The Fight for opposition space in India
Over the decades after India gained independence, the political choice of the country remains firm. It is the Indian National Congress that they want, just like Russians and Chinese love their Red parties. The fact that the INC has the media dangling from its pockets like loose change cements its position in the Indian political theater. Add to that, love for royalty among the ordinary folks who still live in the times of rajas and maharajas.
But what is going for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is that his lust for power is so great that he is playing the crony capitalism game quite well. Corruption is at its peak and the corporate India which is benefiting from this, is overwhelmingly supporting Dr. Singh. Take the example of how telecom companies conspired in the 2G spectrum scam. Or, new age leaders like Nandan Nilekani, leading dubious projects like Adhar, gulping down crores of taxpayer money. So INC is at comfortable advantage.
Problems are arising now for opposition space in Indian Politics. Since the early 90's the BJP tried to be clear that it occupied the no. 2 position. But in recent times, the struggle has started. Now Nitish Kumar wants to project himself as the next possible PM. Naveen Patnaik from Orissa and J. Jayalalithaa conspired to fix among themselves who the next President of India should be. Ultimately, the BJP had no choice but to tow their line. Anna Hazare and co. tried to wrest the opposition space but failed. Mainly because they were portraying an idealistic viewpoint in the audience of heavily corrupted populace. You just don't push around combs to bald people. Baba Ramdev and Arvind Kejriwal are now trying a new product mix.
But all this is happening too close and too fast. In a matter of months, we saw the diminishing power of Anna movement, rise of Ramdev and Kejriwal, and other smaller parties, who were earlier too silent now making a huge impact on Presidential polls. In the recent month, we saw BJP making a massive comeback, cornering the govt. in the coal scam. The rush for the opposition to INC is getting intense.
Good news however, has come from parties like SP, BSP and Trinamool. They enjoy huge support among masses and have clearly put themselves up for sale for the highest bidder. They just sit quietly, listen to all sides, and the one that shows the most profit, they quickly jump on that wagon. Mostly its the ruling party who has deep pockets filled with money and who won't even hesitate to sell the country in totality if a neat profit could be made. (No, Indians wont complain, we only grumble never complain)
Lets see how it plays out in 2014. INC may corner the top spot, but will the dreams for a third from ever get fulfilled? Or will BJP make a comeback accommodating the growing ambitions of its friends. Whichever way it plays out, India's feudal system is getting worse than ever. Huge gaps will come between the center and states and states and states. Corruption is going to escalate. Nothing that the Indians don't deserve or have brought on themselves. In a democracy, we don't leave our fates in hands of God but on our voter slip.