Wednesday, July 09, 2008
End of days
It has once again been demonstrated that the prime sport or means of entertainment in India is politics, or rather the antics of political parties in their greed for power (which brings immense loot). Sadly, the coming Beijing Olympics will not enable our political champions to display their prowess. Neither will India's incomparable free media, that great pillar of our democracy, be able to exhibit its dumbing prowess.
Like the froth and foam bubbling over a cesspool, the political arena in again in ferment. The CPI(M)-led Left had suddenly found itself in the position of being able to rail against the USA. Like King Canute, commanding the tide to stop. But the reality is that the CPI(M) is just a criminal mafia pretending to be a political party. All their oh-so-pious pronouncements sound hilarious when juxtaposed with what happens in, through and in the name of the party in its base of power, West Bengal.
If the Left had to pull down the govt - there were many reasons to do this. The current inflation; the farmer suicides; the collapse of public systems; the obscene socio-economic disparities - were all ground enough. If they could be so adamantly against the nuclear deal with the USA, why did they not show that same adamant attitude on matters that affect the daily lives of the masses, those in whose name they claim to act? If the Congress has patently failed in the last 4 years, then so has the Left because they were propping up the govt. They thought they would have power without responsibilities. They thought they would have the cake and eat it too. And now they are the laughing stock of the country, fit to be thrown where they rightly belong, the refuse heap of history.
Thankfully, whatever enabled the CPI(M) to keep returning to power has begun to collapse, and the party is facing one electoral setback after another. It can now only sit back and watch its demise which is unstoppable, like a terminal patient. They are helpless against the poison fruits of all that they sowed and nurtured for so many years.
People here are now talking about the end of Ceaucescu. Ministers in West Bengal would now know that they may be pulled out of their cars and lynched on the streets. By their own party members perhaps, for thus the latter could hope to evade a similar fate and have a chance for a future under the new regime. Ironically, it is only the Constitution and the rule of law that can save the lives of the party leaders from the visceral ire of the people, when they cared a fig for the Constitution and rule of law in all their time in power and rigorously supervised over the erasure of the rule of law.
But the passing of the CPI(M) rule does not signify anything positive in substantive terms. Status quo will be maintained, but with the spoils of power now being taken by the Trinamul. For instance, the auto rickshaw mafia and the private bus mafia and the land development mafia will all continue, but they will owe allegiance to Mamata didi.
At the centre - anything can happen. Ants are in everyone's pants. Everyone has egg on their face. But the only party really gleeful right now, the only one whose stock is set to rise metorically, is Trinamul. With the stock markets in a tail-spin and with inflation shooting, the best investment right now would be on Trinamul. The gates for entry into a share of the spoils from their being in power will be closed very soon.
Mayavati is a prime PM candidate in the next national elections. I have had a feeling for some time that Mayavati would be assasinated, possibly with US involvement.
But who is at the centre - does that matter at all in terms of making a positive difference to the people? With global economic forces at play, what can a national govt of a poor nation do? The current crisis of inflation and the govt's helplessness to deal with it illustrates that. What is more relevant is the spread of militant insurgency, of the naxal-maoist variety. This undermines the state from below, even as its significance is whittled away from above.
The inevitable civil war / showdown between people in India, essentially the haves and the have-nots, comes closer. No more beating around the bush, no more mediation of the state. So, in Calcutta, maid-servants, cycle rickshaw-pullers, drivers etc would ransack their babu-masters' homes and help themselves to the swag. Those who can, will protect themselves in every way they can. The business of security will flourish.