May 17, 2009 1:41:51 am
Before writing one word of this piece I spent many moments staring at my computers smugly blank screen wondering why the results of this Lok Sabha election make me feel so relieved. I am not a supporter of the Congress Party. I blame it for India being a country in which forty-five per cent of children are malnourished. I blame this party for our broken-down infrastructure,our decaying cities and the appalling state of public education and healthcare. I blame this party because it has ruled India for more years than any other. And,because it has got away with its terrible failures by hiding behind the Dynasty. We love our royal family as can be seen from the intense emotions aroused by Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi in hardboiled TV anchors. If they had been less emotional at least one of them should have asked why India was in such bad shape if Dadi,Daddy and Mummy cared so much for the poor.
So why am I happy that the Congress Party is back in Delhi in the strongest position it has been in since Rajiv Gandhi lost the election in 1989? Well,for one reason because I loathe regional parties. The thought of a prime minister of India who would ban computers and English schools (except for his own children) is beyond horrific. Provincial politicians have their uses but they belong in the provinces. For another because I loathe Marxists of every hue. I am delighted that they have been given this huge drubbing in West Bengal and may they never again have the hold over a government of India that they had over the last one. With their hypocrisies and their treacheries they belong in historys dustbin and it is great that they have been put back in there by the voters of Bengal and Kerala. They were personally responsible for stopping the last government from continuing the process of reforming our economy and the best thing Dr. Manmohan Singh did was to put his foot down when they opposed the nuclear deal. If they had their way India would be reduced to being a servant of China as we once were of the Soviet Union.
With Pakistan imploding,Afghanistan in turmoil,Bangladesh on the jihadi path and Sri Lanka in a state of civil war the last thing we need in Delhi is a government in the clutches of Marxists or regional satraps. Just that this is not going to happen is cause enough for relief but there are other reasons why I think the results of this election are good for India. I believe that the Bharatiya Janata Party has long needed a solid kick in the butt. Hopefully this one will be solid enough for its leaders to realise that Hindutva is a boring,burned out idea that died the day the Babri Masjid came down.
To respond to every major national issue by waving saffron flags and setting off on some yatra is pathetic. Not once in this long and dreary election campaign did we hear BJP leaders give us alternative solutions to the big problems that confront us. National security was their pet issue but all they could offer was POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act),an ineffective law that was mostly misused to target Muslims. On poverty alleviation,on education,on healthcare on solving our grim problems of urbanisation we heard nothing from any BJP leader that could be described as a new idea. On foreign policy and on the economy we heard nothing either. If proof were needed that it is time for the aged leaders of the BJP and the RSS to retire,it is the results of this election. Only when there are new,young leaders in charge will there be any chance of the BJP developing into a modern political party that will hopefully be able to challenge the Congress Party in 2014.
So here we are. We now have a government in Delhi that has as full a majority as we have seen in twenty years. It has no excuse now not to deliver. There can be no more vague talk about development and the poor. India is out of time. Let the new government begin by promising that no Indian child will be malnourished by the year 2014. A goal that must and can be achieved. Let it promise real schools and health centres in our villages and cities that do not look like slums. Let it promise real police reforms and a total restructuring of our intelligence services so that no Indian city can be held to ransom as Mumbai was. Let it promise real administrative reforms without which none of the above is possible. This is only a short list of a long agenda.
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