The enthusiasm of the opposition parties, in general, and INC’s interim president Sonia Gandhi, in particular, is beyond comprehension after their ruckus thwarted the monsoon session of Sansad. It is not a matter of getting excited; it is of contemplating what they got from the pandemonium. The ailing head of the oldest party patting herself on the back for not letting the parliament function in the name of opposition unity becomes all the more ironic when she invokes democracy as a virtue that she purports to save. It did not occur to any chief minister who attended the hackneyed meeting Sonia Gandhi had called today that one of the states could show India a future that has been tried in the province with spectacular results — the way Narendra Modi was projected for India with Gujarat as a shining example. No wonder, therefore, nothing came of any opposition rendezvous in the past seven years. The refrain of the opposition parties, singing in chorus on such occasions but hardly able to strike pre-poll alliances, is that democracy is ‘in danger’ because of the Modi government.
Earlier this week, Sonia Gandhi had said it was a sin to remain silent when the government was trampling upon fundamental rights and the constitution. She said that there was a need to bring the country’s democracy back in its proper condition. She will do herself a world of good if she realises that, to begin with, the INC itself is in need of an urgent rescue mission, so tired its leaders, as well as ideas, look. She must figure that she has been making similar statements about the Modi government since 2014, as have the opposition’s chief ministers, to no avail. The vacuity of these clichéd statements has reduced the opposition to a butt of jokes in the public sphere. Surprisingly, it strikes none out of Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, MK Stalin of Tamil Nadu, Uddhav Thackeray of Maharashtra and Hemant Soren of Jharkhand that, first, if all of them sound identical, nobody stands out in the crowd of wannabe prime ministers. Second, people have rejected their contentions time and again and, third, the most important point, if Modi is going wrong, they have no idea what is right.
Indian democracy is unfortunate that the voters have no ideological alternative in the political class of socialists and Muslim appeasers. India will, in the foreseeable future, continue to repeat the farce of 1977 where a socialist called Jayaprakash Narayan told a super-socialist Indira Gandhi that she did not know how to rule, and the people bought the specious election pitch! The opposition, far from presenting an alternative agenda, is not even able to drill the idea of choice in the minds of citizens for the simple reason that they are devoid of ingenuity. The politics of protest just for the sake of protest is taking the electoral contest nowhere even as, paradoxically, people recall fondly the difference brought about by PV Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, two defeated and dead statesmen who are mascots of no political party today.