Opposition parties are as diverse as there are parties!
Some developments in the Opposition parties had taken place since the new BJP government assumed office six months ago.
One the by elections saw in UP and Bihar some Opposition co-ordination. In Bihar the JD(U),RJD and the Congress got together and the won credibly. In UP to the Samajwadi party and RJD and the Congress joined together the BJP got a shock.
Then for the second time again we saw some action. The Janata parwar of sic parties, all from the original Janata Dal and also from the anti-Indira Gandhi, anti-Emergency and also the post Janata Party developments, now realise that it is they who have to move forward if they are to survive in the onslaught of the BJP’s ascendancy.
So, the six parties had promised a merger in December.Fine.
The latest coming together of the regional parties is the 125th birth anniversary of Pandit Nehru.Yes, here is also a pointer.
Among the parties that responded to Sonia Gandhi’s invite, are the Trinamool, the two Communist parties, besides the NCP, Deve Gowda and a few others. These are all parties that might rally around the slogan of secularism, a word that means these days many things to many persons.
Secularism is not just pro-Muslim to put it bluntly.It means a sort of a new political all-embracing consensus, liberalism, and a sort of modern attitudes towards a range of issues. The Communists are now in limbo and yet they have their own age-old rigidity and a sort of fanaticism for some foreign weird creeds.
There has to be a strong Opposition party if democracy performs well or not.But in the present scenario that prevails in India, there is very little chance for a strong and united Opposition party or parties to come about.
The Congress itself is the very weakest party today.Why?
As one columnist puts:Rahul Gandhi has not the charisma that makes for a strong leader. Neither charisma nor a programme.
The unsaid part of this narrative is that Rahul Gandhi is there not by his any inherent strength of leadership. He is there as Nehru family heir. Dynasty?
Yes, dynasty politics is hitting at the heart of every other Opposition party.So, also there is no clear vision for the future of India from within the leaders who have now come together.
Here we like to point out that the Communists would only make matters worse if the Opposition parties listen to them.
The so-called neo-liberalism the Communists seem to oppose is totally irrelevant.
The Opposition parties, now to take on the BJP, an avowed Centre-Right party, have to announce they are Centre-Left.
This would give them some credibility and legitimacy.
Then, also the Centre-Left parties must spell out their economic vision.
The days of Socialism are gone. So too the Communist formulations.So also we have to take on the reality.Indian economy has to grow faster.
To make this possible we need FDI, we need corporate governance norms, no crony capitalism but a private capitalist path, non-exploitative capitalism, a compassionate capitalism, if you want to say so!
Speedy economic growth and a distribution policy, populism, welfare and in so many other variations some universal healthcare policy, pensions and subsidies reasonable and well-structured, using the modern IT tools are all the basic minimum p0rogramme.
Shed the personal egos of leaders. A national consensus.
May be the Congress to could become a partner in the Opposition strategy.