Why Grand Survival Alliance is a bad idea
Indian politics is at a very interesting phase Power cycles are common in multiparty democracies, and political parties wait patiently for their turn to get elected to rule They dont panic, if they ruled out of power for a term or two
Indian politics is at a very interesting phase. Power cycles are common in multiparty democracies, and political parties wait patiently for their turn to get elected to rule. They don’t panic, if they ruled out of power for a term or two.
In democracies across the world, parties are strongly founded on key principles and a core ideology on which their entire politics is based. It’s the ideology which differentiates the parties, and their rise to power is based on the franchise of the voters who either support or reject their ideologies.
However, the contemporary politics of India seems to be regressing fast and heading towards a very disturbing phenomenon. Parties do not seem to have ideological foundation, or they just lost it, as they are only focused on attaining power and not protecting enduring values or their differentiating identity in the political eco system.
The show of strength by many regional parties along with the Congress and the Communists in Bangalore for the swearing in ceremony of the new Chief Minister of Karnataka is a visual which highlights this new low in Indian politics. One can understand if parties of different ideologies come together on one plank to protect a larger national interest or during a war or aggression by an enemy State. However, no such real threat exists currently in the nation.
While there is plenty of manufactured propaganda of threat to democracy, threat to Supreme Court, threat to federalism, and threat to minorities on the incumbent government, there is simply no evidential substantiation to these viral lies.
The Congress is fighting a serious generational leadership crisis. Its ability to cobble up a strange bedfellow for power sharing in Karnataka is just a band aid and not a cure for the organisational disease it is plagued with. It can turn a defeat into a win once a while, however it can’t alter facts. The fact is, it lost another election badly.
The Congress need to understand the reason for its organisational mess across 29 States in India lies at the heart of its dynastic model and a microcosm of it across the organisational layers, and not just at the helm of it.
It is not easy for a family owned and run organisation to drive professionalism into its lower organisational layers overnight. What happens at the top happens all over the organisation below.
The Congress party across the nation was threatened by regional parties which mushroomed right after the hay days of a unipolar power play by the Nehru clan’s third generation. They not only posed a challenge to the Congress party but also defeated it across the nation. It is like clones defeating their prime mother. However, after a few decades of the regional parties’ rise in Indian politics, voters of India are realising the regional parties are no different than the Congress.
In fact, some are even worse with increased levels of dynastic politics, nepotism, all pervasive corruption and willful misgovernance. Since 2014, almost all States which went to election with rare exceptions have defeated the regional parties and their mother Congress to hand over power to the BJP, as a clear alternative.
The new aspiration of Indian voter is evident in the pan Indian rise of the BJP to power in the last four years, even in the geographies where it had just 1% vote share. The BJP certainly need to deliver on its promises in the States it rose to power recently to establish its hold. The States it is retaining for the last few terms with its model of governance showcase the possibility of it, holding onto power in the new States too.
While the Congress party is experiencing shivers down its spine for the past one decade with its constant losses, the regional parties have started experiencing the same since 2014. No wonder the Congress found its soulmates in all the parties which are feeling the existential threat in their respective States.
Indian voter has come of age and has started rejecting the parties which are not delivering good governance. Divisive emotions are not yielding results anymore, for many of the regional family political enterprises.
Grand Survival Alliance can be quite an apt name for this emerging new front. Some like TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao are playing coy for now, however many who have lost their mantles and a few who are certain to lose their in the next phase are openly and brazenly hugging even their regional opponents, at the cost of losing their own party’s differentiating identities.
The nation and its constitutional, parliamentary democratic framework are eternal. Parties win power and lose power, that is immaterial to the enduring institutional framework. If any of the parties who are scurrying for cover in just one term of the BJP’s rule with full majority, were to have genuinely founded on ideology which is people centric, honest and sincere intent to serve the nation, they should not be so petrified.
Survival politics comes with a heavy cost. As desperate times call for desperate measures, these parties have already started making massive mistakes eroding their own identity. They cannot anymore complain the BJP did it to them.
In an evolved and matured democracy like India, parties do not need to panic to stay in Opposition with dignity for a term or even two. There were many past instances of an incumbent government staying in power for multiple terms, the BJP did not consider that a threat to its survival and fall apart with desperate decisions. A party which is truly founded on a national ideology is differentiated clearly.
The Congress and its clones are establishing one fact clearly to the people of India; they are all just the same. If that is established, there is no need for so many different parties in India, they could well merge into a formal cartel and chose their leader annually. As months progress, the politics in India is bound to move in one direction. All against BJP.
Grand Survival Alliance is a bad idea. In politics it’s not necessary that 1+6 equals 7, it can also be a zero. There are many real time examples to prove it. If there is no reliable, credible, honest leadership to lead this uncommon pack of leaders, it is certain that their ship will never leave the shore; even if it does, it is sure to sink midway.