by Siddharth Khatri
It is nowadays apparently almost very normal to witness people fretting about the political scenario in India. The opposition group, many laments, has largely been dormant and hence rather very ineffective in every sense of the term. The general understanding is that the opposition has lost its credibility by indulging in unnecessary rhetoric both inside and outside the parliament. Also, it is believed that the opposition in India is not ready to face tough questions on its own period of uninterrupted rule. We are yet to hear any opposition leader say that they made mistakes in the past, and they, the people have full right to punish us when we fail to deliver. I opine that politics in India is wrought with what I call the blame-game syndrome, wherein the parties take potshots at each other by saying “Oh, remember you did this, you did that, etc”.
Being a very keen observer of the Indian political system, I have now come to understand why this blame game takes place. It is because the opposition in its heydays has played out every dirty trick available in the great bog-book of Indian politics. Every party in opposition now has a glass-house to defend for. I have also realized that there is no word called “should” in the great thesaurus of Indian politics. For a tattered opposition that we have today, “should” comes close to a euphemism for self-introspection.
I am surprised to see the brouhaha around the Prime Minister’s Andolanjeevi “jibe”. It is alleged by those in opposition today that the party in power has stooped low. For me, however, this is very normal. Personal slander on leaders and individuals was normalized by those very people who squeal at the usage of euphemistic terms for them now. The ruling dispensation is often labeled as communal by those who surrendered their conscience for votes, not once but many times since independence. If this is not hypocrisy, then what else is? Apprehensions about some corporate houses being closest to the government are at best hypocritical especially when coming from a section of the political system infamous for normalizing the Syndicate. To me, the larger problem is that the leaders defend their wrongdoings by pointing out the wrongdoings of other leaders.
In a country where sensationalism is the norm, important issues meriting public debates are often brushed aside. That a man killed another is bland news. That faith X killed faith Y is some news. That a politician ignored one faith over another while condemning the crime is news. That it has a religious angle when in reality, the murder had a property angle to it, is sensationalism. Loudmouth sensationalists are almost always preferred as a topic of countless TV debates over unemployment, price rise, education, and health, among others, something that should worry every one of us. That TV debates have increasingly been reduced to outshouting fracases is as worrisome.
At the end of the day, we ought to realize that the ultimate buck stops with us. We the people of India should decide what indeed is good for us, and what is not. Any failure on our part must never be passed on to the elected representatives. They represent us, the people of India. The ball ought to be in our court. After all, one always reaps what one sow. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the final word, this is where the buck stops.
About the Author:
Siddharth Khatri is pursuing Ph.D. in Russian and Central Asian Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He loves to write on a variety of issues, ranging from societal issues to domestic and international policymaking.