India is dancing with democracy. The General Election of the national Parliament is on. One will lose count of total number of political parties (excluding independent candidates) fighting in the election. However, all the political parties have aligned into three groups, viz: BJP led NDA, Congress led UPA and other parties not aligned to NDA or UPA. The last group is most complex and fluid and no one knows which constituent party of this group will behave in what way after the election results are out.
Such alignment has become commonplace in Indian politics since about quarter of a century. It indicates that ideologically there are three main conglomerations of political parties. The question is why there are not three political parties in India then? The answer lies in the fact that there are innumerable political leaders in India who self-righteously and overtly say that they are most eligible, suitable and competent for serving people and covertly aspire to become Prime Minister, Chief Minister or any other types or grades of Ministers. In other words, infinitely long list of Indian political leaders wants the share of their political ‘pound of flesh’. Thus India has Modis, Rahuls, Abdullahs, Nitishs, Lalus, Mulayams, Azmals, Mayawatis, Mamatas, Navins, Jaylalithas, Karunanidhis, Azams, Buddhadevs, Chandrababus, Kejriwals and so on and so forth that one will get headache before the list is complete. It is a free for all those who want to grab any public position. Serving people of the country comes out as byproduct of their powerful positions.
The picture given above is a simplistic one. Actual dynamics is much more complex. So, many political leaders of India have been sacrificing their lives (as they claim) to serve its people, but still it is a developing (‘underdeveloped’ in correct meaning) country. The political leaders of India never retire. Only death can take them away from politics. Any Indian political leader can quote a dozen of socio-economic indices of the country (both past and present) to put across his argument this way or that way. Some again keep on shouting about “Chhekularism“. Caste based politics can be added to this “Chhekularism” also.
Late Congress leader from West Bengal A B A Ghani Khan Chowdhury was popularly known as Barkat-da. Similarly, West Bengal the CPM leader Mohammad Salim is also popularly called Salim-da. There was never any issue about this type of acculturation. But constant use of terms like “Saalaam” & “Dua” along with “Namaskar” and “Ashirbad” by the present Chief Minister of West Bengal will bring a change in the perception of the people of West Bengal. Ghani Khan and Salim may be called Ghani Sahab and Salim Sahab in near future. There is an anecdote about the nature of secular mind set of M K Gandhi and Subhas Bose. One day both were talking to some dwellers of a religiously mixed locality. Suddenly a fire broke out in the locality. Gandhi said both Hindus and Muslims should jointly put out the fire. But Subhas told the people to put out the fire simply. To Gandhi, Hindus and Muslims were different types of Indians and needed to be united first for any good work; but to Subhas Bose they were simply Indian. Visitors can understand as to what I want to say.
The comments and arguments of all political leaders in India, particularly before Election, are mostly false and sometimes as ambiguous as Nostradamus’ predictions about future. They fail to appreciate the theory of natural growth and take credit for all good developments of the country. Discredit for all bad developments are conveniently directed towards opposition parties. Publicly they quarrel (modestly one may call TV talk show) before General Election and argue in a manner depending on which side of the table one is sitting.
There are also more political intellectuals in India than in all other countries taken together. They do hair splitting discussions about the free market economy, socialism, backward-marginalized communities, minorities, secularism, internal & external threat, regional disparity, corruption in high places, fundamentalism etc..
In the process, majority of common Indians is stuck in the cobweb of this confusing situation before election. If one wants to call this ‘Dance of Democracy’, let him be happy with his term. I don’t mind.