Saturday, 21 June 2014
Democracy At Its Best...
It is now almost a month into the working of the new Government, and already, a few noteworthy events have happened, events which seems disturbing from afar - events we could have done without - and yet, paradoxically, these very same events have underscored the power of our democracy. This, alongside with the crystal clear intent and actions that are by-and-large laudable, topped with the unitary and strong control at the center, is creating a new hope in a turnaround in India's fortunes. While it is admittedly early days to state anything concrete, the signs are very positive indeed, and bode well for our nation.
The first was the controversy over article 370. It has, as per information and news articles I recall, always been a view of the BJP that Article 370 should be, shall we say, "discussed". To specific, so as to avoid any misunderstanding, let me state that I recall that the BJP has always asked what has the article in question given JK, and that it should be discussed at the very least. Now, the BJP is in the hot-seat, that is to say, it is in Government, and with a single-party majority.
Nay-sayers may have doubted as to what will happen if it comes into power; I for one, never had any doubts. As I observed in my previous article on this point - Blogpost on Article 370 : "Let us trust of Parliament, Our Prime Minister Modiji, Our Opposition and Our Courts to sort this matter out; ..... We dont know; and as you can see from the text of the article, it is no simple matter. Further, we have no idea of the history... so let us forget it, and move on. Trust our institutions, people... trust them. In this, they have delivered admirably well!"
The entire brouhaha over Hindi. The moment the BJP came into power, well - a few days after coming into power, actually, there was a statement regarding Hindi and its usage. I will not reproduce that here - I have tried to keep my blog free of controversial content - so I will not elaborate. This is a very fresh happening, and would be recalled by most Indian readers.
There may have been other remarkable, or more significant events, but these are the ones that have struck me as being particularly significant. The reason for this is the sequence of events, and the responses of the various players - which, far from being disturbing, is actually quite reassuring, and underscores the depth of the institution of democracy in India, and its overall maturity. Not only that, the sequence of events should actually win some additional support for the BJP, ideally speaking. Let us not get into analyzing whether or not the BJP should have made those statements - as that is a pointless exercise, given that those statements have been made, and further those are in keeping with the BJPs overall stance.
First, this shows that the BJP will at least try to fulfill its various promises. Second, it also indicates that this is a party that can take the bull head-on, and move ahead. Both of these are very significant factors for a nation which is facing the degree of problems that we currently are. Third, it also shows that the BJP will not roll over other opinions, and will modulate its response according to the reactions in a very stable and mature fashion.
This third point is critical : rather than view it as a climb-down by a party, and make fun of it, we should look at it as a sign of maturity; that it backtracked on its clearly articulated positions, responding as per the needs of the on-ground situation. This means that the entire western propaganda is mired in total baselessness. The facts show that it tried to do something, which got a kickback from the states and other parties including the opposition. Rather than bank on its majority, the BJP elected to play down the entire episodes, even backtracking at places.
This is significant : it shows that democracy is now so deep-rooted in India, that even the majority party respects other opinions. Even though it is early days, let us all accept that this is a very hopeful sign. The BJP, at least in my book, has not lost : it has shown remarkable maturity, given that it was going against previously articulated positions. And the opposition has also shown the power of objections, and the power of the democratic institutions of our nation.
It is sad to see the West still view this with colored glasses - view this statement by Hillary Clinton : ". If he leads an inclusive government, and there isn't any country in the world that is more diverse than India, but if people regardless of their religion, their caste, their geography feel that this is a Prime Minister for all India" from Transcript - Hillary Clinton to NDTV Jun 21 2014. The events as on date show the exact opposite; that there is nothing to be worried about. I repeat - let us trust our institutions, everyone. High time the West removed its colored glasses, and looked at its own actions instead, and avoid making judgmental statements.
The events point to the emergence of an exceptionally strong democracy in India, an India which is now being led by a strong, centralised party, with clearly defined ideologies, statements and positions, a party which is in strong control and has the courage to implement them. Simultaneously, it is also a party which is mature enough to adjust and downplay its positions under strong objections. Please note that I am not making any comment about the objections, how they were made, whether they were acceptable or not - I am only focussing on the BJP's response.
Worries remain; like criminalisation of politics - where I sincerely believe that a party such as AAP is direly needed with its focus on decriminalising politics & ensuring solutions to the weaker sections within the framework of a functional capitalistic society. Other flashpoints are the implementation issues, rampant corruption, freedom of police, administrative reforms etc. That is why, now we need an opposition that is equally strong - I only hope that the AAP analyses itself and undergoes a resurgence, for I am doubtful of the Congress, which still cannot find a non-dynastic leader. But on that, let us, once again - trust our institutions and our voters. They have delivered admirably well, particularly our institutions... trust them, people... trust them!
Jai Hind! Vande Mataram!