My Views

Trends in Indian Election Politics

Posted in Polity, Reality Check by dullar on March 10, 2009

It has been quite a long time since the coalition politics, backed by a fragmented electorate,has descended in the political scene in India and political alliances to gain power have been the order of the day. Political parties with different colours and hues devise different strategies to lure the voters and align with other political parties across regional affiliations. Here are some of the general observations about the new age political scenario in India:

1) Accept it or not INC (Indian National Congress) and BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) are the only two truely national parties. Dont go into definitions. Others small national parties and state parties align with these two political parties to gain power in State Assembly and the Lok Sabha. Although few political parties like CPI and CPI(M) are trying to build athird alternative, called Third Front, for some time. But it has met a limited success as far as bringing different regional political parties under one umbrella.

2) National parties are getting weaker day by day and the regional and state parties are becoming stronger. It can be easily concluded by the fact that two biggest national parties only come to form government when the regional and state parties support them with required simple majority arithmatic.

3) There is a much competition among all political parties to forge pre poll alliances in the wake of forthcoming general elections. But as far as the profits and losses of these alliances are concerned different parties are at different angle of the recieving end. National parties expose weaknesses and unpopularity in the states when they go and bargain seat sharing with the state parties. The electorate is slowly shifting towards the regional and state parties in the long term. See the recent case when the long standing alliance between BJD and BJP fell flat for the want to bigger pie of the Lok Sabha seats.

4) State elections are fought on the grounds of performance of the sitting government and the anti-incumbency rules is not always followed. The third term of Congress government in Delhi is just one example. Incumbent governments in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh came into power for second time.Yes this is again debatable, but fact remains fact. The economic liberalisation and reform preiod sice last decade has given much needed financial leverage to the states and with their economies the governeance is slowly improving. The incumbent government which passes the fruits of modernisation to its public increases its chances to retain power.

5) The key issues thus are good governance, economic development, basic infrastructure (roads, power, water), job creation amd corruption free administration.

6) The role of identity is ubiquitous in the polity of this nation in both physical and temporal framwork. Caste plays (as always) deciding role in getting the election ticket and getting the vote. Different political parties take due care infielding their candidates and it largely depends uponthe caste and indentity demographics of the constituency. There has been different blocs of forward castes, backward castes, reserved castes and now newly formed block of Economically backward castes (EBCs). Caste factor play a very important role in alliances of different blocs. Muslims form a different bloc of votes.

7) Rise of BSP is a new development in the Indian Polity, especially after the last UP elections. It has managed to pull together the forwar cates and the reserved castes to sideline the backwar castes in the state of UP and the strategy has brough immense results for the BSP supremo Ms Mayawati. Now she is all set up to replicate the model in other states where there is a sizable reserved castes population like Maharastra.

New strategies has to be carved out by all the political parties if they want to remain afloat. Voter of 21st century India is more smart than his fore fathers. Some issus like, roti, kapda, makaan has always been the there for every election this counrty has witnessed but the realm of their definitions has changed in the modern liberalised world. The recession hit economy has added its share of challenges for the parties. No matter what part mere politics play in the reuls of the elections but the party which goes to the voters banking upon its past performance and futuristic agenda will have greater chances to be rewarded. By the way, no one can deny the possibility of last minute chaos of post polls alliances, political bargaining and horse tradig among the elected candidates.

Lahore Tremors

Posted in Cricket, Internal Security, Pakistan, Reality Check, Society, State, Terrorism by dullar on March 6, 2009

The aftermaths of 3/3 are slowly unfolding. And what is worst hit that cricket itself. Pakistani cricket is doomed for many years to come. Like the security personnel who have become shaheed protecting the Sri Lankan team, cricket is also going to pay its part of that shahaadat. It was yet another nail in the cricket’s coffin, and jihads have hit that nail very hard. What was conspired, has already happened in Lahore or Pakistan but its shockwaves have travelled east and we are frightened more than shocked.

The same home minister who took the charge of home affairs after the 26/11 tragedy and resolved to provide a secure and free environment to the citizens of this country who were already shaken to the core by the ghastly act, has now seems to be succumbed under the pressure. He dont want to divulge the secuirty forces to secure our cricketing avenues for the IPL. After people of this country faced the Mumbai challenge with grit and sensibility and never allowed fear to overpower our freedom, home ministry is giving signals of fatigue, more so after the Lahore attacks. Experts has cited many parellels betwen 26/11 and 3/3, but one point where two incidents stray apart is the way Indian side is seen to be going at backfoot as far as assuring for security for the sport in near future. Cricketers and cricket stadiums have always been a kind of potential target for the terrorists. The danger of same is now more real in South Asia which is already bleeding with many terrorist attacks in many major cities. The ideal way to deal with all this should be to increase the security cover, gather intelligence about the whereabouts of terrorists and their activities, and put a brave public face in the national and international media so that the public sentiments should not be hit byt the jihadi terror agenda.

A vibratnt, democratic and strong state should never put hinderances on the freedom of its people. State should gather its resources to provide best security ot its citizens. It should not shy away from such responsibility citing lack of security forces, be it General elections or IPL. Postponement of IPL for the already discussed reasons would amount to a failure of Indian state in more than one sense. It will also give signals as how government is going to provide security for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

In the name of security

Posted in Cricket, Internal Security, Reality Check, Society by dullar on March 5, 2009

There has always been security concerns for the much hyped and popular cricket mania summed up by the name of IPL. But this year’s edition of the sporting saga has clouded in some unprecedented security dilemnas and the talk of its postpoonement is doing rounds in the union home department. States has also shown much concern regarding the same. The reason cited is the non availability of enough security personnels who can cover general elections and IPL, both being held in the months of April and May.

Its highly unfortunate that we have concluded onthese lines. General elctions are the biggest festival of this largest democracy in the world where people celebrate their identity as free and sovereign republic and exercise their most powerful right, that is to choose their forthcoming leaders. Cricket is the next big thing that happen in this country in the modern times. The craze and enthusiasm by which this sport sweeps the entire nation is no secret to anybody. Its in this sense that watching and following cricket shows a sense of freedom for people.

Known for its one of the largest security personnels in the world, has such a day come in the life of this nation that there is not enough security for the people when they watch their most favorite sport. Can state afford to curb the freedom of its people to this level that it do not allow some twenty or thirty thousand people to assemble at a place to watch a cricket match. Now the government is mulling over these restrictions on the cricket tournament, tomorrow some other thing can come under the scanner of their twisted priorities. General elections are coming, state do not have enough security forces, so all the people are advised to be in their homes. Is this what we call the celbration of our democracy. Oh no, by the way, people can come out and attend the political rallies and election campaigns, as such events are full under the security cover. Politicians are the only heroes and vvips that we can afford to secure. Yes, they are also much qualified to provide some wuality drama and entertainment to us. Not for one day or one month, but for 5 years in and out of parliament.

Postponement of IPL for security reasons will be very sad and unfortunate precedent, if set.

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