Parliament logjam and political blame games

The monsoon session of Parliament appears to be yet another washout. A determined and unrelenting Opposition wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s response in what it describes as ‘genocide’ against the tribal Kuki community in Manipur. But, can they substantiate their serious charge and gain any political mileage in the upcoming state and the next year’s Lok Sabha elections is too early to predict. On the other hand, the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too is uncompromising arguing that when Home Minister Amit Shah, who is responsible for internal security, is willing for a debate, why the Opposition is insisting for PM’s statement? Thus far, no end in sight for the slug fest between the newly-renamed Opposition alliances called Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A.) and the NDA, blaming each other responsible for the mayhem in Manipur, a state sharing border with Myanmar and China. Each of them also tries to justify their stand quoting Parliament precedents. As a result, the treasury and Opposition are stalling the business of the House, causing colossal loss to the public exchequer, so unabashedly considering the people of this great democracy are fools. Ironically, the media too is divided virtually, leading to further confusion. Added to that is the videos on social media, which make things worse as armed with those videos the supporters of either side hold brief for their respective political identities. The latest being the video that went viral on the eve of the commencement of the Parliament session, in which two women were seen  paraded naked after being dragged out of their homes by frenzy mobs and  gang-raping them.

It not only ignited tempers high but also helped to score some brownie points against the ruling NDA. What the Congress-led Opposition failed to realize is that there are no takers for their effort to paint the Manipur mayhem as a ‘pre-planned’ genocide. Reason: Their refusal to accept similar genocide in the predominantly Muslim state of Jammu and Kashmir against the Pandits or people of the Hindu faith. Their protests against the film, ‘Kashmir Files’ on that genocide also expose their duplicity on such condemnable incidents happened since independence. That too, under its dispensation at the Centre! And the recent incident for which the Congress cannot exonerate itself from the lynching of sadhus in Maharashtra, where it was part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. These two incidents were established with concrete proof that they were organized crimes perpetrated while the Congress was in power. Why these two, there are umpteen such incidents in which the Congress got exposed of its follies for its appeasement politics of Muslims since independence.

And the Congress’ selective amnesia is well known to the Indian electorate and that’s the reason why that party is being rejected in almost all electoral battles since 2014. Of course, in any such public ire, there will be exceptions and the decaying party’s recent fluke election victories in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka cannot help regain its overall lost credibility. This is evident from the chinks already surfaced in I.N.D.I.A. It is no denying fact that their coming together was only with the sole agenda to protect themselves from extending some time to go to jail as the Central agencies are closing in on various money laundering cases, besides their hatred towards Modi. But, their effort to rename it as I.N.D.I.A. to derive some political benefits appears to have got shattered with the Prime Minister’s scathing attack. While addressing his party MPs of both Houses of Parliament, the PM said the new alliance won’t make any difference and went on to compare it with the East India Company (through which the colonial Britishers’ invaded and ruled the country over 300 years), or the terror group Indian Mujahideen, to drive home his ‘point.’ Added to that is the C-Voter survey which gave no reprieve to I.N.D.I.A. as it showed Modi’s popularity among electorate at 57 per cent.

Thus far, the present Parliament logjam is viewed as an attempt by the Opposition to save their skin, as the debate on Manipur mayhem may open a Pandora’s Box and get exposed of the past misdeeds of Congress. Manipur has got statehood on January 21, 1972 under the North-East Area (Re-organisation) Act 1971.Those who knows history cannot dare deny the divisions between the two predominant communities – Kukis and Meiteis – in Manipur are not born during the present BJP dispensation, but even before the state was formed. The Congress and the Left parties which ruled the state cannot shirk their responsibility in precipitating the conflict for their political considerations. And everyone knows that the Congress and Communists are two sides of the same coin – that appeasement of Muslims to pursue their vote bank politics for survival. However, their dangerous politics now appears to have been hijacked by Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh. That the so-called secular parties, especially the regional satraps, too are desperately trying to use this appeasement formula, to retain or sustain in power, is now established beyond doubt, with few exceptions like the Biju Janata Dal of Naveen Patnaik in Odisha.

In fact, the Congress and the Communists are scared that their past misdeeds in Manipur may get exposed, if a comprehensive debate in Parliament is allowed. Especially, how the Congress has neglected the northeastern states and allowed the Christian missionaries to carry out large-scale conversions, destroying the age-old traditions and customs of these tribes. Not only that, but also continuing to extend reservations to those tribes who embraced other faiths. This annoyed those who want to remain Hindus and practise their faith despite enticements by foreign-funded missionaries to get converted. Actions of the then Congress and Communist governments in the state also led to insurgency abetted by Myanmar and China. The Kukis, who live in Hilly areas, got logistic support from across the border to attack and embarrass the Meiteis residing in the plains. And those clashes got sharpened between the two predominant sects, ever since a nationalist party likes the BJP stormed into power in 2017. And, the BJP government not only tried to take corrective measures but also restrained the insurgency and drug trafficking in the state. It also succeeded to bring down cross-border terror to a great extent. Knowing well that a debate in Parliament may let the cat out of the bag in Manipur, the Opposition seems to be fighting a losing battle, as it did just before the 2019 general elections on the Goods and Services Tax and demonetization issues. And pollsters are projecting a dooms day for I.N.D.I.A., which is what makes the Opposition more restless these days and people, by and large, are naive to this fact. And Modi’s return to power in 2024 now looks a certainty.