Post-Apocalypse in the Indian Parliament – where to?

Posted on July 23, 2008. Filed under: India, Politics |

After the destruction of the reputation of Parliamentary democracy in the trust vote session, and the expulsion of Somnath Chatterjee from the primary membership of the CPI(M), the only parties that seem to have managed to maintain their dignity is the BJP and their allies. BJP has promptly expelled those whom it considers as “betrayers”, but BJP’s 8 expulsions are a small percentage compared to what the smaller allies of the Left had to expel. The Left leadership has suddenly discovered after years the “bourgeois lifestyle and mentality and origin” (in classic pseudo-Marxist parlance – the “class character”) of Somnath Chatterjee and also suddenly remembered that his father was a stalwart of the JanaSangh – the forerunner of the BJP.

So after the dust has settled, where to India?

(1) As predicted by me, post trust vote, three major groupings have emerged, and will continue until the next general elections are completed – the BJP and allies, The congress and allies, Mayavati+Left and allies. There will be some some movement away from the Left+Mayavati camp into the Congress, but there is the possibility of an even bigger movement towards the BJP from the Congress camp. It is quite possible that Mayavati+Left will emerge a significant although minority group in the Parliament and will demand support from the Congress to form a government. The left will again not be in a position to join the cabinet, and both Congress and the Left in that case wills support from the outside. There will be serious effort from BJP to woo Mayavati, and similarly from the Congress. The next PM’s in waiting are possibly Ms. Mayavati, and Narendra Modi from Gujarat – not immediately, but down the line.

(2) The opposition will make the first significant inroads in decades into the Leftist bastions of West Bengal and Kerala, more in WB than in Kerala. It is unlikely that the Left Front government in West Bengal will fall, but a reduction of their absolute majority is now a distinct possibility. Failure to industrialize and achieve economic progress could be a serious setback. Ironically the party will be relying more and more on non-ideologues at the grassroots, who are adept on the more reliable techniques of coercion to ensure loyalty of the electorate.

(3) The “attempted bribery” case raised in the Parliament will probably not be taken up seriously and legally, as it has more impact as an electoral issue for the opposition, and perhaps also a real embarrassment for the Congress.

(4) Inflation will remain high, and although it could stabilize after drastic fall in international oil prices, it could rise again, and majority of the population will be left lurching in the economic cold.

(5) BJP gains overall from this political scenario and not the Congress. They will prove relatively immune from corruption taints which appears to be increasingly associated with the Congress and its allies.

(6) As yet the trend is towards an increasing right wing consolidation in India, and the fence sitters in the middle will quickly choose to go over to the right.

(7) terror networks between jihadists (I am yet to come across a full fledged Jihad that is entirely peaceful, ideological and defensive towards “unbelievers”) , Naxals, certain radical international religious perceptions within the two major proselytizing themes in the revealed traditions and their support for ethnic separatism, ethnic separatists, and secret services of countries with designs on Indian territories and populations, will coordinate increasing “outrages” to keep the pressure on the government and force repressive reactions – which can then be used to recruit support both internally as well as internationally.

( 8 ) Certain tendencies within “White European” societies, which are not always aligned to elite governmental perceptions and the elite’s international strategic interests, will see the rise of Indian influence as a threat. This is a result of deliberate suppression of all historical information about the role of India in the capital formation and industrialization of the “West” in the public discourse, and allowing the racist constructions of “white superiority” to continue and be ingrained as the only remaining soporific for those “whites” who can longer compete within the “fair competition” of capitalism. This in turn will influence the hardening of the Indian experience abroad and provide the basis for increasing right wing nationalism back in India through social networks that connect expatriates and Indian populations.

Is all this good news for India? I believe so! Common threats help to unite and transform the nation.


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