Has Indian Politics Re-Discovered Its Moral-Compass?

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The recent unfolding of political events in Delhi has really come as a surprise for most of the political analysts, including a common citizen like me.

In the recently concluded Delhi assembly election, the BJP with its tally of 32 M.L.A.s emerged as the largest political party, just 4 seats short of gaining absolute majority of 36 M.L.A.s seats in a 70 members’ assembly.  As the political convention goes, the Lieutenant Governor invited the single largest party BJP, to form the government. But BJP refused to form the government. Instead, BJP leaders claimed that they do not have the support of 36 M.L.A.s; hence they would sit in the opposition. And then it started pressurizing and needling AAP to form the government, which incidentally emerged as second largest party with 28 M.L.A.s. with the support of other political parties.

Imagine the party with the highest number of seats preferring not only to sit in the opposition, but also taunting the smaller party to form a government.


Not so long ago, in Jharkhand same political party, BJP, a party with a difference, fell short of magic numbers of 41 seats to get majority in State Assembly election by a long distance in the year 2005. And then it decided to take away the independent M.L.A.s from their homes, fly them far-away from Jharkhand to BJP ruled state of Rajasthan and give them free food and lodging in a luxurious tourist resort. All these were done to get their crucial votes in their favour in the Jharkhand assembly, so as to reach the mark of the simple majority of 41 seats.

How times have changed?

Just couple of years ago, when grand old social leader, Anna Hazare launched his anti-corruption movement Lokpal movement in the capital city New Delhi, he captured the imagination of cross-section of people with his Gandhian style of non-violent agitation. Scores of common people thronged to support him. But the Indian Government and the Parliament refused to accede to his demands and kept Lokpal Bill in abeyance. Maybe they hoped that the issue would simply die down and people shall forget about Lokpal Bill and move on.

But that didn’t really happen.

Riding on the wave of popular discontent for the Politicians, especially those of ruling class; the common people of Delhi came out in large numbers to give unexpectedly good number of 28 seats to AAP. It may be recalled that during election campaigning, AAP had reiterated its resolve that the passing of Jan-Lokpal Bill was its top most priority.   

Since then, something interesting has happened.

In Ralegan Siddhi village, Anna Hazare along with his followers, they have again sat on a hunger strike, to get the Lokpal Bill passed by the parliament. 

Cornered by recent electorate drubbing and the peaceful agitation of Anna Hazare has again forced the issue of anti-corruption at centre-stage.

Today, two major political parties, namely BJP and Congress along with others, with the exception of SP; they are trying to get Lokpal Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha. We are certain that after the passing of Lokpal Bill, host of political parties including Congress and BJP would be claiming credit for the same. On the other hand, AAP has slammed the said Lokpal Bill as a weak bill while Anna Hazare has welcomed the parliament’s move to pass the Lokpal bill.

One could sense of urgency has gripped the powerful politicians, as they fall over each other, to pass the Lokpal Bill, to claim credit and occupy high moral-ground. Off-late, something strange has been happening in India and it seems that Indian Politics has suddenly re-discovered its moral-compass.

Moral Compass

Has Indian Politics really re-discovered its moral-compass?

Yes, but it is only for the time being, in the long-term the answer is still a big NO.

The above mentioned exercises are mere public posturing ahead of big electorate battle of 2014. No political party that wants to win the upcoming election would like to sail their boats against the highly moralistic wind, which is currently sweeping across India. The fact remains that corruption has been institutionalized by the political parties cutting across different ideologies and the rot is too deep to be cleaned by the winds. It needs daily and sustained operation clean-up by concerned and informed citizens.

Or else, we would be back to square one, to the era of broken moral compass.     

And that would be real tragedy for all of us.

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Sameer Bhagat

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Social-Activist. Author of SALVAGING ADIDWEEP.


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