Saturday, August 07, 2010

Good politics is the art of conflict management

[Snap out of denial IE: Thursday 5 August '10 Pratap Bhanu Mehta Our crises need political solutions; those with political capital must act. ...
Good politics is the art of conflict management; good politicians are masters at reconciling differences, inspiring trust. You often see the spectacle of the indefatigable Pranab Mukherjee fighting one fire after another. But it points to a deep problem the Congress has: it has no genuine politicians left. Sonia Gandhi has authority. But it has to be said that this is an authority studiously cultivated by distance and by avoiding issues that truly matter; its sole concern seems to be that no shadow is cast on her power. But this is not political capital that is ever used for resolving tricky national issues. …
The scandal of Indian politics is not simply that the prime minister is politically weak; it is that those who are politically strong are constantly running away from political responsibility. This is diminishing the ability of the government to do anything imaginative. It is also founded on the illusion that politics can be detached from policy. …
Second, it conveys the idea that the prime minister’s dreams of a more humane and liberal Indian state have no political traction. His party and colleagues either don’t understand, or don’t care. This is just one example of the more general message: the central ideas the prime minister touts have no political backing; and what the real political powers think remains obscure. This prevents the government from taking any political risk that could bring long-term dividends. The writer is president, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi express@expressindia.com]

Manoj Das Gupta is a captive of a Kafkaesque clique, and his fabled “restraint” and “dignified silence,” like Sonia and Manmohan, is admittedly a fa├žade. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry needs a dozen politicians to set its house in order. "A week is a long time in politics." [TNM]   

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