India Against Corruption



Winners and losers

By PREM CHANDRAN Every election in a democracy, first and foremost, signifies a success to its people. They have asserted .....

Senior Member
: Oct 2012
: Adur, Kerala, India
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Thumbs up Winners and losers


Every election in a democracy, first and foremost, signifies a success to its people. They have asserted their right to govern. The winners are simply manifestations of the people's will. While the BJP retained power in Gujarat, the Congress wrested power from the BJP in Himachal Pradesh and the AAP did so in the Delhi Municipal Corporation polls; meaning, the BJP "lost" in two of the three major elections in one go. Clearly, the saffron party has reason to feel miffed. The AAP has reason to cheer; it got a new feather in its cap. The Congress got a morale boost at its worst time in history.

Without doubt, the Modi Factor that the BJP relies on to win elections failed in both Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. If it proved its strength in Gujarat, this could as well be an isolated phenomenon because of the personal factors as well as a thanks-giving to the exceptionally fast manner in which Gujarat was nursed by Modi and Amit Shah from Delhi. It was well-acknowledged that more than the Modi factor, the style of governance of Yogi Adityanath helped the BJP return to power in Uttar Pradesh. Modi could not help the BJP in West Bengal where he had extensively campaigned in the assembly polls.

This takes us to the question what will happen in the next round of assembly polls in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh (both states now run by the Congress), Madhya Pradesh where BJP is currently running government after a brief phase by Kamal Nath of the Congress after the last polls, and Karnataka where too the BJP that runs the government is not unassailable. Modi by himself might not be able to ensure victory for the BJP in all these four states. This, however, is not to ignore the huge support that Modi enjoys today at the national level, which is bound to ensure that he can win the next parliament elections in May 2024 for the BJP and ensure its continued governance from Delhi.

Narendra Modi has not worked wonders for India in the past eight years. But, he ensured political, social and economic stability. A sense of maturity is evident in the way he handled India as its PM. Such a mature and efficient leadership emerges in a democracy only once in a while. Think of the Deve Gowdas and Inder Kumar Gujrals, not to speak of Chandrashekhar, who all messed up with governance though for short terms. Modi did not take any extreme step, other than the Demonetization that was done without proper planning and the nation paid a huge price for it. He worked wonders for Kashmir. Hats off to Modi for this. He found an acceptable way out of the vexed Babri Masjid issue. He is strengthening the national borders with visionary steps. He kept Hindutva offensives under control. His good sides are many.

Modi kept corruption at ministerial level under control but is not able to check the corruption at the pan India level or by the bureaucracy even at the central secretariat level. On the positive side, Modi lived up to the promise he made when he took charge in Delhi, that the Indian Constitution would be his Bhagvad Gita when he remains as PM. Muslims should take note rather than trying to pull his leg by an animosity that demonstrates their foolishness as a community. Their leaders are guided by sentiments ( a la the Gujarat riots) and not by practical wisdom. Modi did good things, as in Kashmir, and terrorists are now lying low. So is Pakistan, and the border firings are rare now.

Fast-paced progress is not possible for India as its systems are so archaic and cumbersome that these defeat the cause from within. Judiciary remains plagued by serious problems and it is most manifested in the way Judges are appointed. Through generations, a big game is on. Modi has no courage to overhaul the systems also because the RSS is comfortable with these and its thinking does not go beyond a Ghar Vapsi or Uniform Civil Code. These are issues too, but there are larger issues. The RSS misses the woods for the trees and its mindset is both narrow and regressive. This writer too appreciates the many good sides of the RSS, its willingness to change with the times, and I often had occasions to interact with its rank and file. But truth must be told. The RSS needs to change much more to make India change for the better. The Hindu outfit has ideology and it has a commitment to the cause of national well-being. The Congress as an establishment has lost its grip over both these over the years. The tri-colour party's only commitment today is to secularism, which we as a society are impressively wedded to even without a political patronage to it. Indians are secular by nature, thanks also the broadmindedness of the majority Hindus. The Congress should have more in its ideological kitty.

Indira Gandhi won votes in the 1970s by raising the slogan Garibi Hatao. The poor remained where they were for many more decades. Sonia Gandhi brought in the food security bill, law, the subsidized/free rice scheme, shortly before the UPA was voted out of power in 2014. It did not help her, the Congress or the UPA because of the huge scams that had unfolded by then -- the 2G Spectrum, the CWG Scam, the Coal Scam, all of which were simply the tip of the ice berg and manifestations of the huge loot that Congress leadership/ministers and the other UPA partners --the regional parties -- had indulged in during mainly the second term of the UPA under a meek Manmohan Singh. He by himself might not have been corrupt. Both he and Sonia Gandhi, greedy by herself, lacked the experience and muscular might to rule a nation like India. Parties like the NCP and DMK took full advantage. Shame on the nation! Sonia Gandhi's backseat driving-- with a personal secretariat of 2000 staff --only worsened the scenario and ended up in utter disaster for the Congress party.

Once the Congress lost its soul, its body -- the organizational set-up -- weakened and is down to its depths today, well-illustrated by its defeats in Gujarat and Delhi. It won Himachal Pradesh due to a combination of the anti-incumbency factor at work against the BJP government there and the local issues like fall in price of apple that affected the farmers, among other things. Farmers, large in numbers, saw an unholy nexus between the BJP and the corporates that entered the market and brought down the apple prices. It is a sad commentary of the times that the BJP as an organisation is run from its apex by the likes of JP Nadda. He could not protect his own territory, Himachal. Even otherwise, what purpose does he serve as the BJP's organizational chief? Without Modi around, the BJP is still vulnerable to fatal assaults from its rivals despite the backing that it gets from the RSS, which by now is well-entrenched. This, even as the Sanghis' capacity is more for backroom manoeuvring.

What of the Indian Left, after this round of elections? They were supposed to represent the cause of the poor. Under a showman like Sitaram Yechury, the CPIM has lost its basic character. He tries to run the CPIM the way the Congress ran India but is not taking it forward. He took it a lot backward, indeed. The tricolour party spoke up for the poor, giving them crumbs, and nurtured an elitist governance system. If Yechury is not elitist, who in India today is? If he's kept at the apex of the CPIM for repeated terms, even in face of a disaster to it, what doe this mean? What, other than the degeneration of the reds?

The CPIM lost the single seat it had in the Himachal Assembly. It lost deposit in most seats it contested in Himachal and Gujarat, not to speak of MCD. It got less votes than NOTA, as is mostly the case when it fights polls in the Hindi belt. The party of the poor has English as its lingua franca. Men like Yechury have no sense of shame. As long as they get publicity in the English media, they would carry on their game of cheating the poor of this country. Notably, how much money is the CPIM earning from its trade union wing alone, annual levy et al, with a claimed membership of 60 lakh for the CITU? The red flag is today just an enterprise; not just for Pinarayi Vijayan whose reckless style of governance in Kerala might eventually spell the end of the CPIM there. You being a part of the political establishment, your accounts are not under any scrutiny. Gain or loss in the elections does not matter. It's time for the red brass to enjoy life, be it with funds or with media publicity or with both. This is the sad tale of India's poor -- whose sweat is the stuff for "play" for the Communists. Are the people fools? What does the fall to depths below NOTA signify for the Communists?


Last edited by Premchandran; 12-14-2022 at 11:43 AM


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