February 23, 2020
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Bull's Eye

In recent days media pundits of the national press have been hammering the same point. India's politics today is divided between the BJP and the Congress, ...

Bull's Eye
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In recent days media pundits of the national press have been hammering the same point. India's politics today is divided between the BJP and the Congress, with their fortunes at inverse ratio. One even exulted over the demise of the Third Front.

This is how things are. Is it how they ought to be?

The Third Front deserves to die. It is a motley crowd of tribal leaders gathered around the CPI(m). It has no ideology. But neither does the Congress or the bjp. Each by turn allied with the aiadmk and the Trinamul Congress. Each goes with any party depending on expediency.

Polls in five states are over. Results were as expected. The Congress gained. The bjp did not. This strengthens the illusion that we are moving towards a two-party, or at least a two-coalition, system.

We are not. What we witness today is further decimation of a fractured polity. There is no ideology. There is no agenda. There is no party. There are only "leaders".

In the last general election, the Congress and the bjp together accounted for 52 per cent of the popular vote. Each obtained less than 30 per cent. Voters opposed to both parties account for 48 per cent. The mindless politics that has emerged is justified by a stupid refrain gathering momentum: "The era of coalitions has come!"

This is no era of coalitions. It is the era of an economic mafia having free rein. It can easily manipulate leaders vulnerable to bribery and blackmail.

Two factors created this situation. The first is corruption. Corruption destroyed mixed economy. It is now destroying market economy.

The second is Mandal. It divided the have-nots. Instead of empowering them, it marginalised them. It enabled the economic mafia to exploit caste divisions and become the king-maker.

The prime minister should reflect. His policies have set India in a new direction. Follow-up action will determine the success or failure of those policies. The follow-up action until now has been disastrous. There is no governance, no law and order, no justice. Indeed, there is no system. The government has lost the moral authority to govern.

The prime minister will not be served by political realignments. He needs a political instrument that can govern. He needs a new poll. He needs a new mandate. If he can't get it, he should go.

When in doubt
Don't rant and shout,
Nor listen to fools
Go by norms and rules.

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