & TDP Fight the AP State Elections on the Anti Telangana Front.
March-Apr 2004: Congress Allies with TRS (a pro Telangana party) for the same elections.
Circa 2009 Jan: Congress’ alliance with TRS is a distant (and admittedly bad) memory; BJP is promising Telangana in 100 days of coming to power.

March-Apr 2004: Congress flays BJP led NDA alliance for ‘wasteful’ expenditure on the India shining Campaign. India was only shining for a few claimed the Congress
Circa 2009 Jan: Congress led UPA has now launched ‘Bharat Nirman’ campaign worth 100 Crore! Sure enough the BJP now singing the same song which the Congress did in 2004!

Just two of the many flip flops which our politicians have become renowned for; it’s not the flip flops which trouble me rather its often the timing and the shameless attitude which does me in most of the times. Course correction and acceptance of mistakes is always welcome, most certainly when it comes from a politician. In a polity surely there is space for a difference of opinion and also acceptance of the 'otherview' - debates, discussions and even experimentation to converge at a common point.

Sadly, this ‘acceptance’ of the other view is taken to a whole new level; and given a whole new meaning by our politicians. The tone and tenor of politicians changes rather dramatically depending on whether they are in power and when they are out of it. And surprisingly, showing an immaculate sense of timing, those on the opposite site of the divide also do a volte face – on the same subject, at the same time, in the exact opposite direction, with a precision which many of figure skaters would be proud of.

How??? Well, it’s beyond me… honestly!!

Recently, Mr. Omar Abdulla got sworn in as the CM of J & K. As the leader of the party with the highest seats, surely he had every right to stake claim and occupy the CM’s chair. And yet, when he sought the Congress to prop him up with the numbers which he was short of – in a single stroke he defeated the democratic process, which was vindicated just a few days ago. By coming out in hordes and participating in the democratic process, the people of the beleaguered state gave a unequivocal rejection of the extremist path. The elections were a mandate on the PDP-Congress alliance of the past six years. As the party in power, as the state went for elections, Congress was the only one of the big players which actually had a ‘net loss’ of seats - a clear mandate against the Gulam Nabi Azad’s government.

Against the backdrop of this electoral mandate, seeing the Congress again become a part of the government is appalling to say the least. The people didn’t want them; it was a compulsion for Omar Abdulla to get them on board; and it was sheer shamelessness on Congress’ part to jump at the first sight of power. Abdulla’s were barracked by the Congress leadership for the six years they were in power, and the Abdulla’s did vice versa. And yet the volte face for a share of the power matrix, makes me wonder, if gaining power by such blatant refusal of electoral mandate is all that the politicians are capable of, then what power and sanctity is left of my franchise? What’s the meaning of the long queues, of the ink on my index finger, of the saying “Go and vote… it makes it feel big & strong”

Honestly, I’m sure each one who exercised his/her vote in the biggest democracy in the world has been left feeling worthless and hapless of his/her vote by its political class!! Victory of the electorate so easily robbed by those who get elected... Hard to believe, yet a hard fact!

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