Sunday, June 28, 2015

Indian Political Stalemate

The politics of India seems to be settled for a while with the election of Narendra Modi as the prime minister of India. Arvind Kejriwal also found his footing with a win over Delhi. Rahul Gandhi back on drawing board to reinvent itself. 

From BJP's perspective the national win and subsequent state wins did put the Modi-Shah duo in the commanding position. The dissenting voices were silenced in various ways, and the duo became the
undisputed leaders in the party. The unrelenting scams in UPA government created a huge trust deficit among the masses. Anna movement brought the sense of hope that something can be done to fix the issue of corruption and high handedness of politicians. However miscalculations on the Anna team, especially calling for an agitation in Mumbai MMRDA without letting parliament to take a stand on the issue, fizzled the juice of the movement to a large extent. The failure of the movement as reflected in Mumbai, led to politicians getting more comfortable and it was reflected in the parliament letting the issue of Lokpal going in limbo. Arvind Kejriwal still undeterred with the failure, went on to pursue his fight. Remember that in all these times a huge trust deficit existed among the masses. It was looking for any leader. The first hope was Arvind getting his win in Delhi. Fortunately or unfortunately, it was a chaos and high voltage drama. The immaturity clearly reflected in. The eventual resignation led to another round of despair among the public. Looks like no one can fix the system.

And then came Narendra Damodardas Modi with a marketing campaign unheard and unseen in Indian political history. The deficit was systematically exploited and he seems to be having the solution for everything. "Ache din aayenge", "Na Khaoonga, na Khae doonga", "15 lakh", "kala dhan" melted like sugar in the ears of public. He seems to be having all the right ideas. BJP got the unprecedented victory ever seen by any political party after 1984. Modi came and started making the right noise. He showed extreme closeness to the world leaders and the coup was calling Barack as Barack. The expectations were too high, beyond the imagination of anyone. With time though, the words started falling apart with the action. It's not that he is not working but it's a huge expectation mismatch. The juggernaut though continued in various states including in Jammu and Kashmir elections. One reason could be that there was no formidable opposition putting themselves as an alternative. And then came Delhi.

Arvind Kejriwal after resigning from Delhi wanted to go as a martyr. People around him made him to believe that. Inexperience showed its colour. He went to fight directly against the systematic and well oiled machinery of BJP and RSS. AAP lost its deposit in almost all the constituencies. Punjab was an interesting exception but the story was clear on the wall. It looked as if Arvind had lost everything. The setback made him to go back to his drawing board. When Modi-Shah duo were winning one state after another, AAP made rat holes all around Delhi. Contrast to high blitz marketing campaign of BJP, it was an undercover operation.The trust deficit that BJP was creating and certain political mistakes gave the space to AAP. And Delhi wrote another history.

Another prince of Indian politics meanwhile went back to his drawing board. Congress is not a party which can be written off so easily. There are people in India who know only one political symbol, the palm of INC. Rahul Gandhi after his mysterious vacation seems to be back with vigour. He does not have to defend tainted ministers and scams. On the other hand it's easier to pick holes in the government policies. Land bill being one example.

It seems we are again up for political churning in India. Narendra Modi, though he himself might be a good administrator and not inclined to corruption, still comes from a system which has deep rooted ulterior motives.  His challenge would be two fold. To contain the system, the one which he himself belongs to and to manage the expectation of the public which seems to be going out of control for now. Also the momentary stronghold he seemed to be have got over BJP seems to be fizzling way. It's one of his most difficult political challenge of his life.

If someone can harm Arvind Kejriwal, it is Arvind himself. He has managed to get the complete control over AAP for now. Though he seems to be matured a lot in terms of political jugglery but still there is a long way to go. He is challenging system in ways which is making the system uncomfortable. The system is fighting back with equal vigour. His success will lead to a whole new way of politics and the current political and bureaucratic class is not liking it. The challenge of AAP are manifolds. They will have to start throwing more faces at state and national level. And they will have to do a better job in handling the cases like that of Jitendra Tomar. Saying that "I was under wrong impression" may be true but sounds flimsy. When it's about the post of a Law minister, it qualifies for an independent verification. Politics is a game of perception.

Let's not write off Rahul Gandhi as yet. I saw some of his recent speeches in Parliament. He is a different Rahul who was speaking without looking into a written paper and rambling with data with ease and comfort. It will be mistake by BJP and AAP to draw their strategy based on pre election Rahul.

Ultimately with all this I believe India will win.

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