Monday, March 24, 2014

The Guardian verdict: no lotus blossoms ever

The liberal voice of the Empire issues a clear guidance for the benefit of its erstwhile (and uninformed, easily manipulated, prejudiced,...) subject class:

Summary: AAP is still a bachha- cant be trusted to play with the big boys, regional outfits- cant be bothered to know about them and how they may actually hold the balance of power, it is the one and only Congress that must rise like a phoenix and erect a lakshman-rekha around the crown jewels (which are actually locked away in the British Museum).

The liberals (and not so liberals) may still get their wish, if the BJP scores less than 200 seats, and the total count (along with mercenaries) does not rise up to 272. 

If the BJP gets about 230 seats the sun will be setting on another distinguished dynasty. Were they as great as the Mauryas and the Guptas (and of course the Romans)? Only time will tell.

If the first play-book is picked expect quite a bit of turbulence, there will be a coalition of the rough which may soon collapse under its own weight. In the long run it will be difficult to stop BJP because of its reserve strength in the RSS and the serious leadership problems in Congress which the Guardian (understandably) brushes under the carpet.
Living next door to another coming country, China, means India's arc is often overlooked. Forthcoming elections in the world's largest democracy will, however, be an event of global significance, an awe-inspiring logistical exercise. Voting begins on 7 April and continues for six weeks in nine separate tranches because of the logistical Everest of balloting an electorate of more than 814 million.

Congress will likely plump for Rahul Gandhi as its new prime ministerial candidate. At 43, the scion of Rajiv and Sonia should at least appeal to the young electorate: two-thirds of the population are under 35 and 150 million are eligible to vote for the first time. But while Mr Gandhi bears the gift and burden of the family name, he is inexperienced and, as yet, appears to lack the political touch of his father, the authority of his grandmother, or the legendary status of his great-grandfather. For these reasons and others, Congress will likely take a pasting. 

Though polling in such a large country is more alchemy than science, there is a strong possibility that the BJP will form the next government, probably with Mr Modi as prime minister. Mr Modi is one of the most polarising politicians to have walked India's political stage for many years. He is the candidate of change, and has established a reputation as an effective manager, which appeals deeply to voters who spend their lives trying to negotiate bureaucracy. But he has been repeatedly accused (and cleared) of stoking anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002, in which a thousand or more people were killed. It was only in 2012 that the UK decided to end a boycott of Mr Modi by senior officials. The US has followed suit in recent weeks.

A third force is the new Aam Admi party, which has its roots in a broad anti-corruption movement and has made a point of transparency and accountability. Yet the AAP remains a reaction to India's political woes and not, or at least not yet, a solution for them.

India needs change. It needs reform, infrastructure and jobs for hundreds of millions of young people. The best hope of resisting the nationalist BJP, now or in 2019, lies with Congress, the party that has dominated Indian politics for best part of 70 years.

1 comment:

  1. It should be news only when man bites dog. Guardian opposing BJP is not.