Left, Right and Center!
Irrepective of how much ever irrelevant they have become in Indian politics today, having grown up in a Left background, the inclination towards them is still alive to some extent. The background usually makes you blind towards the bads and retains only the goods in mind. It reflects in all thoughts and discussions. But, in recent times, the reasons to hate the communist parties are becoming stronger than the ones to love them. Even today, they are the most self-less, least corrupt, and probably the only group that has the ability to talk about all national and international issues irrespective of which side they are in (may be being Left is naturally about not being at the right side!). Though they have done nothing to eradicate hunger, they are the only ones that think about it and built all their philosophies based on that. A real communist understands a fellow human being's "material" problems better than anyone else. May be, the safron group might claim now that they are the ones that understand the "immaterial", sorry, "spiritual" needs of the people better than anyone else. Then, what does Congress have to claim? May be, they can claim that they understand the nation's priorities better. According to them, it is they who gave birth and life to this nation called "India". If communists are Left and safrons are Right, is Congress party left right at the Center? It has mostly been a party that was sliding towards Left in policies and Right in practices. May be, post reforms, it has become a non-Left party, not necessarily a Right wing one. In fact, Left doesn't mean communists or socialists. It just means liberals. At that time when Left and Right were coined the liberals happened to be the socialists. But, today, it is not the same. In fact, the Left is more adamant with the century old, failed model, which is about conservatism. They are hell bent on conserving communism in its original form, though it did not achieve its intended purpose. With all these confusions, Congress could well be called Center for two reasons. One, their idealogical balance depending on the context or situational idealogy so to call (like situational management) or having no clarity on idealogy at times. Two, they seem to be the obvious choice to be in power in Center most of the times. :)
Coming back to the comrades, the simplest leaders of all times mostly belong to this group. The density of simple and honest leaders in any other group may be no way close to that in the Left. Every single party man lives like a Gandhi when it comes to simplicity. Unlike in any other political party, none of these party men may have any expectation from their parties to run their families. The power has never corrupted them. At the max, it has only made them arrogant and violent. They were just born to realize the dream of revolution that is never going to happen. Their political adamance is killing them. They are okay with it. They don't want to get saved at the cost of a philosophical compromise. Right or wrong? They choose wrong. Because, they are Left. They are strong on wrong even if it means going to hell. They don't understand the opportunity cost nor the opportunism. They are here to perish. No point wasting the time on an irrelevant entity. That too, when they have come to an extent that they would support any third-class immoral regional leader to keep a Manmohan Singh or Vajpayee away, though they call it a decision based on philosophical grounds.
Let's leave all the regional shit for a moment. Between the two big elephants my mind is slightly tilting towards the old elephant. BJP is certainly more democratic and less corrupt than Congress. Like in Left, here too, the birth certificate doesn't help. You can grow only the right way. But, their problem is the exclusivism. I don't like it. I grew up in a Muslim street where I was an odd boy out. I have seen my friends celebrating a Sachin's century or Kapil's wicket louder than me, even against Pakistan. I should admit that I sadly don't get to see that kind of spirit today. This country has somehow become something else to them. It's just not their problem. Our problem too. And, to repeat differently, it's their problem too. It's a major sensitive subject. Let's keep it for some other day and get back to our mainstream politics. However corrupt you are, waste you are, only inclusive politics is a sustainable model. Because, politics as a profession is about inclusivism. You may gain friends by creating enemies, but people may not want to live in a world of enemity forever. Knowing that, the old elephant continues to be inclusive at least on the face if not whole heartedly. That's why it becomes the obvious choice for anyone who wants to join politics from nowhere. Why does a Shashi Tharoor joins Twitter, sorry, Congress instead of BJP? Why does BJP not have as many intellectuals as Congress does? It may be debatable. But, I don't see so much intellect in the Right wing. May be, I am carried away by the mainstream belief that intellection is an intellectual property of Left, and hence the Right doesn't possess it.
You shouldn't be mistaking a pseudo-secularist for a secularist, but that may not mean that communalism is better than pseudo-secularism. They are hypocrats, but you are not. Hypocracy is better at times. They at least keep the values alive in paper and air, which keeps people in harmony. Whereas, your business sows hatred to reap short-term benefits, which will surely not make this land a safer place. Divisive politics may work at the level of state politics and it may relatively be a sustainable one too. Because, there you have a bigger enemy, i.e. the rest of the people. A country like India that has so many divisions and so much problems may not be able to appreciate the religion-based division, because that is "one" of the many divisions, which may not be the most appealing division for all or most, especially those who belong to the majority. And, this "we" versus "they" business doesn't work with any majority group that has the share of as large as 80% of the total population. Only unity in diversity works with them. Unity within a division works only for those less in number. That may be a reason why Hindutwa is not working here. It worked to grow from 2 to 80 and from 80 to 194. Why not from 192 to 267? A politician should talk about (not necessarily act on) people's problems. For most of the Indians, is religion an issue of personal or national interest? Is it as critical as hunger or education? For some, it is not even as worth as the notes given for votes, or for that matter the stupid-idiot-nonsense boxes (color televisions) given to turn blind and dumb towards what is happening outside their house (which is hall, kitchen, bedroom and every thing for them, for decades to come).
