Thursday, April 30, 2009

National issues deserve their due: Will the result of 15th LS elections reflect that?

The recent case of CBI giving a clean chit to Quattrochhi around the time of elections, raises suspicion on the way Congress has been known to interfere in statutory bodies like CBI who are meant to be away from political interference.

In this editorial by Pratap Bhanu Mehta he points out a very significant quality of any leader and also a political group of setting up institutions which would cater to the needs of the society without falling prey to partisan politics. He points out to a very serious threat the society faces on account of such irresponsible and self centered behaviour at the expense of loss of trust of the society at large on institutions which are meant to uphold truth and justice.

Thus the moot question is, whether there is any value in the public raising its cry over police reform as represented by mandates given to politicians prior to elections during citizen group meetings asking them to work towards it. Aren't we fooling ourselves when we try to ask lone MPs from one or two constituencies to work towards such key national level problems where probably as individuals they are powerless since the overall framework of these parties has clear stakes in allowing those issues to persist.

The only way in which the electorate can arm twist and make the govt act on such lines is by bringing to fore such issues as a collective during General elections. Unfortunately this is not to be seen in India since the electorate rarely votes on national issues. Despite the fact that Congress has shown utter ineptitude in responding to the menace of Naxalism and Terrorism, there is hardly any nation wide concern to be seen. And the reflection of the same can be seen when go through the political manifestos of the national parites wherein we realize that none of the manifestos talks about fundamental reforms in depoliticising institutions meant for social welfare like IIMs, CBI, Govt Hospitals etc. Moreover the birth of Coalition politics will only cause problems in fixing such vital bottlenecks.

Sitaram Yechury CPI(M) leader while answering to one of the questions related to fragmentation of our electorate, marks that 'I think it is a process of maturation. You cannot have a social plurality that is as wide as we have in India and have a political monolith. Your social diversity has to reflect in your politics. '

The point is that if this be the India of tomorrow, with regional parties coming up with their local issues during General elections, how are we going to decide the course of the country at a larger level. These regional groups will give rise to Coalition as an inevitable option but this is only going to relegate the national issues to the margins and whether we get a Maharashtrian PM or a Dalit PM at the top would be the sole subject of debate.

No comments: