Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Regional parties in India-A Day At The Office!!

Crafted from it's pre-independence experience, India has always adhered to it's practise of one-party at the centre, for as much time as it could. After independence there was just one political party in the political arena-the INC(Indian National Congress), one of the oldest political parties in the whole world. Tracing it's roots to the Gandhian movement against the British, the congress party has occupied the centre stage in Indian politics......having formed government for about 45 years of a total of 58 years since Independence. But the difference in ideologies and views inside the congress lead to various splits within the party, that has led to it's decline in the 1990s. After it's commencement in 1885, it has experienced break-aways through out the century, resulting in the formation of Swaraj party, Bangla congress, Manipur people's congress, Trinajmool Congress, Kerala congress, Telangana praja samiti, Thamizhaka munnettra munnani, Arunachal congress, Madhya Pradesh vikas congress, and so on. As you would have noticed, most of these new parties were focused on a particular state, and it's intentions and duties were much similar to that of an interest group than a political party. Their main aim was the welfare of people in their states, not the overall welfare of India. Many other parties which were not split-aways also came into subsistence as the political landscape of India started to change dramatically.

At the onset of democratic politics in India, there were just two parties. The INC and The CPI, the leftist party, based in Kerala, West Bengal and Mizoram. While the Congress won the bulk of seats and ruled based on their will, the CPI played the role of a feeble opposition. It was during this amazing pull-through of the congress which went on till the 1985s that a new part arose with a different view, a different outlook, and more importantly...a different symbol. Establishing itself with a firm slap....the BJP came into the Indian political arena in 1980. It's motto of 'integral humanism' attracted the youth and bourgiese of India who were craving for change. Forming govt at the centre only in 1998....it's foremost duty was plucking out  the bottom domino of the congress party.

From 1993, we see a new trend emerging in the political layout of India. The people of various states in India who consider themselves as 'people of state' than Indians.....realised their benefits if a regional party ruled at the centre. Thus a huge sway in the bulk of votes resulted in the national parties failing to achieve the required majority in the Lok Sabha. This had never happened before and the politicians were befuddled by this strange situation. Nobody knew what was to be done. It was at this awkward stroke of time that the BJP joined hands with the JD(U) to form the NDA front....which was India's first non-congress govt to complete 5 years in the office. This marked the first cut in the era of transformation in Political India.

As the success of a few regional political parties narrated the ears of others.....more and more local parties sprang up in various parts of India. This new trend not only infected the political harbingers, but also the mass voters of these states. Alarmed by the popularity of these local parties and the benefits they received, they eagerly voted for these parties, thus depriving the national parties, an individual shot at the centre. While on the outside, this may seem appealing to any 'democratic clerk', the confusion and befuddlement inside the govt office is disturbing. While the leader of the coalition is busy, caressing the members of the alliance and making sure that they smile, the national development programmes and aims go unnoticed. As more and more funds are allocated for development of individual states, Indian development is stunned. These alliances or fronts also result in what I like to define as 'kacha politics'. 'Kacha politics' is a condition where, the worst face of this Indian tradition is shown to us. The 'money for votes' is one form of 'kacha politics'. The various threats of leaving the coalition, slams on the ruling party and thus are forced to concede to all their demands.

All these distractions changes the focus from more important issues to the simple subsistence of a government. A party or govt can work for the betterment of a country, only if it's 'day at the office' goes well. If the very stability of the coalition is at jeopardy, then the other topics get side-lined. The slime surrounding this new relation-ship is becoming irremovable....and though this may seem as a silly topic....the stability of a government is vital for the economy, politics, development, and even the very existence of a republic nation.

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