Signs Of The Times

20 AAP MLAs with Manish Sisodiya and Arvind Kejriwal after Delhi HC ruling; Akhilesh Yadav with Mayawati at her residence

By Humra Quraishi

Unsettling developments, to say the least. The man on the road is lamenting and crying aloud: What’s left of our democracy! Perhaps, these cries will compound as we near the upcoming election year – 2019. And with that, witness several rounds of sheer havoc inflicted on whatever remains of our democratic framework. What, with political battles now getting fought on social media. So busy are today’s political rulers in trying to unsettle the ‘other’ that they are least concerned whether the masses are dying of hunger and thirst, and, of course, because of rising un-employment! Where are the jobs, rations or even the rationale for the bogus that’s taking place?

 In fact, right from the summer of 2014 when the BJP came centre- stage, the political mess has been getting messier. Blatant use, rather misuse of the political machinery to grab power. Gone were the traditional notions of governors being non – partisan. The Right- Wing government has been appointing governors with BJP-RSS backgrounders to them. And much along expected lines the BJP appointed governors have been lending a helping hand in government formation!

Taking you somewhat backwards to just about a year back, when soon after the elections in Manipur and in Goa, government formation took place bypassing the people’s verdict. How else would one explain the crucial decisions that were taken by Manipur governor Najma Heptulla and also by Goa’s governor Mridula Sinha. Trampling upon the people’s verdict in those two particular states, they had bypassed the Congress, instead ‘invited’ the BJP and allies for government formation. It was all so very blatant. Buying –selling seemed to be taking place right in front of our eyes. Crores seemed to be transferred, not in cash, but in the form and shape of ministerial berths. Gone were those camouflages. Writ large were the BJP –RSS’s strategic moves and tactics. There was another noticeable offshoot to those dramatic moves. After all, all those who said that get more women into politics as it will cleanse the system, had to keep shut, at least temporarily. To the masses, Najma Heptulla and Mridula Sinha came across less of ‘governors’ and more like political workers. We’d rather have men governors who are strong and straightforward!

And during the recent elections in the North East, BJP held sway not because of the popularity of its divisive politics but on the strength of its strategic partnership with the regional allies and also because of the double or triple standards. Not to be overlooked the fact that during the electioneering campaigns in the North- East, the Right- Wing made promises to send senior citizens of Nagaland on religious trips, all the way to Jerusalem! Blatantly wooing the majority Christian population of Nagaland by setting up a senior citizen board, which would annually select 50 members through lucky draw for a free trip to Holy Land of Jerusalem? This tactic of the BJP was another of those double standards in governance. After all, that just weeks back the Central government scrapped the Haj subsidy for the Muslim community of the country…And whilst on double standards, I ought to mention that chances of getting lynched hold high if you and I were to even spell out the word ‘beef,’ but Right- Wing men hailing from the North East blatantly flaunted their beef -eating ways! How could Central and State level ministers from the North East have spoken of their beef -eating traditions and got away with it, whilst Muslim cattle grazers and traders were lynched in public on the beef alibi!

Getting back to the present day political crisis, if one were to focus on the AAP party and its steady decline, one cannot overlook the role played by the BJP in bringing about dents in the very survival of the AAP party. In the last several months, AAP MLAs are reduced to fighting survival battles, as arrests and warrants hold out! One could write a volume with graphic details how the once robust Aam Aadmi Party, has been left gasping for breath. Its MLAs booked under various clauses, right from holding office of profit to assaulting and threatening administrative heads. Correct me if I’m wrong but today the AAP top brass, that is, those left non–arrested, are preoccupied trying to fight the legal cases slapped on them on the various alibis. All possible alibis except the beef alibi! And in this scenario, how can AAP govern the Aam Aadmi! Or even be expected to reach out to the traders of the capital city, sitting forlorn outside their sealed shops and eateries!

Needless to add that the AAP party has been reduced to such an state of helplessness and chaos because its been getting hounded on any given pretext; perhaps, taught a lesson for daring to defeat the BJP in the last elections.

And though in Uttar Pradesh, BJP’s sway has been somewhat halted by the BSP-SP formidable combination, but worries do hold out because of the expected political intrusions that fascist forces could hold out in the coming months. Worries not just on account of the rising numbers of encounters and encounter killings in the State but also because of the communal divides been ‘made to’ stretch on still further so that low scale rioting prevails, distracting the dying human being from the ground realities. Maar – kaat- dhaars on! Let’s see what more political disasters unfold as fascist agendas hold out.