Numbers that don’t add up


Indian democracy seems to be evolving ~ now, do note that evolution is not always necessarily positive ~ therefore, Indian democracy is also clearly under threat. Take for instance a political party ~ the BJP ~ managed to win only 2 seats in Meghalaya but has orchestrated the formation of the new Government there. Seriously, what’s wrong with the political parties in Meghalaya? Have they no guts to go it alone? Worse still is the scenario in Nagaland. Why should two regional parties ~ one of them yet to be registered ~ fighting over the support of the BJP, which won only 12 seats in the recently-concluded Assembly elections here. NFP claims to have won 27 seats, which means that the NDPP has won 16 seats ~ NPP – 2, JD (U) – 1 and Independent – 1. Because of the demands for recounting and/or re-poll, it appears that the Election Commission has done a very shoddy job ~ especially seeing that it couldn’t make up its mind who won in a few Assembly constituencies. The national television channels kept on saying BJP+ but here in Nagaland we know that the BJP was piggy-back riding on both the NPF and the NDPP ~ and if the NPF had won more than 26/27 seats or if the NPF had managed to garner the “support” of the Independent and the JD (U) as well as one of the NPP winners, the BJP would have found no difficulty justifying why it broke its pre-poll alliance with the NDPP. Clearly, the party with the money and muscle power has the maximum attraction for the BJP because it is determined to tell the nation that it is in power in 21 States ~ leaving out the small detail that it won only 2 seats in Meghalaya and 12 in Nagaland. Yes, Indian democracy is under severe stress when power politics over-rides principled politics. So much for Mahatma’s Gandhi’s India! And, the role of the national television channels needs more scrutiny for decimating Mahatma’s India but alas, now is the era of power politics in all firmaments. So where does that leave the people? What people? Those who have succumbed to promises of “development” and sold their votes? Those who have willingly taken whatever was given without questioning from where those crores have come from so many politicians and former bureaucrats? When a people without a moral compass and totally clueless about their religion assert their identity and culture, their vulnerability is wide open for anyone to turn them into putty. What this very unfortunate state of affairs also exposes is the true face of the moral compass, the moral fibre, of our Churches and our traditional authorities, as also of our NGOs and civil societies ~ not forgetting our numerous women, youth and student organizations. That during this drama of horse-trading, of confining elected members in hotels owned by the super-rich and super-powerful in Nagaland, including blinding lesser political parties with the radiance of power, our Churches, NGOs, civil societies, including our women, youth and student organizations, have remained silent speaks screamingly. That none of them have dared to demand principled politics clearly exposes their capitulation to power politics ~ and this is ominous for Indian democracy ~ more so for a small state like Nagaland, which is not only beset with tribulations that have no hope of being overcome but has always claimed democratic credentials “since time immemorial”. It doesn’t matter who forms the government tomorrow ~ but what matters is that power politics and political hegemony is allowed to over-ride all considerations of principled politics and democratic ethos. Under the circumstances, we cannot expect democracy or development ~ especially seeing that the constitutional rights of both have been converted into currencies during elections. By all democratic cultures, any political party that promises development if voted to power is trivializing and prostituting all constitutional rights. The greater pity is that our people do not seem to realize this and fall for such promises over and over again ~ in the process, deny and deprive themselves of constitutional rights to development. It will take a long time for our people to realize that sold votes means sold souls. Now, could a people reducing themselves to beggary claim entitlements to rights? An examination of our people’s status of beggary and the responsibility thereof is urgently called for because the numbers we have seen in Meghalaya and Nagaland simply don’t add up.