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Posts Tagged ‘Lok Sabha’

Heads are rolling in the Government. The first political casualty in the aftermath of the Bombay terror strikes was Shivarj Patil. This comes as no surprise. After all, while it is the entire government’s failure, a fall guy was required. And he fit the bill perfectly considering he’s been an ineffective Home Minister, known more for his preoccupation with sartorial details and kowtowing to Sonia Gandhi than for effective policing.

Yesterday, after he tendered in his resignation, I heard him called all kinds of names by the media. When an anchor on a news channel asked a reporter stationed outside 4 Janpath, “Shivaraj Patil abhi kahan hain? Kya kar rahe hain?” (“Where is Shivraj patil? What is he doing now?”), the reporter said mockingly, “Ghar ke andar hain. Ya toh Kapde badal rahe honge ya kitab padh rahe honge” (He’s inside his house. Either he’s changing his clothes or reading a book.”)

I think they were being a tad unfair there. (But then that is beauty of our psyche. We love to kick a man when he down. I didn’t notice anyone dare to raise such a strong voice against him when he was in power, in spite of his various transgressions.) Unfortunately, the Centre is so weak that it exerts little or no control over the various states. The Central Intelligence Agency had repeatedly warned the States that a terror attack from the sea is entirely possible but the States saw the warning as an infringement on their territory by the Centre.

Of course, it is another matter that they did not act on the information provided by local fishermen. For which RR Patil should be held accountable. But does he look like he cares, going to extent of saying, “Aise bade shehron mein ek aad aisa haadsa ho jaata hai” (In big cities one odd such incident does happen)?

Instead who’s taking all the heat? Vilasrao Deshmukh. As well he should, being the CM. But it is also a fact that, in a state level play of coalition politics, he has little or no control over his Deputy CM and the home minister who’s from the NCP. And we all know who really runs Maharashtra. Clue: It isn’t Vilasrao Deshmukh.

In fact, the NCP is an enviable position of having all the power and no responsibility. Actually so is Sonia Gandhi. She has all the power and no responsibility. Strident voices are being heard demanding action, saying, “Had Indira Gandhi been alive, what would she have done?”

Not what we think, mates. What she would have done would have depended entirely upon the majority she had in the parliament. We forget that when she was in power and quelled Sikh militancy, she had complete majority.

Unfortunately we live in an era of coalition politics and appeasing politicians who, with their meagre entourage of ten politicians, can dictate terms to the Congress. In my opinion, coalition governments are the worst thing to happen to our country. Good or bad, let one person be in charge. Like Indira Gandhi firmly was. And we’re all no fans of hers.

Maybe it is time to change the Indian constitution to enable the winning party to form government no matter what the margin of their victory. Maybe it is time to do away with the 282-seats-in-the-Lok-Sabha (The Lower House or the British equivalent of the House of Commons) formula. Now I know this can only be done by passing such a bill in parliament. But surely, we as citizens can do something? I asked around and someone told me, that we can do so by conducting a referendum, or what in layman’s terms is called a signature campaign. He wasn’t entirely sure but I’m sure there must be another way.

Now this comes with its own logistics problems of reaching all Indians everywhere. We, in the cities and metros can be reached digitally, but how we reach rural India? And having reached there, how do we convince them to do put their thumbprints on the paper, preoccupied as they are with caste and religion issues?

On the other hand, maybe it is a bad idea. Maybe by doing so we would be unleashing a bigger monster. Maybe it is a good thing we have that 282 seats in the Lok Sabha rule after all. I just don’t know. All I know is that we need a strong government because even as we grapple with internal security problems, another neighbour of ours, an emerging economic superpower, is making its presence felt across our north eastern border.

Truly, Bharat Bhagya Vidhadhata.

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