The Questions We Should be Asking

By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

The saddest part of the current political scenario of this country is a befuddled and absent opposition. Giving punch lines in parliament, walking out during discussions on crucial matters, or starting twitter campaigns is rather easy. The difficult part is getting on the ground among people, talking to the masses, and taking their feedback to the halls of Indian democracy. The problem is that the opposition in India is not ready to face uncomfortable questions themselves.

When Prime Minister gave the word ‘Aandolanjeevi’ or the ‘Protest Parasite’ then shouldn’t the opposition question him on the arrest of activists and cases registered against journalists? Shouldn’t the government face questions on the ED raids on offices of independent news media outlets? If the pre-text given for these cases and investigations are foreign transactions that are questionable then shouldn’t all media houses regardless of their political inclinations be scrutinized? There is a perception that some corporate houses are reaping undue benefits of being close to the PM and the leaders of the ruling party, in fact in Russia, the whole argument of opposition to Vladimir Putin’s rule revolves around cronyism and oligarchy. What does the government have to say on that? Last week, when the whole nation was shocked by the disaster in Chamoli where hundreds of people were missing and feared dead after an avalanche overran a dam in the state of Uttarakhand, shouldn’t the government answerable for indiscriminate construction in an environmentally and ecologically sensitive area?

There are several questions whose answers are needed from the government. Increasing petrol and diesel prices, privatization of important public assets that are vital to the economy and security of the country, law and order situation in National capital where recently a mob killed a youth named Rinku Sharma in front of his family members, the victim’s family claims the communal reason behind this killing but the police version differs. Shouldn’t the state and central governments answer these questions?

Our problem is that issues that concern the people most such as the economy, security often get lost in the political mudslinging and narrative building. Rather than coalescing to form a responsible opposition, the opposition parties are in disarray from their own infighting and lack of internal democracy. The political vacuum and disenchantment of common folks from politicians of this country lie at the heart of the problem. Sadly there are no concrete answers to these problems. Our politicians are confined to their self-made bubbles of insecurity.

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