Just clinically alive

The United Front was born with a massive hole in the heart, what with its inbuilt-potential for self-destruction guaranteed by an assortment of disparate elements and the body itself cobbled up in a great hurry, without regard for a soul or identity. Its tryst with doom was always a question of time; and a matter of destiny. Its one-and-a-half year stint in Delhi was perhaps the most tortuous existence that any government would experience and the Congress decision to deliver the fatal blow by withdrawing the life support systems could be more aptly described as a mercy killing. There was truly no point in persisting with a vegetable government that only made the country also rot along with it and the terminator’s act, in Kesri attire was certainly a stitch in time though not dictated by honourable intentions. However the people of the nation also unanimously ratified the demise by relegating the Front to the graveyard of history, yet the constituents never seem to want to say die. Perhaps it is their hope that the remains of this party of parties should be embalmed for a future resurrection and hence the efforts to maintain a semblance of existence. One cannot blame them. Like habits, sentiments too die hard.

In reality, it was always the soul of the Left Front that had occupied the shell of the United Front. The facade of other parties was purely skin deep, with the leftists constituting the nucleus and core of the UF. The recent elections have only made this stark reality more apparent with most constituents except the Left Front withering away at the hustings. The Leftists led by the bearded antique answering to the name Surjeet, played havoc with the polity by wielding a level of influence that was grossly disproportionate to their real strength. Barring the beard which Surjeet sought to continue and grow longer from where Lenin left off, there is nothing even remotely resembling the high moralistic origins of the Communist movement that could be discerned in the actions of the present band. The hijacking of the people’s mandate by a handful of such revellers in dreams and outdated ideologies would ever remain as the greatest unsolved crime in Indian political history That the same crime was sought to be repeated, but was averted in a cliffhanger-like chain of events last week goes to the credit of the diligent Rashtrapati though there is no insurance against such risks in future. For now, with the shell in a shambles the soul rests in its own original cocoon, biding its time for the strike and probably a new robe, in the elite company of the Congress, its sworn enemy. From Karl Marx to Sonia, the Leftists have indeed come a long way in ideology and morals. Also probably why EMS too decided to give up.

The credit for driving home the final nail, of course goes to Babu Nadu. Though only a few could understand his geometric sounding theories about equidistance and so on, clearly the man was in no mood to play ball with the protagonists of a Congress-UF tie-up, for obvious reasons. The architect has today formally decided to bring down the hollow edifice, by dissociating his party from the UF. Expectedly, he has taken offence at the UF partners’ bid to find common cause with his arch enemy, the Congress on the pretext of the Speaker’s election. And we hear that the AP CM has even delivered a parting kick to his erstwhile friends by foisting his own party candidate for the Speaker’s post albeit with BJP support.

Of the other pall-bearers of the UF, there is very little of consequence that could be recorded for posterity, even in a requiem as this. The Janata Dull, the demented brainchild of the most confused man in India, V.P.Singh, is just a pale shadow of its inglorious past with just six members, of which two are former Prime Ministers. Two of its candidates, Gujral and Paswan have made it to Parliament owing to the indirect support of the BJP or its allies, and in the process laying to rest adjacent to the UF pit, their claims to secularism, whatever it meant.

The Humpty-Dumpty of Tamilnadu, the DMK-TMC is yet to recover from the great fall after the crushing defeat meted out to it by its bete noir. The TMC, it is learnt, has embarked on a massive soul-searching exercise and the expedition is most likely to lead it to the doorsteps of the longing parent. The home-coming may happen any time and the prodigals are only waiting for an auspicious time, probably a no-moon day, to merge and mingle into the Sonia-mania.

The DMK on its part has no agenda except the nephew’s interests. It now stands, lonely and desolate, like a street-corner vamp, ready for a one-night-stand with any strange bedfellow who may pass by, even if it happens to be the same Congress that unceremoniously dumped and divorced it, just a few months back on counts of infidelity. To justify its open mind, the DMK has put on the invisible cloak of UF unity, but then we all know that the Emperor is naked. There are also some rumblings about nation’s interest and party’s interest, but these can be dismissed as their typical deceptive rhetoric dictated by convenience and expediency.

And with that we come to the end of, what I hope would be the ‘final’ obituary to the United Front. It is our fondest of fond wishes that there would be no reincarnation.

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Jawahar T R