Friday, January 8, 2010

Glimpses of India’s politics – 2000 to 2009

It’s a brand new year and also a brand new decade. This post is a compilation of what I felt were the most important events of Indian politics and matters that affected Indian politics in the previous decade.

- Flight IC814 Hijack
Certainly the most difficult time for the BJP led NDA govt. I still can’t understand how the flight was allowed to fuel up and leave Indian soil. Released terrorists have since then planned and executed major terror attacks against India. The incident came back to haunt L.K Advani in the 2009 general election.

- The Godhra Riots
I won’t take sides on a sensitive issue as this. But this certainly changed NDA’s composition. A lot of BJP’s allies deserted them citing this as the cause resulting in a very weak NDA fighting a strong opposition in the 2004 election. The riots also set the Indian media against the BJP. The BJP is certainly paying a price for this.

- The rise of the 24 Hour News Channels
I still remember the days when NDTV news was aired between 9 and 10 PM on Star Plus. I watched it regularly. The 24 hour news channels have ushered in a new style of news reporting. They added to the existing chaos of the 26/11 attacks ! We saw news reporters (famous ones !) troubling already grieving families , distracting the police with incessant queries etc etc . But at the same time , Ruchika’s family could have never got our support without the help of the media! Great job guys. We also see news channels favouring certain political parties ! So what has all this led to ? An overdose of information from which we need to intelligently select valuable and right information.

- Sonia and Rahul Gandhi revive the Congress party
The congress fought and won the 2004 election thanks to a super human effort from these individuals. Smart choice of alliance partners also helped. Can never forget 13 May 2004, the day when the result was announced and I was stunned to see the NDA lose. The media was harping on the loss and since I have been a big fan of Vajpayee never accepted the defeat.

- Pramod Mahajan Dies
The untimely death of Pramod Mahajan left a big void in the BJP. He was the man touted to be PM in waiting. The man who changed the shape of the telecom sector in India , forged a great alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra was no more. We certainly lost a great leader.

- Nitish Takes Over Bihar and Modi drives Gujarat
JD(U) and BJP rode to power in Bihar ending the Lalu Prasad era ! Nitish revived a state which was known for lawlessness. Kudos to the JD(U)-BJP government for having done a great job in Bihar. 11% growth is commendable. At the same time Narendra Modi rode BJP to a second victory in Gujarat. He was helped on the way by Sonia Gandhi’s “Maut Ke Saudagar” speech and by some excellent development measures that he implemented. I would certainly rate him as one of the most intelligent and hardworking chief ministers.

- PM Manmohan Singh drives the Indo US Nuclear deal
PM Manmohan Singh risked the life of his government to ensure the success of a deal that he believed was needed for the country. The country stood behind him and watched with awe a very intelligent man negotiate with his allies , convince his party members and wrestle his opponents to finally taste success.

- Birth of the MNS .
The birth of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has certainly changed Maharastra’s political scene. The BJP and Shiv Sena have a big chunk of their vote bank to the MNS. This change in dynamic ensured the victory of an underperforming government ! I still cannot believe that the Congress was never punished by the people of Maharashtra for 26/11/ They seem to be very benevolent !

- 2009 Elections and the end of the Advani Era
The BJP lost the 2009 elections and the party was at a crucial juncture. It was imperative that they next generation of BJP leaders took over the reins of the party and drove its growth. The BJP in the 90’s was the party of the Aam Aadmi and somehow they have managed to throw it away. It is important that they revive themselves. A true democracy needs a healthy competition among intelligent politicians with diverse ideologies. I look forward to this in the second decade !

- Shashi Tharoor and the entry of the intelligentsia into Indian politics
Successful and Intelligent men such as Rajiv Pratap Rudy of the BJP and Shashi Tharoor of the Congress have entered politics. We always hoped that we are ruled by really intelligent people. We have made a beginning and I hope the trend continues in this decade.

- Telengana and the division of India
The decade ended with major protests for and against the creation of Telengana. This led to several groups voicing their opinion for the reorganization of several areas into new states. Ghorkhaland , Vidharbha , Coorg are some of the regions I can remember. A Chinese analyst wrote that splitting India into smaller states would ensure its deterioration. He must certainly be smiling !

India’s democracy is past its nascent stage. It is high time our political parties align themselves on an ideology rather than on religion or caste. This is imperative to our success and I hope we succeed.


raajeshar said...

You forgot to mention the rise and fall of Pam as a leader :-)

Vijay said...

Nice Abstract. Liked the way its written.

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