Come general elections in India and a slew of political light weights enter the dream world of fantasy imagining themselves as part of a new political grouping they call the third front. As per their definition the third front is visualized to stand at ‘equidistance” from both the Congress Party and the BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party). That is where the fantasy lies. Between themselves, the Congress and the BJP have the loyalty of more than 80% population of the country. Both are national parties, while the visionaries of the delusion called Federal/Third Front are either regional parties or even a coalition of sub-regional parties. They neither have a national perspective nor a leader of national stature to form, function and run a federal government successfully and transparently. They are a team of over ambitious politicians, who can go to any extent in serving their self interests by compromising every single prescription of the Constitution of India. They have failed in the past so badly that they have left an India fractured, divided and disintegrated forever. India will never be the India that it was at the dawn of Independence in 1947, defined in writing in the form of one of the most elaborate constitutions of the world, keeping the multitude of problems and variety of aspirations of a vast country rich in a treasure of multiplicity of cultures, languages & religions.
These third front dreamers are organized around one of the many attributes of India as described in the foregoing or in most cases the family name (father, mother, grandfather, father-in-law, mother-in law), popularly termed “dynasty”. It was a term of contempt to arraign the family members of Late Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, when his daughter Indira Gandhi became prime minister, and later her son Rajiv Gandhi did the same. Now the descendants of regional leaders, who prospered under the umbrella of the Congress Party, are raising the bogey of dynastic rule and clamouring for the third front. Others of their ilk are pushing the dynastic rule by promoting their illiterate wife or inexperienced in politics sons to the position of the chief minister, practicing equidistance from every other member of their political party, throwing out of the window every claim to social justice, economic equality, caste, creed or gender equality. When it comes to the loaves of office, it is the family which replaces all pretensions of socialism, secularism, progressivism, nationalism and the over exploited aam aadmi- the common man.
These fronts that crop up either before the elections or after the elections are a political tragedy of the most absurd kind. Many members of the party desert it and fight elections against the official nominee of the party. Even the member parties of such fronts fight elections against each other in what is shamelessly described to be a “friendly fight”. Such friendly fights are between “like minded people”, who are also “secularists”, opposed to “communal forces”. Their success in stitching some kind of a coalition after elections is more disastrous. They have been short lived, short sighted, short on ethics. They entered the worst types of coalitions on standards of ethics, resulting in scandals and scams in an atmosphere of absence of lawful governance. They devastated democratic traditions and conventions. Their contribution was negative only. They failed because of their equidistance from national political parties, perspectives, policies, programmes and people’s aspirations. They were judged harshly by the people obliterating them totally from the national stage and making them either totally irrelevant or regional again. The people must make it clear to these forces in the beginning itself that their designs will not be allowed to succeed. They shall no more be allowed to destabilize the central government impacting the economy, polity or security of the country. The people must create a two party system by exercising a clear choice between the Congress Party and the BJP. As these two parties represent the aspirations of more than 80% of the population clearly, they shall serve the interests of the remaining 20% also in a satisfactory manner. That would eliminate all varieties of extremism, which shall not take roots at the regional level nor affect the evolution of healthy democratic practices in the country.
India of 2014 will need a leadership that is updated and upgraded. The old slogans which fooled the voters earlier are no more effective .The leadership is clearly “old” and unable to cope up with the changes that have already taken place. Their limitation is age. In India politicians never retire. Even when the writing is clear as sunlight, they stick to their elected or nominated positions. That impedes change. Unless the leader is able to fine tune himself with the changing world, he will find himself constrained so much that he will make enemies of his own followers. The old respected Indian tradition of Vaanprastha & Sanyaas needs to be put into practice by our political sages, so that they continue to be venerated. Certainly the present breed of leadership is required to initiate necessary changeover fast, failing which aspirants of the third front or fourth front will muscle their way into positions of power and governance.
This demands an overhaul in the national parties’ strategies. They have fought for far too long and wounded each other seriously enough. They have resorted to unhealthy political rhetoric. Let me ask one question: where do those on one side of the secular divide want to send the so called majority and where do those on the other side want to send the so called minority? All those who constitute “we the people of India” are going to stay here. They are not going anywhere else. They were equally rich or poor under the government of their own religions or castes or regions. That continues even now. That may not change for every one of us across the board unless we establish a government of the same breed of leaders who inspired our freedom movement. The world has changed. Our children are ready to contribute to this change. Their fervor was visible during the Lokpal Bill agitation. Because of bad governance, we are suffering the flight of intellectual as well as financial capital of the country. For this, we are paying very heavy price. We are paying 1000 times more for the products and services made available by such capital when we import them. For developing a strong techno-economic base, we need to harness our youth. They belong to the contemporary knowledge society and are ready to own the responsibilities of leadership. The choice is with the people whether they would like to fritter away their authority by voting indiscreetly or cast the responsibility on the shoulders of one of the national parties. The modern, competent, knowledgeable, skilled and honest to the core candidates decide which party should be trusted. Time for political parties to revamp themselves. This India is different from the earlier one; it is impatient for change. Either the political parties heed or be prepared to become history, like several that have left even not a trace of themselves.
The talk of third front or federal front is sheer humbug floated by puny politicians.