Saturday, July 10, 2010
Savitri Era Party is the alternative
[Is the middle smoother than a muddle? from M.J. Akbar - Author and Veteran Journalist by M J Akbar Byline: Is the middle smoother than a muddle? Is there middle space in Indian politics? This was the great dilemma before the Socialists in the 1950s and 1960s. The nationalist movement, which kneaded the contours of ideology, did not offer much clarity. … Other Socialists, led principally by Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan and Nath Pai, left the Congress after
became free. … India
There are four models open to non-Congress parties: disparate regional ambitions; the 1967 pattern of a United Front, which was partially successful; the unity of 1977, which was exhilarating while it lasted; and the V.P. Singh balancing act, in which there is an implicit understanding between middle and right, without this being made too obvious to the voter.
There is some evidence that the need for prevarication might be unnecessary. In Bihar Nitish Kumar has managed an extraordinary feat in reshaping the image of the local BJP. He has prevented social conflict and concentrated on good governance, the two fundamental requirements for electoral victory. He is likely to get enough of the Muslim vote to return to power; this, in turn, will propel him towards the focal point of a larger understanding. He was a junior minister in V.P. Singh’s government, which survived with support from both the Communists and the BJP; he clearly learnt far more than his seniors from Singh.
There is middle space in Indian politics, but it is full of potholes. The ride will be bumpy; there might be accidents. But it could still be the pathway to a destination.]
[Protest, softly The opposition betrays an utter lack of conviction in its own rhetoric... Pratap Bhanu Mehta
Tue Jul 06 2010, The writer is president, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi
The pantomime of Indian politics produces yet another paradox. We think that some form of large social protest is necessary. But we also think it is undesirable. …
But while we think protest is necessary, we are also uncomfortable with it. Political parties are often the main conduits of protest, but each has its vested interest and internal contradictions. Each of them has to play the role of both government and opposition.]
Indian society has undergone severe churning during the last decade, and ideological anchorings are in tatters. Savitri Era Party, in this context, enters as the much needed alternative. [TNM]