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All in favour – Say ‘Neigh’

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So today is the day the Indian government goes in to parliament to face  a no-confidence motion. Things have changed so dramatically over the past few weeks – days, in fact – that it is quite difficult to identify each politician with the party he currently belongs to AND the side he will support, the two not necessarily being same. Ideologies have gone for a toss, as have agendas and promises. One has witnessed horse-trading of the worst kind, with people almost going on record about the going price of most politicians. The Congress Party believes to have found new confidence. Our PM Dr. Manmohan Singh seems to have found a new voice – maybe his weaning away process from ‘Madam’ has been completed finally. The Left seems to have had an all-too-familiar bout of rhetoric infused conscience and is protesting on the basis of the Nuclear Deal which India recently signed with the US.

Now here’s where one must pause. The whole ruckus is about the N-Deal. Not about inflation, not about farmers, not about reservations – it’s the N-Deal, which is where the real irony lies. No one is quite sure what the N-Deal is, and everyone is doubly unsure about the ramifications of it. As a result, the uncertainty and ignorance have only strengthened people’s opinions and misconceptions. Some people are now fairly confident of the deal being anti-Muslim, while others argue that it is equally anti- and pro- all communities (which is good I guess). Some think it is subservience to the USA of the worst kind, while others think we’re not being subservient enough. Some believe it will make India a Nuclear Dumping ground, others say ‘What Crap’.

The BJP – the biggest party in the opposition, the party with individual or coalition governments in more than half the states in India- is being declared as a fading party. It’s a party which probably needs a good dose of rehab, some say. Fair enough, as that is a comment on the ‘top light – bottom heavy’ party structure they currently have and because A B Vajpayee was always going to be a hard example to match up to. Now the BJP is being accused of siding with the Left parties just to bring the government down. They are being accused of being two-faced since the N-Deal is something they actually support but are opposing right now just for the heck of it. I must confess, this has me completely stumped because I still remember reading this article by Arun Shourie in the Indian Express a long time back which kind of made it pretty clear why the BJP would oppose the deal, and why it is a fairly illogical deal to moot. (I remember the day the N-Deal was announced. I was at the barber’s when I saw two rival newspapers simultaneously screaming out how good and how bad the deal was. The barber remarked that the deal would finally allow us to bomb Pakistan. I was in total agreement, mainly because he had a pair of sharp scissors very close to my neck). Of course, the thing about opinions is that one can easily question their veracity and dismiss them at the soonest. So sue me if I naively respect Mr. Shourie, but read the article nevertheless.

So why isn’t the BJP stressing on it’s Nuclear intentions and make its stand clearer? The thing which most surprises me is that the BJP is quite laidback about the whole no-confidence motion business. There are talks of a few BJP MPs abstaining from the vote against the UPA government. The alternative to the current government is one which is headed by Mayawati, the bahin from UP with balls bigger than most people in India and greed much more insatiable than that. Maybe the BJP realizes that getting rid of the government right now will give them (the UPA) quite a bit of totally undeserved moral high ground. There are after all only a few months left before the polls are scheduled to happen anyway. Maybe a defeat in the vote is just the perfect thing the BJP needs to sideline the Left, the BSP and all those ‘nuisances’ which keep popping up all the time all over the political landscape. The way the numbers have added up, it is going to be next to impossible for the Congress led coalition to govern for the remainder of the term anyway. OR, maybe this is just another of my conspiracy theories 🙂

Dr. Singh says that the N-Deal is worth losing a government over. Pity he didn’t think it necessary to educate people about it in the first place. Maybe that’s the whole idea – to get out of the shoddy mess with heads held high. I sincerely hope that the no-confidence motion fails so that the ridiculousness and absurdity of the (prospective) coalition becomes apparent to one and all. Fingers crossed! All in favour – say ‘Nay’


Written by sujaybedekar

July 22, 2008 at 9:49 am