"FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST,
THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, WE ARE FREE AT LAST"!
These words of Dr Martin Luther King are apt to describe the political demise of the Congress party. The country got the second independence from foreign misrule on May 16, 2014. The level of panache and gusto among the voters reminded the country of the post-emergency election in 1977. Even though Dr Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, his status was that of the de jure PM and it is not a secret that Sonia Gandhi was the de facto PM. I was hoping that the 2014 election results would write the political obituary of the Gandhi dynasty. It almost happened but they still ended up with 44 seats with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi winning the election. It is like the party is lying on the funeral pyre waiting for the final light.
I also had a sense of vindication because I am being given the credit of being the first person ever to endorse Narendra Modi to be our next PM. My first endorsement was published in September 2011 http://bit.ly/1kokc66 with other articles in 2012 http://bit.ly/1ctlThR and http://bit.ly/18tfHBQ and 2013 http://bit.ly/1rWSzXf.
We witnessed the biggest political exercise in the largest democracy in the world. Even though I applaud the process, I am very frustrated with the level of political discourse during the very intense campaigning. The level of discussion totally lacked substance. It was not an election to become a ward councilor. It was an election to elect our members of Parliament.
All the parties released a manifesto but they did not indulge in a serious discussion on issues. The candidates were supposed to talk about their ideas in terms of domestic as well as international policy. They should have talked about the different components which makes the domestic policy. The world today is like a global village. India cannot live in isolation. They should have presented their views on foreign policy. The candidates could have elevated the discussion to a higher intellectual plateau. BUT THEY FAILED! I would describe Indian democracy as a WORK IN PROGRESS.
There is a lot of discussion still going on and all the experts are dissecting the election results. They are talking about caste equations, inflation and other factors. I feel that the reason for the election result is very simple. It is because of all the scams perpetrated on the country by the UPA government. The value of BRAND CONGRESS got diminished and polluted and BRAND MODI was waiting for the people as their obvious choice. It was a confidence in Narendra Modi and not in BJP.
When we talk of scams and corruption, I cannot ignore the contribution made by Arvind Kejriwal. He and his team made corruption, accountability and transparency a topic of discussion in our political discourse. It is because of them that other political parties were forced to factor in certain things which are going to be good for our country. It has forced other political parties to become a better party. THEY MADE THE DIFFERENCE THE COUNTRY WAS CRYING FOR.
Arvind Kejriwal got an opportunity of a lifetime to make a difference but his modus operandi had just a lot of flaws. He has the mindset of an activist. He was always very eager to get into an argument over every issue. I feel that his mindset is always motivated by activism and not by governance. He is like the male version of Mamata Banerjee. Even though he has been relegated to almost political obscurity, there is no doubt that Arvind Kejriwal has ignited the flame of the movement against corruption. Let us pray and hope that this torch is carried forward by responsible people who care for the country. I am not a supporter of AAP or any other party. I support everyone who shows the initiative to do something good for the country.
If Narendra Modi asks me that what should be his first priority, I would, without blinking an eye, say - ELECTORAL REFORMS.
I am not sure if I am alone or there are other people who share my frustration. I am sick and tired of politicians switching parties right before the elections. People from the so called secular parties are going to so called communal parties and people from the so called communal parties are going to the so called secular parties. What are their political principles and what political ideology do they adhere to?
Most of our politicians should have a sign hanging from their neck which should say - I AM IN PUBLIC LIFE NOT TO SERVE THE PUBLIC. I AM IN PUBLIC LIFE TO SATISFY MY PERSONAL AMBITIONS AND PERSONAL GOALS...I AM LIKE A DOG WHO WOULD GO ANYWHERE WHERE I CAN FIND GOOD MEAT TO EAT AND STRONG BONE TO CHEW...IF YOU EXPECT US TO DO SOMETHING FOR THE COUNTRY, YOU ARE VERY STUPID...WE ARE IN POLITICS BECAUSE THE PUBLIC IS STUPID...
Most of our politicians are making a mockery of the largest democracy in the world. What we need is very serious reforms more than we need elections. We are witnessing so much party hopping by our politicians these days that we might end up voting for the party we love and the candidate we hate OR the candidate we love but the party we hate. We hated a Congress MP but now he or she is a BJP candidate OR we hated a BJP MP but now he or she is a Congress candidate. After joining the new party, they start singing the tune of that party. This situation reminds me of a song from the movie "SHOR"
Paani re paani, tera rang kaisa,
Jisme mila do, lage us jaisa!
Narendra Modi has to change this culture. We have to make sure that we elect 543 members for Lok Sabha and 250 members for Rajya Sabha who are educated, talented, honest, passionate about serving the country and totally clean in terms of criminal cases. If the composition of our Parliament is made of these kinds of people, everything else would fall into place. It should not be a very difficult task to find 793 (543+250) good people in our country of 1.3 Billion people. There should be zero tolerance for this and no politician should be allowed to hide behind the loopholes of our Jurisprudence. India needs a revolutionary change in this area of our democracy. Narendra Modi has to kill the phenomenon of POLITICAL INFIDELITY.
T N Seshan (former CEC) single-handedly changed the election process in India. It was not too long ago that our election process was dominated by anti-social elements and booth capturing and booth management was an integral part of the process. I hope that Narendra Modi has the will and the determination to fix this chronic problem. It is the cancer of our political system.
