Churnings in the Indian political parties
Congress, Janata parivar and the AAP
Splits, imminent splits and also survival unity efforts!
Janata Parivar merges into one party!
Yes, it is a positive change for more open society
Democratic Socialism can be restored!
But great efforts in resolving contradictions and fighting the personal ego of leaders are critical!
Also, responsible Capitalism should be one critical objective!
Speedy economic growth and social justice could get a boost!
The six parties, all former allies in one form or other, which worked as the Janata party and government under Morarji Desai and then split into various factions and separate parties in due course, mostly in UP and Bihar as Samajwadi party under Mulayam Singh Yadav and under Nitish Kumar as the JD (U) and under Lalu Prasad Yadav as RJD and down South In Karnataka under former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, as JD(S) have all now come together.
This is a very good development in the Indian political scene. The Indian political scenario is now in some basic confusion. The Congress is in total disarray as we write the party heir Rahul Gandhi, 44, is not in the scene for the past 56 days! He might pop up at any time. Not even his mother knows! Not to speak of other senior leaders.
As on date at least some six of them, Captain Amarinder Singh, the Deputy Leader at the Lower House, Lok Sabha, has called for Sonia Gandhi to continue in the post of Congress chief. She has already been there for the last 17 years. How long she can continue?
The 130 year old grand party has not taken its party Constitution seriously. This is the case since the days of Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi split the party into two.
Now, it looks Sonia Gandhi’s dithering, popor lady, she doesn’t know which way to turn or what way forward is there for her to step down and hand over power to someone who is willing to take over!
So, the major party like Congress is itself is a crisis of identity. The other parties are no better. The Left, the CPI (M), the pure-bred Marxists, are always known for their ideological confusions and contradictions. As we write the party is in session in Andhra Pradesh in its 25th party Congress and the party is also in a sort of internal power struggle! It has openly admitted it is not any more in formulating any “alternative politics”, always with the Congress as its obsession! So, what is left?
It is the AAP, which in its two year avatar is already split. Now, the BJP?
Is it fine, in fine fettle?
Yes and no! Mr.Narendra Modi is of course in a triumphal procession of sorts, abroad at the moment. Inside, the country, after almost one year in office, there are murmurs and apprehensions, from within the party and from outside!
Why? He hadn’t moved forward as he promised and delivered on the ground.
So, the first party to be rattled by the unification of the Janata Parivar which immediately could emerge as the principal challenger of the BJP in Bihar where an election to the Assembly is due.
Even otherwise, the united Parivar will have its strength to go up to 30 MPs in the Rajya Sabha, the third largest party there.
The Congress is now in majority. That is why the BJP is not able to pass through the Rajya Sabha on its land acquisition bill. Also, the Congress, in particular, Sonia Gandhi is claiming some credit for leading a team, some 100 MPs, one evening to the President’s House from parliament.
You see, politics is half a fantasy and only half the truth, the reality.
Now, what chances for the Janata Parivar?
Parivar has a long history. Unfortunately, this history or its pedigree was not traced by any speaker at the inaugural session. The Janata ideology was basically a democratic Socialist heritage. One can go back as far as one wishes.
The Congress party itself has this democratic, Socialist and even a bit of traditional Indian society values. Let us say like the British Conservative Party.
Now, under Gandhi it evolved. Unfortunately, Gandhi was called as Mahatma and this helped and also hindered to take a historical and ideological analysis of the legacy of the Congress.
We have to undertake this step, either as old fashioned Congress men or even as the old fashioned Nehruite Socialists. Because as it has now come out with the Bose-Nehru government surveillance controversy, we have to go back to the Gandhi-Bose controversy phase when Bose wanted a secular, united India and Gandhi, before he came to Indian in 1914, Gandhi was in some ways equivivocal about the long-term vision for India. Between 1905 and 1911, when the Bengal was divided and after it was united in 1911, the Swadeshi movement was played out and from then on with Gandhi in the picture, the through process of the Congress underwent many changes.
Gandhi was unclear, say observers, whether Indian was willing to get Dominion Status and freedom.
Or, full freedom?
Bose was in one sense the original secularist, didn’t support the communal politics and also other events that brought Indian close to 1945 partition edge.
So, the point here is Nehru Socialist stance was only one such stance. There was Bose stance too.
Anyway, the National Planning Committee was the stamp of Bose Socialism.
Then came other events. One was the Congress ideology. The Congress Socialists under Jaya Prakash Narayan.
JP is the godfather of the Janata Parivar which fought the 1975 Emergency.
So, there is a strong anti-Congress streak to the Janata Parivar ideology.
My point here is the new avatar must clearly formulate its vision, its total ideological vision for the new entity to be taken seriously by its supporters and also no less by its enemies, chiefly, the resurgent BJP under Modi-Shah combine.
The Parivar has to make a survey of what are the priorities? What are the new dangers under the Modi regime?
Democracy itself is in danger of being suffocated by various intrusions.
There is no protection for freedom of thought, freedoms of expression, freedom of the media, both print and electronic. Civil society feels threatened.
We have to highlight the victories won already in the Teesta Setalvad and also Priya Pillai where the country have intervened.
Yet, there is no repute for the citizens. RTA is weakened. Judiciary is now threatened by the NJAA which is also challenged by the civil society.
There is the PMO authoritarianism.
Many ministries are non-performing. Anyway, the Parivar seniors must invite the intellectuals and civil society brains to come out with a credible political ideology for the new entity. Then only the arithmetic will make sense. The chemistry must be correctly got right.
Of course, if I may say so, all the senior leaders must declare they might not seek direct power. They would work for the next generation to define the priorities. Jobs, aspirations, equal and equitable society, rights of the minorities, secularism and the other deprived classes.
Once, the Parivar is put on a solid foundation of new and innovative ideas and ideals and strategies, and then it is shot worth taken seriously by the rest of the society. Good luck for the new entity. Long live Indian democratic socialist ideology.
Centre-Right or Centre-Left? There are various strands possible here.
We can draw parallels from the older democracies from Europe.
New technologies, give new tools for transparency and also a new competitive edge to Mr.Modi’s own big money, new technology pushes.
Money matters but then also new visions and new aspirational thrust also make sense. See the AAP victory in such a short time span.
There is a lesson for the Janata Parivar in AAP’s triumphs.