Political chaos on the cards

Ranabir Ray Choudhury | Updated on March 08, 2018

Rising up against corruption.

Regional forces will have a bigger say than ever.

In India, 2014 promises to be the year of the politician. A coalition at the Centre is again on the cards, the only difference being that it is likely to be disparate, with smaller parties carrying more weight.

The question that comes up again is: Where will all this political disparateness take us? On the economic front, will it get us out quicker from the present rut? This can only happen if there is well-thought-out policymaking marked by purposive implementation. ill a coalition government be able to deliver the sort of economic governance required at the moment?

The experience of the 1990s suggests that this may not be the case unless the big brother in the coalition effectively calls the shots. This is easier said than done.

Political low

There can be no two views on the fact that the quality of Indian politics has deteriorated. What this means is that the “level” of coalition politics too will sink, the inference being that the Lok Sabha election promises an even less efficient government in New Delhi. This is not to suggest that this will lead to a reversal in, say, the current account deficit which has been improving in recent months. That progression will be maintained because it depends on a number of factors beyond the control of the Government. But there is little doubt that the intrinsic efficiency of governance will be affected adversely by regional pulls and pressures, and will make a serious impact on India.

Take, for example, the issue of corruption. The current crop of politicians, with honourable exceptions, seem to think that whatever they say is lapped up unquestioningly by the people, which, of course, is far from the actual state of affairs.

Derailment threat

The problem is that another bout of coalition politics may derail the ongoing “real” campaign against corruption, which the electorate has given shape to in the form of the Aam Aadmi Party’s victory in the Delhi Assembly election. This would be a tragedy.

Alternatively, a spell of coalition rule at the Centre could strengthen the hands of the anti-corruption forces by exposing even further the true face of conventional Indian politics.

What all this means is that 2014 may not be just another year in the history of independent India. It could well provide an opportunity for the people countrywide to back both Anna Hazare’s campaign and Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP more forcefully, which would do a world of good for the future of the nation.

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Published on December 31, 2013
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