Monday, 21 July 2008

The Countdown Begins

So, Dr. Singh has finally moved the confidence motion in the Lok Sabha. He's finally rid of an enemy posing as an ally and the Left parties have lost their chance to show what they could have done as part of a Central government. They've shown themselves to be petty-minded and unable to break out of a Cold War mindset, despite the fall of the Berlin wall over 17 years ago. Well, it's their loss, not ours--but what surprises me is the double-faced nature of the BJP response. They have worked hard to improve Indo-US and Indo-Israel ties while in power and have done their bit to end India's nuclear isolation, which began in 1998, immediately after the nuclear tests. But--and this is important, considering the fact that the party is ostensibly led by mature men like Vajpayee and Advani--they have chosen to come out against the deal. Are they now getting into election mode? Do they honestly think they will be able to make a dent in double-digit inflation, which has been caused due to a world-wide rise in petroleum prices? Don't they realise that India needs nuclear power for its energy security and needs to be recognised by the other nuclear states? Or do they want the honour of signing the deal for themselves?

Another interesting fact--none of the MPs who are supporting the UPA are doing so because they are animated by national interest--they all have their legal cases or petty little problems to be sorted out by the Central Government. So the law (and development) takes a backseat, while petty criminals exercise their power. Now that Mayawati is no longer persona grata in Delhi, plans for a Lucknow airport or the refurbishment thereof are on hold and ALL the cases against her have been handed over to the CBI. And since Mulayam is helping the UPA, cases against him have been dropped. If a professional dentist like Dr. Talwar or a factory worker like Mohan, the brother of his compounder, can lose their jobs because of the stigma of being involved in a criminal investigation, why can't our politicians be deprived of power unless they can prove themselves innocent in a court of law? If we abide by the rule of law, then that law should apply to all citizens, including Mayawati, Mulayam, Shahabuddin, Pappu Yadav et. al. And had the BJP been in this quandary, they would have also allied with the same people, despite ideological or electoral differences.

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I work as a freelance editor and writer in New Delhi. 


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