With just one more round to go, in our protracted 30 day election process the focus is now on the results of the election – the actions of the President and what kind of government will be formed as a result…!
In recent days, leadership of the current government has started ‘reaching out’ to other parties that are expected to do well in these elections – a kind of an insurance policy to ensure that a government is formed – albeit with new friends! Astonishingly, this is being done in full public view with no effort at disguising or hiding it! Adding to this, we have spokesmen from the ruling party even suggesting that having an alliance with one partner at the ‘state level’ and an opposing party at the ‘central’ level is perfectly normal! Off course having a spokesperson who is a lawyer, helps (with a lawyer’s ability to spin anything anyway!).
I would think that all this should cause us to pinch ourselves and wonder if we are in some sort of Alice’s Wonderland. Aren’t democratic elections about seeking mandates? Aren’t alliances supposed to be around principles, values and ideas? Isn’t there something that’s supposed to be semi-permanent about the word alliance? Has political spin so numbed us that we are not able to respond meaningfully and rebut and question this kind of open political deal making of most expedient kind? As a friend asked me – Do we sit around and watch this display of ‘awesomely breathtaking shamelessness?”
These elections started off with the promise of being different – of an election that represented impatience with the status quo and need for political parties and politicians to start behaving more responsibly and differently! On a number of counts it is clear that status quo has continued – Low turnout, Criminal participation, gender representation – no change happened! And so my friends, its likely that we will be presented with more of the same on 16th May – deal making in various corridors of Delhi and issues like change, democratic mandate etc., all likely to be forgotten and ignored! If that happens I hope we don’t just sit around silently and allow it to happen!