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Further Decline


Senior leaders of the Opposition apparently chose to boycott the flag-hoisting at the Red Fort on Independence Day for political reasons, but are miffed that the PM’s speech on the occasion was not ‘statesman-like’ enough. This is just another example of the hypocrisy that pervades politics even at the highest levels in the country. Those who level charges should, at least, ensure that they are not guilty of the same! And why should the PM’s remarks against dynastic politics, corruption and appeasement, be taken so personally by the opposition? Is it because there is truth in the allegations, which reflects in the furious response to all that he says?

It would be better if the opposition worked on projecting a positive alternative to the present government’s policies. Instead, much like Hillary Clinton’s infamous ‘deplorables’ remark, the visceral dislike for Modi has been extended to those who voted for the BJP by none other than senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala by describing them as ‘rakshasas’. And he repeated it so vehemently that he cannot even retract it, or claim it was a slip of the tongue. It seems that the template for defamatory and derogatory speech has now been established following Rahul Gandhi’s comment on the Modis. With such repeated self-goals, how long will the so desperately cobbled together opposition unity last? If it is only the lust for power that cements the opposition alliance, then the prospect of losing it may force the regional satraps to think again, particularly when the complex negotiations on seats begin. And whom to trust, with the likes of Sharad Pawar having a foot in both camps?

Whatever the outcome of the elections that take place almost constantly in some or other part of India, it is also important that the losers refrain from Trump like challenges to the integrity of the system. India has become a democracy mature enough for the people to have a good understanding of their mandate. There is still time before the Lok Sabha elections take place. If the INDI Alliance wishes to make anything of an impact, it needs to take a relook at its composite strategy and not allow loose cannons to score self-goals. Unfortunately, when senior leaders like Surjewala lose it, what can one expect from the fringes?