Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Tracing the genesis constitutes the key to remedy

[Akeel Bilgrami cautiously hoping movements/opposition will challenge the 2 decade old neoliberal economic zeitgeist]
Two events, the BJP’s electoral loss in Delhi, and the stir against the Land Bill, offer two slivers of hope. They represent first, a preparedness in people to correct their past electoral misjudgements, and second, they raise hope of a possible united front of opposition
In its dark night of the soul this past year, Indian politics saw two chinks of light beckon with some small encouragement. These apertures are tiny and tentative and one should be careful not to invest them with an optimism they do not warrant. Still, they are not nothing: first, the loss suffered by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Delhi Assembly elections in February; second, the recently recurring agitation against the Land Acquisition Bill.

The Delhi election took place nine months after the BJP victory in the general election, just about the canonical period to test whether the birth of a new era of BJP dominance had been delivered. That the party should have suffered the proportions of a rout gives hope that it has not. Such a dramatic defeat reflects the scepticism in a wide range of voters about their own previous judgement that the Congress party’s massive failures of the previous years could only be corrected by the BJP. Muslims, lower and middle-class Dalits, in general the vast numbers of the Delhi poor, and (most encouraging of all) even many in the middle classes reversed their previous conviction, a conviction shaped by a sustained public relations campaign that refurbished a leader with a deservedly non grata status into a seeming beacon. Nine months were sufficient to reveal the true colours of a government whose prominent members were raising the Hindutva rhetoric to new heights of vulgarity and menace, while it was also busy trying to dismantle the few remaining policies and institutions that sought to protect the poor and working people of the country.

An awakening

That the party (the Aam Aadmi Party) which stopped what appeared unstoppable has since imploded and, in any case, had no serious analysis of what has been chronically wrong in the nation’s politics and political economy in the last two and a half decades, is not the main point of relevance. What is heartening rather is that it awakened people to correct their judgement of only nine months ago and it did so with hardly any resources, thereby giving the lie to the idea that the future of Indian parliamentary politics lies in cash-debased, American-style, electioneering given over to the sinister manipulations of public relations companies and a shallow mainstream media cheerleading for elitist ideas of “development”. There is no more urgent task than to consolidate and build on this no small, though local, achievement in Delhi; and, at this particular juncture, it is not a task that can be carried out by any one party all on its own. I will return to this last point in a moment. The agitation against the Land Acquisition Bill is heartening for two quite separate reasons.

[Though a cynical essay on Gandhi, there are some hard facts, British passed power to a chosen gang in Congress]
Why Brits disliked Netaji and made a Mahatma out of Gandhi
This article has been co-authored by Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, Chandra Mauli Singh.

Section A: Introduction
There has been, for a while, a pervasive disillusionment in India about compromise of core values in politics in India, which has led to mass movements from time to time, the latest being in 2011 initiated by activist Anna Hazare. The degeneration spans:

1) unhealthy nexus between corporates and politics leading to policy choices and administrative decisions based on considerations other than national interests as also influence of money power in electioneering,
2) subversion of national interests through foreign interference,
3) subjugation of ideals and ideologies to personality cults which is manifested in and in turn fed by subversion of internal democracy in political parties, and
4) divisive politics.

The severity of public disenchantment on 1) can be assessed from the fact that Arvind Kejriwal won assembly polls in Delhi within a couple of years of his formal entry in politics by campaigning against the same. It is susceptibility to foreign interference that is believed to have induced major political parties in India to support emergency (CPI supported Indira Gandhi's declaration of emergency allegedly at the beck and call of Soviet Russia; it is not known if and what major concessions Russia extracted from India in return) and foreign aggression (CPI(M) refused to condemn Chinese invasion of India in 1962). Ironically, the Left parties have been the first to contend that Indian politics is subservient to foreign imperialism and interests. Recently, a member from Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's own party, the JD(U), alleged that Kumar received funds from Pakistan to oppose then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi [67].

Most of the major national and state level leaders in post independence India, spanning from Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Jayalalithaa, Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banarjee, Mayawati have been products of personality cults. Centrality of personality cult in Indian political discourse has led to compromise on democratic principles and financial integrity. It is the dominance of a personality that allowed the suspension of our democracy in form of emergency in 1975. It is again the same personality cult that provided in 1984 the largest ever majority in the history of India to a prime ministerial candidate who joined politics a couple of years back; the regime perpetrated major political blunders commissioning Indian army in conflicts in which India was not a party) and became embroiled in multiple corruption allegations. Indian politics is now largely dynastic leading to concentration of political power in a handful of political families, and dynasties have invariably been initiated through personality cults. Followers of political cults have remained oblivious to the compromise of interests of the nation by corresponding leaders (alleged disproportionate assets of Mulayam Yadav and Mayawati, facilitation of separatism in Jammu and Kashmir through political understandings between PDP and BJP led by PM Narendra Modi). 

Finally, no major political party in India, national or regional, adheres to internal democracy in election of its principal office bearers. Prime ministerial and chief ministerial candidates and party presidents are not decided through primaries or internal elections. Provisions for elections of party presidents exist in the two major national level political parties, Congress and BJP, but democratic contests for the same are considered divisive and strongly discouraged. Presidents and prime ministerial and chief ministerial candidates are typically decided by birth or nomination, as in Congress and regional parties, or by unstructured "internal consultations" as in the BJP. Divisive politics has encouraged regionalism, casteism , discrimination based on religion and marginalisation of mass leaders at state level for perpetuating the hegemony of high commands of national parties. Tracing the genesis of this all encompassing degeneration of political ethics constitutes the key to its remedy. 

Koenraad Elst - Commentary | 02-06-2015
It was one of the worst traits of Hindu Nationalism that it refuses to grow and just keeps on hero-worshipping long-dead leaders without making their inspiration evolve with the times.

@i_contemplate_ I think we can agree that politics has degraded since the times it was conceived in more principled circumstances.

V.P Singh has done greatest service to hindu society in one year than all the sanghi gang put together has achieved in eight decades.

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