Home Editorials Political Impermanence

Political Impermanence


Normally, any country, where the electoral mandate is betrayed so blatantly by a party as the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra state, would face massive protests. In India, however, the voters know that even such betrayals can be turned around overnight, and lack the permanence required to do long term damage. So, they have learned the patience to bide their time. It sends a clear message that no party is invincible and no leader infallible. The Sena’s actions have, however, revived hopes in the opposition parties of a revival in the present otherwise depressing situation. This impact has become visible in Uttarakhand, also, where the indefatigable Harish Rawat has set the rumour mills rolling with his party’s stated willingness to ‘welcome back’ the leaders who rebelled against the Congress before the last assembly elections. The continued recalcitrance of ministers like Harak Singh Rawat further indicates the fluidity of the situation, despite the overwhelming majority the present BJP Government enjoys. It shows how clearly the ancient epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharat understood the nature of politics – a cauldron of clashing egos, where pursuing a higher objective required transcendental spiritualism! The nation today awaits signs of such transcendence from its topmost leaders. The seemingly unfazed attitude of the Modi-Shah combine in the face of the Maharashtra imbroglio raises hope in the common person that there is a higher understanding at work. The Prime Minister’s praise of the NCP and BJD in the Rajya Sabha on the opening day of the winter session gives indications of this. As does, the weak performance of the opposition in both houses, despite claims of taking the government to task on a host of issues beginning with the prevailing situation in J&K and President’s Rule in Maharashtra. It would seem they would be content if Farooq Abdullah is released from detention and allowed to attend Parliament. In fact, there was more energy witnessed in the protest against rationalisation of hostel fees, etc., by the students of JNU. However, there are indications that, while the BJP would be happy to face politically inspired turmoil in Parliament, the coming days will see a more effective opposition on the economic situation. In this context, the BJP will miss the brilliant debating skills of Arun Jaitley. There is no doubt that Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman will have to marshal her facts better and project a comprehensive vision of the future. Politics is easier to manage, despite the Shiv Sena, than the economy!