Bizarre Politics of Ganges Plain

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(Brig (retd) GB Reddi)

The recent political developments in the States of Delhi, U.P and Bihar – astride the Ganges, the most sacred river to the Hindus and a life line to millions – are truly bizarre, extraordinarily disgusting and disturbing.

Today, the plains of Ganges are mired all over again in treachery and intrigue of the most heinous kind reminiscent of Mahabharata era. The absence of sacrifice or accommodation in sharing power even among kith and kin is appalling.

Is it the CURSE inherited from the historic lineage of the Ganges plains?

The Ganges is ranked the fifth most polluted river in the world today. Perhaps, polluted politics – corrupt, criminal and most barbaric – of the three States being enacted on sacred Ganges river banks could also find a top place in world ranking.

How can political farce being enacted day in an out, based on divisive and appeasement politics, resulting in governance paralysis ever lend to economic development and social cohesion and harmony?

The Ganga, “Nehru wrote in his will, “is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her racial memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India’s age-long culture and civilization, ever-changing, ever-flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga.”

Nehru’s soul must be ruminating over the dreams of Ganges today not only over its polluted waters  endangering 140 fish and 90 amphibian species, but rank bad polluted politics of the three States threatening peace and security of people residing in the three States.

The Aam Admi Party led by self styled anarchist Arvind Kejriwal, the Samajwad Party (known derisively as “Pariwarvad Parry” with almost 10 members of the family in the highest political positions with the Netaji Mulayam Singh Yadav as its Supremo and the Nitish Kumar and Laloo Prasad Yadav coalition in Bihar are hogging limelight in the entire media spectrum for all wrong reasons.

“We the People” are sentimental and emotional bound by sectarian interests. People fail to understand the games played by political leaders in pursuit of status quo ante in the name of democracy. People fail to realize that crooks criminals and corrupt masquerading as leaders can ever make vote face and become enlightened self sacrificing leaders overnight.

Ipso facto, “Neo-Maharajah’s” have replaced the British colonial masters and feudal chieftains.  They are seeking accommodation to share the spoils in the name of governance and rule of law.  But, their wily efforts to accommodate each other are increasingly getting exposed by the partisan media thereby escalating hostile public opinion. Politics of intrigue and treachery are on grand display.

Who said that there is democracy in India? It is “Dynastic inheritance” that governs India. Why single out the “Ghandy’s Dynasty” alone? Take a look at the wide array of “Dynasties” all over modern India.

The “Dynasties” include: “Abdullah and Mufti in J & K; Kairon, Badal and Patiala in Punjab; Lal’s (Devi Lal, Bhajan Lal, Bansi Lal), Chautala and Hooda in Haryana; Ghandy and Dikshit clan in Delhi; Yadav clan in UP and Bihar; Mukherjee and Banerjee clan in West Bengal; Gogoi, Saikia, Hazarika in Assam; Patnaik, Mohapatra, Singh Deo and Satpathy in Odisha; Reddy, Rao and Naidu in Andhra and Telangana; MGR, Karunanidi, Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, Hegde, Urs,  Gowda, Bangarapa, Yeddurapa, Reddy etc., in Karnataka; Chauhan, Pawar and Patil in Maharashtra, Patels in Gujarat, Scindia in Rajasthan and so on.

Ironic, but how true it is,  the Gangetic Plain that was once the centre of most powerful empires like the Maurya and Mugnai Empires, which shapes the course of politics today has become the curse of modern India. No more, the Gangetic plain is known for its economic prosperity and cultural glory that attracted distant travelers from corners of the world; but represents the core of BIMARU States.

All past inherited good lineage stands woefully defaced. New Delhi has acquired to its credit many derisive labels: “City of Dalals”; “Capital of Corruption”; “Capital of Rapes”; and “Capital of Epidemics” today.  In retrospect, New Delhi has become a “Diseased Capital”, more aptly, “Diseased society or civilization.”

Governance in the three states stands virtually paralyzed due to bad or insane politics. In Delhi, the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister and other Ministers are absent on either due to illness or on foreign and electoral duties in other states. So also, two Mayors of Delhi are on foreign tours. And the Lieutenant Governor has been recalled and assumed duty.

The State Government is indulging in “Blame Game Politics” against the Central Government, the Lieutenant Governor and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi ruled by the BJP. Its whole attempt is shift the accountability for all ills on others, but claim credit for the good, if any.

In the largest State of Uttar Pradesh, the ugly family feud in the “Yadav Clan”, although temporary truce reached due to compromises brokered behind the scenes, has almost derailed semblance of “Good Governance.”

In the State of Bihar, the release on bail of Mohammad Shahabuddin, the Don and the faithful of Laloo Prasad Yadav of the RJD, accused in a large number of cases, by the Patna High Court has made a mockery of criminal justice system in the country.

Nitish Kumar, supposed to be a challenger to Modi, position as the Chief Minister, stands compromised with the “Bihar Don” openly challenging his authority by swearing allegiance to Laloo Prasad Yadav who is also a political convict.

The fate of the “Bihar Don” to be decided by the Supreme Court is bound to create a rift between the Nitish Kumar and Laloo Prasad Yadav. And, Bihar politics can never be the same as before is most likely.

With the three States politically in total disarray, J & K on the boil, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu locked in a bitter fight on Cauvery Waters, and the wholesale defection of the Congress Party in Arunachal Pradesh, the future of Indian appears quite bleak and grim politically.

In retrospect, insane or cut throat politics is a common feature inherited from India’s historic past. By coincidence or convergence of gaining political freedom from the yoke of colonial slavery, different cultural nationalities united under a single flag. Ipso facto, what had been a morass of 538 princely states alongside the main British Indian Presidencies and Provinces became a unified country on attaining independence.

De facto, India is a multination state attempting to promote modern Indian nationalism. Modern India is experiencing raucous politics due to its phenomenal inability to manage internal contradiction arising out of multination State.

Even before modern Indian nationalism – the belief that your fate is bound up with your nation and your fellow citizens – has lost its sway. The collective “Indian Spirit” of multiple nationalities is rapidly fading away what with a bitter fight for power, status and wealth between status quoits and pro-changers.

“Individual Spirit (I, Me and Myself)” is irretrievably replacing “Collective Spirit (We, Us and Ourselves)” of freedom movement.

It is the real dilemma that confronts “We the People”. People and the society at large will have to rescue the nation. Left to political leadership, they would recreate modern India on the 538 Neo-Maharaja States like under the British colonial era.

The idea of India as a nation – of many nations each with different interests espousing a variety of ideologies – culturally and linguistically diverse is today under seizing from internal threats. How modern India’s course would traverse in posterity rests squarely on the sagacity and will of political leadership.

People voted for strong and decisive leadership at the central level to liberate them from the inherited “Dynastic Inheritance” syndrome. But it appears forlorn hope due to inability to manage political contradictions arising out of confrontations of raucous federalist system.

Awake and arise “We the People” of India.

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