Thursday, April 21, 2016

Nature and Trends of Indian Politics

Politics always baffles, Indian politics more so. There is a French saying which translated in English states " Everything is always very difficult in politics." The coming to power of Narendra Modi as the PM of India has made Indian politics more exciting with his calls like 'Congress Mukt Bharat' (Congress-free India). The recent disclosures in Ishrat Jahan case, Malegaon and Samjhauta blasts have brought to the fore the confrontationist nature of Indian politics and rigging of institutions by successive Congress governments has become a common knowledge. The impact of Social Media is also changing the nature of Indian polity. Now the probability of India being a participatory democracy is much than ever before.
Politics is a fundamental human activity. Through politics authoritative allocation of values for a society is made and general arrangements of a society are attended to. In ancient India, unlike Greece, politics wasn't accorded an autonomous sphere. Politics, like everything else, was governed by Dharma. During the medieval period and the rule of East India Company people remained indifferent and apathetic o politics and put all its efforts to preserve what it considered was its Dharma. During the British rule, and with the spread of English education, some people came in contact wih the Western ideas about politics. The Western idea of politics has two traditions - one as a struggle for power and the other as an instrument to manage societal affairs.

After independence, under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress set the ideal of modernizing India. In order to modernize, seven national goals were set. These were : national unity, parliamentary democracy, industrialisation, socialism, development of scientific temper, secularism and non-alignment. Prof Bhikhu Parekh has described this idea of India the Nehruvian model. The Constitution of India as framed by the Constituent Assembly is in harmony with these goals. However, it should be pointed out that nation-building and economic development were the twin goals of all newly emerged nations. Socialism is now considered an albatross round the neck of development. These ideas were to be translated into practice through the instrumentality of politics, but the nature of Indian politics made their realization difficult, if not impossible. Let us examine the nature and trends of Indian politics. These can be put as

1) Clash between Modernity and Tradition - Political schizophrenia; three languages of Indian politics -Traditional, Modern and Saintly;
2) Democratic & Federal foundations of politics - the Constitution;
3) Politics as an Instrument of Socio-Economic change, political development and personal aggrandizement;
4) Personalised politics;
5) Lack of ideological commitment among leaders - computerised politics. #PrashantKishore phenomenon;
6) Erosion of Moral Values;
7) Five Scourges - Casteism, Communalism, Corruption, Criminalization and Conspiratorial politics;
8) Influence of Money-bags;
9) Regionalism;
10) Linguistic Fanaticism;
11) Violent politics - confrontationist politics, secessionist politics;
12) Devaluation of Institutions;
13) Centre-State schism;
14) Coalition politics;
15) Populist politics;
16) Desire for short cuts in politics - politics of Amendments, Reservation;
17) General Apathy of the Masses  - subject political culture;
18) Growing Rural Influence;
19) Unstable Party Structure;
20) Dysfunctional Role of Pressure Groups.

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