That leaves with the following people to support communalism in politics - 1. Those who can't play caste card in politics any longer and can get better returns with the religion card, 2. Those who believe that only this form of politics can safeguard their interests from the hard-hitting, anti-national, opponent groups, 3. Those who think that the 50 years of sick politics by Congress has failed the people and country, and can't digest the populist policies of Congress, which they think won't be given an ear if BJP is in power, 4. Those who heard the unheard - other version of the history, which is just opposite to whatever we studied in schools, and think only BJP understands the values of the land, 5. Those who are from the geographies that always had communal tension or cross-border threat as their biggest problem, 6. Those who can't stomach the mass entry of lower-caste 'ordinaries' (not my view, but of those who think so) in mainstream politics.
Having said all these, am I a supporter of Congress? Not at all. I was more than happy to see BJP in power in Karnataka, because the silly games played by Congress-JD(S) duo made the state more and more sick, with no lights in streets and at the end of the tunnel. Only now things have fallen in place here, after charismatic Krishna left the office in 2005. He was a victim of cheap, low class politics too. With BJP in power here, infrastructure projects are on fast track. Even in center their performance was good. Highways works got completed in high speed. But, economics as a subject didn't seem to be their cup of coffee. Talked something before coming to power and did something else after. Needless to say, good they didn't walk the talk. Reversing such a major economic 'U' turn would have been a major debacle, for we were nearing the end of the road. There was only a steep valley after that. HRD also was getting into unwanted controversies when there are plenty of not-so-controversial reforms that could have been done. Coalition golmals were happening even then. Either DMK or ADMK has been making the lives miserable for both the elephants. Overall, Congress as a party seems to have a stronger think tank to rule a country as they are not pre-occupied with other controversial issues (other than making money for themselves and their children, which has become a priority for both the elephants now). Their experience for 50 years might be coming in handy at times of need.
Personally, there is another reason for me to hate Congress. It went ahead helping the barbarian Sri Lankan Government despite the pleading and bleeding of god-forsaken innocent children, women and elderly, who solely depended on this holy nation for their survival. Survival as a word seems to have lost its weightage, but I do not have any better word at the moment to explain what kind of fight for lives they went through. BJP in power might have changed the equation. More than Congress, it is an old Tamil fox that would do anything including eating the waste while hungry (this is a different hunger), who is responsible for all the bloodbath that took place some nautical miles away from where he was collecting votes, which are nothing more than human waste given in exchange of hot cash. So, blaming Congress is not a meaningful thing when the self-declared saviour of the entire race himself was least bothered. I don't have to be an LTTE supporter or an anti-national to hold this view.
Leaving all that, Congress has done an unthinkable in politics. It has given the highest office to a completely non-political, highly educated, efficient, clean, middle-class visionary. Will it ever happen in Indian politics? May or may not. Such a clean man in politics was an accident caused by another political accident. Is Singh a weak King? May be. Someone who has faced the election only as a voter cannot be any stronger. It is not his problem. It is a shame on us the people. In a land where criminals win by large margins, if such a qualified leader is scared to contest elections, it only means that our democracy has not matured yet. If we feel happy about it as it gives a second opportunity to put down Congress, who is the best person to play the role then? Is it Pranab Mukherjee or PC or Arjun Singh? Don't we honestly think Singh is better than all of them? If you agree with Advani on his remark about Singh that he has brought down the dignity of the office by listening to his party chief, I can assure you another thing - anybody other than him would have been worse in Sonia-worship, as they are all hardcore politicians, who have mastered that art from childhood. Advani surely cannot head a Congress Government. Is it Rahul Gandhi then? Then, when to get away from tryst with dynasty politics? But, which PM was strong in coalition politics? We have seen the same DMK or ADMK bully around and embarrass both the elephants time and again. Even the second Iron man of India never failed to meet the madam at garden, even at the peak of her corrupt political career. So, one request to those who hate Congress - scold the party leadership, scold every general secretary in the party, scold any full-time politician who makes bread, butter and gold buiscuts in politics, not a gentleman like Singh. It's an unprecedented attempt in an immature (may be the biggest or oldest, but we have enough case studies to prove that maturity doesn't come with age or size, right?) democracy like ours. Let it get encouraged. Let us have more and more educated, qualified, effecient and clean leaders at top.