Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Power Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega

A democratic government means a government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by their elected representatives under a free electoral system. The representatives are elected on the basis of their party’s ideology or in some cases without any party affiliation (independents).

A political party is an organization that seeks to gain political power and form a government by participating in elections. Parties often adopt an expressed ideology or vision reinforced by a written manifesto with specific goals.

India has around half a dozen national parties and 100s of regional parties that are all fighting amongst themselves to represent Indians in the parliament.

Today, (May 13, 2009) the last day of voting for the 15th Lok Sabha is coming to an end and India has elected its representative for the 15th Lok Sabha (although results are yet to come out). The early projections which are coming from the media indicates that we are going to have another hung parliament and thus no political party or pre-poll alliance will get the mandate to govern.

In this election ideologies of all political parties are set to be thrown out of the window and every sort of combination is possible to grab power (barring perhaps BJP and Left, Congress and BJP, and BJP and Indian Union Muslim League) or perhaps Power Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega.

If indeed this is true and the post-poll alliances like Congress led UPA is supported by the Left front again, does voting really matters? The MPs from Left Front predominantly comes from the states of West Bengal, Kerala, and Tripura. In all these three states, Left Front and Congress are the principal opposition, either alone or in alliance. How does the mandate of the people matter if these two parties come together? A person voting against Left will feel cheated if the Congress forms an alliance with the Left and similarly a person voting against Congress will feel cheated if the Left supports Congress.

In Bihar, NDA (BJP and JDU), Congress and the Yadav Front (Laloo, Paswan and Mulayam) are fighting against each other. In this state also there are talks of party's crossing over and thus making the process of going to the people redundant.

Same is in the case of Uttar Pradesh where BJP, BSP, Congress, SP are fighting each other and post-poll BSP and SP might go to support either of the 2 alliances (UPA or NDA). Now the voters have every right to feel cheated as their votes really does not matter.

Tamil Nadu presents another peculiar situation where the Congress and DMK are pre-poll partners and AIDMK is the main opposition. The DMK is going to do badly in the elections, if the media reports are to be believed, and there are talks of both BJP and Congress making an attempt to woo AIDMK. If the Congress succeeds in getting AIDMK under its fold and dumping DMK then does the voter matter?

I think India should move to a 2 coalition formation politics and anti-defection law should come into force if any pre-poll alliance party crosses over to another formation post-poll. Otherwise, the entire process of voting becomes an unnecessary exercise where millions of rupees are wasted and many of our policemen and paramilitary men have to make the supreme sacrifice in the Naxal belts and other poll related violence, and yet the mandate of people is manipulated by the political parties to bring themselves into power.