July 23, 2008

The Mess of the No Confidence Motion

Filed under: Governance,Politics — Bottom's Up @ 12:28 am

The UPA has just finished with a victory in the no confidence motion against it on the supposed issue of the Indo-US nuclear deal. Amid cries of Singh Is King, various issues are currently coming to mind and each of them adds to my disgust with our great leaders and my depression with Indian governance.

  1. The UPA Government has not disclosed all the details of the deal and time and again has not officially given any explanation on why the issues raised by the left about the 123 agreement and the Hyde Act are not pertinent from a legal and national security point of view. I still have not heard whether we will be able to have any nuclear tests in the future after this agreement and if not, why that is not important. What should have happened is that when there is so much controversy, the Govt. should have invited some leaders of the opposition and various other parties and addressed their concerns in a transparent and (semi)public debate on the issue. I do not say a debate of the full house for the simple reason that we have so many morons as the last few days have shown that no debate would have been possible with over 500 members. I do realize that there would have been some security concerns which may not have been possibly disclosed publicly, but than those aspects could have been handled better than what was done. Also, the UPA made the stupid mistake of trying to sell the deal as the kill all of India’s energy security concerns. The deal would help the energy problems and at a time when we would need all the help we can get, 6% nuclear power would definitely help. This was what the Government should have stressed upon instead of saying that the deal would solve all our problems.
  2. The communists showed their ideological obsession at the expense of rational decisions in the interest of the country. Thus their biggest problem was that the deal was with the US. As a result they failed to focus on the issues of importance and kept harping on their anti US rhetoric. Plus the ego issues of Mr. Karat. A person with such ego issues should never be given so much power. Maybe the communists would learn something from this. At a time when both the UPA and NDA are pro business and as so often happens in such cases, the poor get sidelined, the communists can play a good role of watching out for the poor and making sure bad slips do not happen. Unfortunately, they are too busy talking playing ideology while doing Nandigram.
  3. The BJP is supposedly a right wing party. They are supposed to be more attuned to national security reasons. Thus in a deal such as this, they should have been the first to appreciate the unspoken foreign policy and security aspects and should have shown a pro deal attitude. If something was bothering them, they should have been interested in a vibrant debate and a proclivity in favor of completion of the deal as opposed to scuttling the deal. Instead what we saw was them wanting to not let the Congress get any recognition for the deal and for this they have been more than ready to sacrifice the interest of the country for petty political gains. This was obvious when last few days they kept saying that they would want to go back and revisit the deal themselves. Also, using the deal for petty politics was quite obvious too from the fact that Mr. Advani’s speech hardly touched upon the deal but on everything else. Disgusting behavior by a party that claims to be a security obsessed right wing party!
  4. While calling for a no confidence motion on the Government when it has only about 100 days to go anyways is bad politics, Mr. Advani did raise some pertinent points. The performance of the UPA government has been poor at best. Little has been achieved on its CMP; the Bharat Nirmaan scheme is hardly a resounding success so far. While inflation may not necessarily be all the Governments doing, the way they have handled the inflation management has hardly been of any use or rationality with the rupee still tracking the weakening dollar and not appreciating. On the reform front, little has been done to implement recommendations such as those in the Rajan report (though I wonder how much the communist parties have played a hand in this). Infrastructure development has not exactly been stellar either. And worst of all has been foreign policy and security. The danger of terrorism has increased and trifle little has been done to catch the culprits or make the country safer. Kashmir is a mess as always and little has changed barring the fact that whatever little has improved there is mostly because the Kashmiris are getting tired of the militancy. The North Eastern states continue to be neglected and treated as second class citizens. Appeasement politics still rule. Internationally, China has continued bullying us while we have continued appeasing them. Little has been done in using this juncture where Pakistan is weak to gain any benefits from them. The Africa debacle where we woke up too late to China for resources is well known. Little progress has been made with other countries both east and west of India. The concerns of importing illegal immigrants and fundamentalism from Bangaladesh continue to grown. Much as we would like to believe, India has little to show for the hyped new power status when it comes to international diplomacy.
  5. The gadha trading (horse trading of our gadha leaders) that has been going on obviously is a shame on the leaders of the country. It is also quite obvious that both sides are deep in the dirt on this. The same way SP leaders migrated to the BSP, NDA leaders abstained and came to the side of the UPA. Shits high on the ceiling and there is an absolute lack of moral high ground of either side. However, the display of cash in the Loksabha was an utterly stupid and thoughtless move on the part of the NDA. This directly hurt the prestige of the country and in the end achieved nothing. The same attention on the issue could have been brought in much more sensible and ways less detrimental to the prestige for the country. Instead what we have now is a utter mockery of democracy in the country. In their moment of desperation after realizing they were not going to win this one, they tried to pull off this stunt and get the vote delayed – an attempt that thankfully did not work. Another thing that is being said is that the gadha trading was shocking to the public. I believe there was hardly anything shocking except for the tamasha in the Loksabha. The people of India are quite well aware of this kind of nonsense and the last few days had made it even more obvious to everyone that shady crap was happening.
  6. The media in India is quite superficial and hardly fulfills the function that its supposed to. This is quite obvious from the fact that not one major media house – TV or print – took the efforts to analyze the finer aspects of the nuclear deal and provide an unbiased and educated analysis of the issues in the deal. All we had were partially informed opinions and columns by either of the political groups. The media thus utterly failed as a source of educated and informed content. A thorough analysis by the media would have gone a long way in clearing all the confusion and taken away the ability of the political parties to score cheap points. But then the media is market driven, we have enough idiots who prefer news in the form of a melodrama with music playing in the background a la Aaj Tak to really have a sound media. While the market is there for educated responsible journalism, the market is bigger for dumb news and the lure of money coupled with limited resources of the media houses means we get moronic news coverage.
  7. The rise and continuous rise of local parties is a big concern. Equally importantly, the importance of the cow belt in country politics and their playing a highly disproportionate role vis a vis their contribution to the country’s growth and prosperity is an even bigger concern. I think it’s high time the country started thinking of amendments to the constitution to make changes such that only parties with a nationwide presence should be able to rule from the center. This of course should have to go hand in hand with more power over their own affairs to the states – especially fiscally. Bad states can get relief from the center once in a while but definitely a progressive state should have the right to use its own fiscal resources instead of subsidizing economically backward states like the cow belt. Of course, utilization of their natural resources by say Jharkhand should help Jharkhand too. To each his own. Also, such amendments should help reduce the ability of corrupt junk politicians like Mayawati and Mulayam Singh with their uneducated cow belt concerns to not have a say in issues such as national security and national trade. Of course they do provide lighter moments like Mayawati talking about Izzat when she has scores of corruption allegations against her and then saying that the UPA and NDA conspired to not allow her to become a PM since she is a dalit.

Of course the mess in the current state of affairs is not exactly a close ended blame. Democracy always throws up leaders of the populace which the populace deserves. So long as Indians continue to sit by the sidelines and let the same people rule, so long as we continue to vote along the lines of caste, religion and language and so long as we do not bring out leaders to account; little will change and the mess will continue. The UPA will just be replaced by the NDA or vice versa.


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