My Oped in the Pioneer: Power at any Cost

This appeared in today’s edition of the Pioneer. Comments and criticism welcome as always.

Power at any cost

The ‘Third Front’ is driven by lust for office

The frenzied shindigs surrounding the battle fortifications bring both amusement and concern at the eve of every election especially after the demise of single-party dominance in Indian politics. Promises and oaths of loyalty evaporate as soon as the results are out. Without exception, most parties are loyal only to power.

This election isn’t any different. Only, the formation has ridiculously altered with the ‘emergence’ of the Third Front.

The general political atmosphere smells of confusion bordering on chaos. The reason lies owes to the arrant unpredictability of the outcome of elections. Which makes the post-results analyses rather funny to read. Just when the NDA was sure it had the 2004 polls in its hands, it received the rudest shock from which it is yet to recover. This shock led to the inertia that currently characterises the BJP, which is trying to grapple with a decent poll strategy.

But the problems of the Congress are entirely self-inflicted. With its historical penchant for trampling everyone in its path once it assumes power, it has acted entirely according to the script since 2004. It has comprehensively squandered the bounteous economic legacy the NDA had bequeathed it, injected liberal doses of communal poison, lowered India’s image in the international community, overtly pandered to the Muslim vote-bank, manipulated the media, splintered the society again via the spurious ‘social justice’ reservation scheme, dozed while terrorists ravaged India regularly, and in general, lost the confidence of citizens. It further dirtied its slate by brazening out the Navin Chawla episode when its rubber stamp in the Rashtrapati Bhavan ‘legitimised’ yet another act of vandalising the Constitution.

Other UPA constituents like the RJD, the LJP and the DMK face similar problems of loss of people’s confidence.

The Third Front, posing as an alternative to both the Congress and the BJP, has already begun to niggle internally. Any outfit that has Mr HD Deve Gowda in it is doomed even before it begins. To compound the folly, this motley assemblage also includes the quirky J Jayalalithaa. A singular absence of a plan that spells out a vision for how it intends to better India characterises the Third Front. Their existential raison d’être is a cryptic mix of jaded ideology and a vague notion that they are the messiahs of the downtrodden. There is a simpler reason: A pathological hatred of the BJP and Congress unites them.

For what it’s worth, the Third Front’s current avatar is a coalition of losers. Everybody except Mr Deve Gowda is a contender for prime ministerial berth. It is also a coalition of individual leaders not as much parties. Take away a Mayawati or a Deve Gowda or Jayalalithaa, and their individual outfits will thaw in no time. These have held the BJP or the Congress in their sway in the past, blackmailed them, or have generally been nuisances. But the sum of their real achievements in national politics remains zero. Their earlier avatar as the United Front degraded the Prime Minister’s position to a game of musical chairs. Now with the addition of the Left parties, the Third Front is appropriately the coalition of disgruntled losers who have nothing to offer to India’s progress.

The BJP’s only chance at securing a sizeable number this time lies in a smart manifesto and confidence-building measures among the voters. More urgently, the BJP should debunk the deeply-flawed theory that ‘coalition Governments are inevitable.’ Being inevitable doesn’t mean it is good. The germination and growth of coalition Governments lies in the Congress’s split and rule politics. Reduced to an ugly rubble, this party intends to survive in power at any cost. Like a parasite, it eats the host it inhabits. The Left should know this much better than anyone else in recent times.

A sensible way for the BJP to combat this is to go alone. It should stand on its own strengths, taking a cue from its recent electoral successes at the State level. Admittedly, the challenges are different and more powerful but this was the party with just two seats in the 1984 Lok Sabha.


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6 comments for “My Oped in the Pioneer: Power at any Cost

  1. Shaz
    April 2, 2009 at 8:56 AM

    Source from
    And now…
    Saturday, March 28, 2009
    Shobhit Sujay, Amit Chaturvedi
    Name: Rahul Gandhi.

    Party: Indian National Congress.

    Shot to fame: June 19, 1970 when he was born in the Gandhi family.

    Synopsis: Rahul Gandhi is a Member of Parliament from Amethi, UP. He is the general secretary of the Indian National Congress. Son of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul is always engaged in incorporating youth in Congress fold.

    Profession: Farmer (so list the Lok Sabha records).

    Positions held: 2004 — Elected, to 14th Lok Sabha; Member of the Committee on Home Affairs; 2006 — Member of the Committee on Home Affairs; August 2007 onwards Member of the Committee on Human Resource Development.

    Special interests: Reading; Internet; Listening to music; Playing chess and flying; Promotion of primary education; Issues related to the empowerment of the Dalits and other oppressed sections of society; Preservation of marine environment; International Affairs.

    Books published: Nil.

  2. Ravi
    March 22, 2009 at 3:35 AM

    (off topic reply)


    You should not use such hard words against secularist-angels.

    In Kerala, secularist-CPM led state government dissolved ATS as they managed to find the nexus between terrorists and some secularist-political-leaders. Seems like, our secularist-MSM (23.9999×6.9999) overlooked this secular-issue. Adding link to a local language news paper.

    Secu-secularist-PDP to join hands with secularist-CPM in the upcoming parliament elections.

  3. Sudhir
    March 21, 2009 at 8:58 PM

    Heavily off topic


    Media barred from writing on 7/11 probe
    Press Trust of India
    Saturday, March 21, 2009, (Mumbai)
    The special MCOCA court in Mumbai passed an order on Saturday prohibiting the media from publishing anything pertaining to investigations in the serial train blasts here in July 2007.

    The order was passed after the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) approached the court seeking a ban on publishing any story relating to investigations of the case.

    According to the application, considering the sensitivity of the case and in larger public interest, a prohibitory order on the media should be passed under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).”

    Can someone tell me whether ATS requested same treatment when media was blatantly floating rumours about the “Hhindooo Terrorists”? This occupied the front page of every ELM for more than a month.

  4. March 21, 2009 at 1:04 AM

    Good post Sandeep. The thing I wish you mentioned is that it is not only opportunistic, it is highly dangerous for the nation as well. A broken leadership with no vision occupying the highest echelons of power, is a sad reflection of utter helplessness of a society. It is at that gravely inopportune moment that a nation is most vulnerable to predatory forces from outside, overt (wars, terroism) and covert (espionage). We should not forget how damaging the last third front government was, as far as our foreign policy and national security was concerned.

  5. Var
    March 20, 2009 at 6:44 PM

    Don’t you think Economically the UPA has performed equally if not better than the NDA? Agreed “reforms” haven’t taken place at the pace that they ought to have taken place.
    Both NDA & UPA have sailed like an albatross called th Global boom in equities and other instruments.

    And the reservation bill wouldn’t have have been passed without the NDAs suport, they openly supported the bill so don’t you think even NDA has splintered the society?

  6. Sudhir
    March 20, 2009 at 8:46 AM

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