Lalu Prasad Yadav Rally in Patna
On August 27 in Patna!
Lalu Yadav, the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader, Lalu Prasad Yadav, the major Opposition leader has called for a rally of major Opposition parties has called for a united rally, called BJP Bhagao Desh Bachaoa on August 27 in Patna to oppose some of the raids ordered by the Central government against the Opposition parties and leaders.
In recent past some of the high profile raids by the Income Tax Department against Lalu family members, also against the Congress leader, P.Chidambaram’s son, Karti Chidambaram and also against some of the Trinamool Congress party.
Nothing wrong for a government department, more so the Income Tax Dept to do its routine duty of raids to unearth hidden wealth or non-payment of tax and other allege3d offence of money laundering etc.
Now, given the current texture of the government functioning, given the Modi government’s successive State Assembly elections, there is a sort of roughness, so to say, in the way the government is going about in dealing with some issues. The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, so too the former Haryana CM in his concessions given to the land deals of Mr. Robert Vadera, son in law of Sonia Gandhi and also in some other issues like Kejriwal’s current troubles, there is a distinct feeling that Modi is rattled by the new unity talks in putting up a combined candidate in the forthcoming Presidential elections.
There is also a distinct feeling that the Prime Minister is also uncomfortable even if the Opposition parties manage to show some unity and puts up a respectable fight.
There are all indications that given the current political formations, that the Opposition parties might get some modest strength in opposing the BJP allies’ candidate.
The most crucial issue now in the Indian polity, in our opinion, is the shape of the polity.
India is a democracy and in a democracy, it is as important as the ruling party, the role of the Opposition party and Opposition unity.
In India, as politics evolved in Independent India, the domination of the Congress party, first under Pandit Nehru, then under Indira Gandhi, there has come a feeling that the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is born to rule the country for years to come.
This endangered feeling was cut short in the 2014 general elections which put an end to any such perception and now there is a new party, the BJP, with an absolute majority.
Now, the very important point here is not about the right and wrong of the raids on Opposition parties.
Their alleged misdeeds. Now, it is very important to look into some of the weighty points. Certain ideological and doctrinaire issues too. India is a democracy and a very large democracy and a rather new political and social order.
After Pandit Nehru, there has not been much of a deeper debate. Nehru too was more affected by the then Soviet Russia and its Socialism. Nehru never used the word Communism. But he adhered to Democracy and a Republican Constitution.
Now, there is before me a book by Harold J.Laski, it is called, “The State in Theory and Practice”. (Allen and Unwin, 1935, Seventh impression, 1960)Laski was perhaps the brainiest political theorist of Nehru’s generation. I was particularly drawn by his theories from an early age, when I was a junior student at a College in Chennai. My i9nvolvement grew over the years and by the time I went to Oxford Laski was dead and yet I continued to study Laski and I have in my library almost all the books written by Laski. I also read the biographies written by a few, one was by Kingsley Marti, the then editor of the New Statesman weekly.
Now, in this book before me, Laski asks some hard question as to the power and justification of the State. We in India know very little, our politicians are plai9n illiterates when it comes to a State’s philosophy.
Now, as Laski says we instinctively obey the State. This is human character. Then, thinkers from Plato onwards asked questions as to the morality of the State. Plato denied the rule of the stronger as justice. What does that mean? The State must have some higher justification, to protect and safeguard the rights of the citizens.
In a constitutional government which is what we have in India, there must be rule of law and there must also be the role of Opposition parties!
This is, currently, under debate. How far the ruling party can intrude into the workings of the Opposition parties and its leaders. Right now, on the everyday or thereafter, the Secretary of the Coal Department was jailed for corruption. On the relevant dates the Minister for Coal was none other than the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh!
Now, how far the political head of the dept responsible and how far the officials responsible in committing the alleged corruption?
So, the ruling party has a duty to prove that the Opposition party leaders are committing corruption while the officials are unquestioned.
The point here is that in the present case, the Opposition has some right to question the political vendetta!
Now the media is pro-active and so the damage done to the reputation and credibility of the Opposition is quite considerable.
The Opposition parties in India are now a divided house. So, they have certain disadvantages to unite and stand up.
It is time the Congress, very weak and leaderless has to go slow. It has to concede ground to the ones that has some dynamism and energy to fight. That is now only with Lalu Prasad Yadav.
He can be projected to articulate the Opposition case. Nitish Kumar with a clean face can be projected as the alternative Prime Minister.
You see, politics is the art of the possible sometimes. That time is now here. So, Opposition leaders must shed their egos and come together with a certain clear articulation of principles, philosophy and an ideology.