I’ve received a number of emails and calls asking me about what happens next!
While it may seem that the results of the Elections are a Congress victory and BJP loss – there’s more that’s been achieved in this election than that!
a. Specific Commitments
For the first time in these elections, in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai – the winning MPs have committed to a specific action plan (in Bangalore it’s the documented Namma Bengaluru Action Plan and similar commitments made in Mumbai as well)
b. Stability and no excuses
After a long time, there will be a stable government – that’s not beset with ideological contradictions and opportunistic pulls and pushes as the last UPA coalition. This should allow the government to perform if it truly desires to perform and also not have any excuses for not performing!
c. Return of Idealism and Big ideas.
The ascendance of younger politicians is indicating a return of some idealism (it sounds like that for the moment!) to our politics and governance. Issues like leaky public spending, judicial reforms and expansion (issues raised by me and others repeatedly) are finding focus in the speeches being made the Cong leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister. In the 30s, President Roosevelt introduced the ‘New Deal’ in the US, and I am hopeful that this government will do something as transformational!
d. Disappearance of Hate and obscurantism
This resounding loss for the BJP and decline in its vote share should prompt them to visibly distance themselves away from hate and bigotry and learn to compete in politics on the big ideas for India and big ideas alone! They had some big ideas which unfortunately became irrelevant in the face of communal vitriol from some quarters in their ranks. If they distance from this, they become a visible alternative to all sections to society and that in turn will cause other parties to abandon vote bank politics as well. This single change could transform Indian politics into a competition of ideas and not vote banks! Wishful thinking maybe, but we are closer to it than ever before.
e. Consensus Politics
The early smoke signals from both camps indicate a move towards consensus politics on the big issues facing our country! Co-operation rather than confrontation alone!
As is to be expected, the Cong and UPA are in celebratory and triumphal mode right now- having received this unexpected and unprecedented mandate! The role for all of us now is to keep the new Government and Parliament focused on the expectations above – to make sure the election results are a start of something really new and fresh in our politics and governance!
In summary, our work as citizens and Political activists isn’t done yet. We need to remain aware and involved, and start this new five year journey and make sure this new government does really deliver!