Where’s the Opposition?

An integral part of a functioning democracy is the Opposition. It’s the Opposition’s responsibility to raise public’s issues because, let’s face it, the ruling party doesn’t need these issues until the next elections. Issues are nothing but pesky distractions for the governing party, well if avoided and better if managed it into being yesterday’s news. So, if the opposition isn’t performing it’s role in making the governing party’s reign difficult, does the system continue to be a functioning democracy?

Women's Rally
Politics – Will it ever be a social movement?.

Some ideologies are brandished best by parties who are perennial Opposition backbenchers. The Communist parties of India and the Janata Party of yore are both good examples of this. In both their cases their grassroots organizing capabilities and their internal functioning of raising pertinent issues and agitating for their causes were always encouraged. The central functionaries of both these parties would not try to control such activities, merely bless them. As a result they would prove extremely effective in making the job of governance as difficult as possible. I remember the days when ‘bandhs’ and political unrest because of price rise, shortage of commodities, transport woes, etc. were monthly happenings. Everybody argued, only if the Opposition was a little patient. Only if government was allowed to govern then the public services would be timely and efficient.

Back then, politics was as close to being a social movement as my generation has ever seen.

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India-Pakistan relationship – are we wishing for the stars?

Pakistan’s blind side” is the title of the editorial piece from Mr. Shashi Tharoor’s desk, arguably the most famous Indian diplomat, owing his reputation to years of service in the U.N. He is now an M.P. representing a constituency of Kerala.

The piece does not shed any new light on the state of affairs between the two neighbours, neither does it offer any innovative proposals. All opinions were paraded as if it were an imaginary line-up of the usual suspects. It would paint an even wry picture if you could conjure up the expressions on the faces of the characters in the line up of the poster for “The Usual Suspects”. India’s impotence at pressing it’s advantage of being powerful among the two can be very easily identified as a character in this line up. Pakistan’s suppressed acceptance of Jinnah’s failed dream but defiance against admitting so could be another. The list would go on.

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