Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blues and Elations post Election result

My heart goes for Mr. Lal Krishna Advani. All his life he remained under the shadow of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and when the time came to bask in the glory, he missed and messed it up. After being with RSS in formative years, it is difficult for me to dilute my attachment from old guards of Jan Sangh. But Mr. Advani and BJP gradually but surely lost the claim of 'Party with Difference' when many moments came to test his mettle as an 'Iron Man'. As a home minister, he allowed to ‘trade in’ terrorists in Kandahar tragedy and later expressed a personal regret yet justified the decision as a collective responsibility of the cabinet. Second instance was when he with other echelons in the BJP wavered to act decisively against Mr. Bangaru Laxman thereby losing the sheen of 'incorruptibility'. The third episode was ' Jinnah'. There was nothing wrong with his statement that Mr. Mohd Ali Jinnah was secular. He was indeed a secular person and his dreams of carving Pakistan were as much his political aspirations as that of any of the leaders of the Congress party. Those who have read about Mr. Jinnah's life cannot refuse to doubt his credentials as a secular person. This is despite Pakistan being proclaimed as an 'Islamic Republic'. But Mr. Advani, you buckled under the pressure of RSS fearing that you might lose their blessings and get sidelined in your party. Test of leadership comes only at few moments when people put everything at stake and remain steadfast in their convictions. Gandhi family has that trait and despite their failures on various fronts they remain the leaders over the generation of this vast nation. Your opportunity came with Ayodhya and Rath Yatra and it took you to the post of Home Minister, but again you gave up your ideals and path just to stay in power. In the process, you and your party neither became secular nor rightist conservative party. Your stance of abandoning the issues of 'article 370', ' universal civil code' just to cling to the power by stating ' coalition compulsions' exposed BJP's hypocrisy. I feel, had you and your party, steadfastly remained loyal to your beliefs and stayed away from the temptation of power, by now BJP would have had glory of eminence on Indian political firmament like it happened with Israel and many countries.

I feel equally sad for Mr. George Fernandes. George - as you were affectionately called by bombayites. I do remember the days of your famous victory in south Bombay as a candidate of Praja Samajwadi party over congress and Mr. Naval Tata, your being undisputed king of Bombay labor, Taxi and BEST unions, your winning election despite being in jail in emergency. But something gone amiss once you tasted the power. I couldn't believe it was the same Fiery George when you defended Janata Party on the floor of the house and the next day you quit the party. Your decision to fight as an independent was an indication of your senility. From the days of charismatic firebrand union leader you now face an ignominy of being shunned and rejected by everyone around you. I feel pity for you Mr. Fernandes. However, I shall cherish the signature I took of yours when you had come to Bandra to canvas for socialist party candidate Mr. Vacant Palkar who never won despite having a clean image.

I am happy with this election result. Apart from the decisive verdict in favor of congress, this election showed that cast equations are losing its relevance in the rural India. This is the silver lining for India's future emboldened by the aspiration and expectations of youth of India who wants performance than casteist pampering. How else can you explain losing Ram Vilas Paswan, Lallu Prasad Yadav who nurtured caste seedlings to maintain their political hegemony? I am delighted that D P Yadav along with the wives of all criminals in UP and Bihar lost. I am happy Shashi Tharoor, Chidambaram won but disappointed that Suresh Prabhu lost. I don't know if Azaruuddin won or lost but I would rather be happy if he loses.

Those are my extempore thoughts as sun sets off on the careers of many Indian political veterans and another day of hope and expectation arrives with the emergence of young, articulate and ambitious young Indian leaders.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Subbaraman Iyer said...

Opinions aside,there are some minor inaccuracies in your post which I would like to highlight for the benefit of your readers.

George Fernandes was not a candidate feom the Praja Samajwadi party. he was a candidate from the Samyukta Socialist Party (SSP) and he defeated the Congress candidate S.K. Patil by a decisive vote. For the record, he lost his deposit in the 2009 elections.

Even if one needs to be charitable to him, his record is mixed. He was the one who started the hartal and bandh movement in Bombay which spread throughout the country. Finally the railway strike in 1974 which Mrs. Gandhi broke successfully ended his trade union career. In my opinion, the only redemption was he seeded the Konkan Railway connecting Mumbai and Mangalore.

He has broken more parties than he has formed and caused the downfall of the Janata govt in 1980. A man so unprincipled that he split the Janata govt (under Morarji Deasi) on the dual membership issue of Vajpayee and Advani and then joined the same govt when they still continued to hold dual membership in 1999 under the NDA Front when Vajpayee became the PM.

To say Jinnah was secular, is stretching the definition of secular beyond even what the congressmen would do. He may not have been a fundamentalist by today's yardstick, but the entire demand for Pakistan was based on a religion. He just stopped short of making it a theocratic state.In fact in your post you half conceded it when you referred to Pakistan being proclaimed as an "Islamic republic". Now, Advani's new found discovery of Jinnah being secular, was a political ploy to take the centre position from the Hindu right which backfired.

There are several other aspects of Advani which you seem to have ignored, but then that would become an opinion issue, not a comment.

Incidentally Mohd. Azharuddin won the election.

1:36 PM  

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