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Heavy Price

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The price for Bhanumati’s Kunba is already being paid. Not many days have passed after Congress taking over power in MP and Rajasthan and one of the anti-Modi allies has already asked for her pound of flesh. Mayawati has sought and obtained a decision to withdraw cases lodged against those who had agitated violently against a Supreme Court decision ‘diluting’ provisions of the Scheduled Caste Atrocities Act. The message is clear – law and order is hostage to political interests. Supporters are free to break the law and indulge in violence for the sake of a political party or ideology. Once they attain power, all will be forgiven. Even the fig leaf of political correctness has been discarded. And, of course, as was the case during the Manmohan Singh years, the Congress has yielded and compromised. Anything for the sake of retaining power!
Now multiply this with the number of members there will be in the proposed ‘Mahagathbandhan’. Every one of the leaders will demand a slice of the cake to ensure not just a stronger hold over a region, caste or community, but also greater space for ideologies that serve only their personal interests. Prime Minister Modi, had he not the numbers he has, may well have had to succumb to the demands being raised by Andhra’s Chandrababu Naidu. He had the power to refuse and did so. Naidu is attempting to cover his own failings by blaming the Centre. Will any hypothetical ‘consensus’ Prime Minister in the future be able to stand up to his blackmailing tactics?
There are parties, today, that wish to run the states they control almost entirely outside of constitutional arrangements. If Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal had her way, she would sign independent treaties with Bangladesh (and other agencies), and institutionalise her lumpenised politics to perpetuate her own rule – Election Commission be damned. The widespread corruption during the UPA years was a result of this desperate dependence on allies. The willingness of some to ally with naxalites, separatists, religious fundamentalists, etc., merely for the sake of power, means compromising the very integrity and unity of the country. Some have even gone as far as ‘plan’ with the Pakistanis the downfall of the Indian Government. Every one of these undemocratic and anti-national forces is a serious threat to the country. And it all begins with the small compromises, such as whitewashing political crimes of violence and corruption. A culture of cynicism is sought to be spread so that nothing distinguishes one kind of politics from another and just personal convenience is considered when deciding on who should rise to power. Are the people willing to accept this?