Some respite, at last!

THE GREAT INDIAN CIRCUS

Some respite, at last!

It is heartening to note that all good men have declined to come to the aid of the Congress party. Obviously, there seems to be some self-respect and sensitivity left in some of the United Fronts constituents, notably, Chandrababu Naidu, who have put their foot down against a Congress led Government, which would have certainly made a mockery of the present democratic exercises. That such efforts to subvert the people’s mandate have all fallen flat and the ascension of Vajpayee appears imminent are in itself indications that there is still some life left in our democracy and there is hope that it may after all survive the severe thrashings it had been subjected to in the last couple of years.

It brings even more cheer that the bearded antique of the Left, has been truly left in the lurch, with his own comrades flashing the red signal in order to arrest his pre-emptive bid for a patch up with the Congress, for a ‘secular’ Government. For quite some time now Surjeet has been playing havoc with the political process with his strange brand of secularism and an even stranger set of rules and regulations that defied logic and norms. It would always remain a mystery how he came to wield so much of influence what with his whims and fancies making and unmaking Prime Ministers in the UF even as his exalted stature bore no relationship whatsoever to his and his party’s real strength, which was negligible and waning. Yet, he could play the big brother with impunity and without accountability, blocking governance and progress effectively at every opportunity. The CPI(M) tried to make a virtue out of its anti-Congressism and anti-BJPism by projecting itself as a holy cow but in reality it has been exposed by history as a party that can be as swift and adept at shedding morals as the other players in the political theatre. Surjeet’s much touted anti-Congressism vanished into thin air the moment the first result was announced, and the speed with which he changed colours would even leave chameleons with a marked sense of inferiority complex. His party’s support in 1989 to the V.P.Singh Government which was in turn propped up by the BJP revealed the utter hollowness of its claims to uphold secularism, whatever it meant. The CPI(M), no doubt has come a full circle, ending up where it started, as a party which was of little relevance beyond Kerala and West Bengal and it is every one’s fond hope that it remains there for eternity. The party, meanwhile can also consider air-dropping Surjeet in Siberia, now that he is free, so that he can promote his special brand of half-baked socialism and secularism in that barren land.

The DMK team, comprising the nephew and his minions, which had parked itself in the Capital in the hope that Surjeet will be able to spring a last-minute miracle, has also returned to base. Instead, the lone Saree that felled several dhotis in one decisive stroke, is up in the air, en route to Delhi with an impressive kitty of thirty MPs that had made all the difference as to who shall be the next Prime Minister. The lady has indeed proved that time could be a great healer and is sure to reward those who had the patience and tenacity to withstand oppression and the DMK has learnt it the hard way that time can spell disaster for those who seek to fritter it away solely in the pursuit of raw vengeance with no noteworthy positive agenda in their actions.

The PM-designate has been predictably cautious. He knows that the uncertain mandate given to his party is a tricky thing to handle, especially in the light of the diverse components of his front and the uncomfortable gap that separates the BJP and an absolute majority. Assurances of abstinence by some members or parties notwithstanding, it is bound to be an uneasy existence, for the foolhardiness of even a few MPs could cause the nation an expense of a few more thousand crores, not to speak of the attendant turmoil. Vajpayee’s inclination to tread carefully on contentious issues is a sure reflection of his political maturity and ideological moderation, that can only prove beneficial to the country, both in the short and long run.

 The nation desperately needs a breather from the suffocating stink kicked up the political parties and can ill afford to any longer ignore the economic and social problems confronting it. The impasse had been back-breaking and it is the fond hope of the people that the politicians would realise that the country needs some Government. The secularism-communalism charade being enacted by the political parties is of no concern to them nor are they bothered about the plethora of interpretations that have been made out about the verdict. Get on with it, fast, is their refrain, now. Quite understandable.

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Jawahar T R