Even though I supported Narendra Modi to be our PM in 2011, I was very frustrated with the decision of BJP to have an alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan. His political track record is painted with opportunism. He is the same person who was a big admirer of Sonia Gandhi and who, until this alliance, was hobnobbing with Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Congress party to have an electoral alliance. When the talks failed, he turned to BJP and the party which was getting a golden opportunity to establish itself as the 'party with a difference', embraced him as the long lost brother.
What kind of message is BJP sending to the country? What kind of political ideology is bringing them together? What is BJP going to do next? Are they also thinking of having an alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav? If LJP can help bring Dalit votes, RJD can also help bring Yadav and Muslim votes. It would not be a surprise if Ram Vilas Paswan joins Lalu Prasad Yadav in 2019 elections. When our political parties would stop the naked dance of political expediency?
Whenever I see their picture, I always wonder that what they have done to deserve to be Members of Parliament. Hema Malini is in Lok Sabha and Rekha is in Rajya Sabha. What is their contribution to our polity? Rekha did not spend even a paisa from her Rs 5 crore a year MPLAD fund. They did not come to the Parliament even for a single day to attend the Budget session. It is an insult to our democracy. Narendra Modi should also work on taking care of this kind of wastage of Parliamentary seats.
As per a report in Times of India, every third newly-elected MP has criminal background. He has to make sure to get rid of the criminal and corrupt elements that have infiltrated our polity.
Narendra Modi should watch all his ministers like a hawk. All the ministers should imbibe this fact in their psyche that it is a job and not an entitlement. They have to realize that Narendra Modi has given them a job to serve the country and not to SERVE their friends and family. They have to shed the mindset of a BROKER and work like a dedicated person working for the country. Our PM should have zero tolerance against any charges of corruption against them. I know ministers in the government who are very corrupt. I want to see that how they conduct themselves working with Narendra Modi.
There are people in the BJP who are like an extension of the Congress party. They do not belong to the BJP of Vajpayee, Advani, Nanaji Deshmukh and Balraj Madhok. They have the lifestyle and arrogance of the Congress and lack the humility of these people.
When most of our politicians talk about honesty, their statement is as true as a man saying that he buys PLAYBOY magazine to read the articles.
Even though I was and still is a big supporter of Narendra Modi, I want to make it very clear that if I see anything wrong, I will be the first person to criticise him but I am not going to do that on flimsy grounds. I am not going to criticise him that why he had IDLI and not DHOKLA for breakfast. I also expect all the political parties to behave in a very responsible manner. He got the mandate for five years and deserves an opportunity to translate his ideas into reality.
Sonia Gandhi criticised Narendra Modi by saying that communal riots in the country has increased since he became the PM. It is a dichotomy when Rahul Gandhi, who led the Congress party to a disastrous election result and who along with his mother Sonia Gandhi presided over the most corrupt government the country had ever seen, has the audacity to say this which is an obvious reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi "There is a mood in Parliament that only one man's voice counts for anything in this country."
I would not be surprised if the Congress party along with RJD, SP, BSP, JD-U and others would try to create problems in the country on communal lines. Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who is known for his provocative speeches, has invited the Indian Muslims to join the Pakistani forces in case India attacked its neighbour, according to a poster doing rounds in the social media, said a report in the Kashmir Observer. This kind of political rhetoric is not good for our country. It does not gel well with the mainstream Indian population.
I hope that members of our Muslim community would be able to see through this game. They should be led by some genuine Muslim leaders and not by fakes like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and some others who are just out to take advantage of their own community for their own selfish interest. They also have a very big responsibility on their shoulders. They should not give out the impression that they are having an affair with India but willing to sleep with Pakistan.
I do not know if the country should get angry or feel sorry for Rahul Gandhi. He is the most unaware and ignorant person of the Gandhi clan. I have a lot of friends in the Congress party and most of them agree with me, albeit privately. If Rahul Gandhi wants to revive the party, he should surround himself with seasoned members of the party with grassroot support and real political experience. At this time, he is close to mostly those people who have no mass base and who have the mindset of a broker and are masquerading as politicians. He should also understand that the days of dynasty politics is almost over in India and the notion that 'my claim to fame is my last name' also has no takers. He should try to learn the basics of governance. If you do not understand ABCD, you can never understand WXYZ.
I wish that all Indians would never forget the fact that so many of us sacrificed their lives to get us this freedom. We should never ever allow our politicians, irrespective of party affiliation, to give our country a bad name. We should always question the authority and make them accountable for their actions. India has been molested, abused and raped by our politicians for a very long time and it is about time that we decide our own destiny. Let us hope that our domestic policy results in prosperity for all and our foreign policy makes India shine like a star in the International arena. We might disagree in our approach but I am sure that we have the same goal. We want our country to become a place where other countries would jealously want to emulate us.
India needs the best of the politicians. We need the CHAMPAGNE of POLITICIANS . Let us keep our fingers crossed and hope that Narendra Modi would deliver and take care of ALL sections of our society. Narendra Modi has been given the mandate not only to govern but also change the political paradigm and political landscape of our country.
I feel that he is doing a lot of good work. I hope that he leaves an indelible mark on our polity and bring our politics on the right track. The country wants him to lift the dark clouds hovering over our political system. If I am asked to evaluate the first 100 days of Narendra Modi's governance, I would very proudly say - SO FAR, SO GOOD !
MAY GOD BLESS INDIA!
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