Babri Masjid was demolished when I was an article clerk doing my CA. Twenty two years down the line, if political parties use it as a bogey to win or lose elections, then regardless of economic growth and claims to financial and intellectual superiority, India and Indians would still be said to have retained the same polarised mind set.
We now have a new breed of young Indians who should ideally be freed from the pangs of communal divide if progress is really a priority for truly nationalist political parties. However, people with credentials worst than barbarians are now being projected to win with handsome margins. Their growth and popularity cannot be credited only to their own efforts. Their growth and rise from the ashes, literally, has been facilitated as a result of divisive policies of political parties who have ruled up till now in various formations.
The other factors that have brought India to a situation facilitating change of guard, is the absence of a MAN to lead. The outgoing government at the Centre had so many men but no real MEN so to speak, who could have brought glory to the nation. Merely by saying that an ‘economist’ was at the helm and suave well-spoken men of literary skills and legal knowledge drafting and articulating the policies of the nation, did not present a strong dispensation with a firm grip on affairs of governance. In fact, these old men were at best, puppets of subservient interests being dictated to bring in and implement policies to the benefit of this interest group of capitalist cronies.
Let us also not forget one more off shoot of the growth in corruption and malpractices in the Indian system. The arrival of Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Admi Party. This man and his party were pushed into India’s political system by the long suffering Indians who wanted someone to take on the corrupt political system. The initial phase of Kejriwal, beginning from the Anna movement, on to the split in the movement and the birth of AAP and culminating in India’s first common man’s party’s debut as a governing party was perhaps a sort of memorable phase. However, now, as the election campaigning progresses, it is becoming more and more evident that Arvind Kejriwal does not have the material or the team, to help them in gaining a substantial voice in Parliament. Sometimes, I often wonder whether it has really helped the Indian citizens by the arrival of AAP. Come to think of it, quite a few prominent members of the original Anna Hazare movement have now jumped ship and latched on to one of the parties whom they had opposed earlier. AAP’s presence is also going to ensure a division in votes to the benefit of the party gaining momentum. AAP has also not spelt out a clear agenda to claim its place in the corridors of politics.
The Grand Old Party has lost its shine. Life seems to have been snuffed out of the ‘shehzada’ even before he could take a few gulps of air. This election looks a clear one-sided affair and the results are all too evident. Only time will tell…where India goes five years from now. Whether, those who are now poised to reach the seats of power on the strength of their notorious past, would actually abandon the rhetorics of communal divide and concentrate on governance and growth, or whether they would succumb to the pressures of their so-called mentors. Their deeds in power will shape the course of the lives of many Indians over the next five years and beyond.