Sunday, May 17, 2009

Resurgence of the India Voter

Hearty congratulations to Dr. Manmohan Singh, and Sonia Gandhi, for the thumping results in the General Elections.

The segmented Indian voter has given a clear mandate against the secularist, and narcissistic forces of the country. Is the Indian voter truly segmented?. Does the dalit appeasement work?.

The changing face of the voter was evident in the initial phase of the campaigning wherein people from rural India were raising their voices against the demi gods of their constituency. There were instances of villages threatening to boycott the elections due to lack of development. The writing was clear on the wall, vote bank politics would take a hit.

General elections 2009, saw the resurgence of the grand old party. The electoral bashing of the regional parties and the opportunistic alliances, the third and the fourth fronts clearly pin points to the emerging face of the voters. Like all elections, there was enough drama in this one too. The shoe throwing incidents, Varun Gandhi hate speech, black money, and mud slinging to name a few.Seems like most of these factors worked in favor of the congress, despite being at the receiving end on more than one occasion. It is quite clear that the pivotal issue in this election was Development, which not many parties realised. They embarked on a flawed election strategy based on the tried and tested formula of divisive politics.

What turned it around for the UPA?

Analyzing the electoral trends across various states, one tends to identify the two decisive forces, were a State Government high on a development agenda, or a Newly instated State Government. The states of Gujarat, Andra Pradesh, Maharastra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh,New Delhi and Bihar corroborates the former argument, while the states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka, J&K ratifies the latter point. The left parties recorded their worst ever performance in the elections owing to anomalies in their policies and an ego centric leader. To large extent the failure of the left parties can be attributed to their central leadership. The people were forced to believe that many reforms brought in by the UPA government could not see light owing to the left parties. The left was seen as a thorn in the flesh of the erstwhile UPA, and they have paid for it. Their performance in their bastions, WB and Kerala needs special mention. In WB, they refrained Buddhadeb Bhattacharya from pursuing his policies, while in Kerala, they neglected VS Achuthanadan's pro people stand (arguable to some extent!!) and has paid the prize for it. The press conference's by the two CM's authenticate my claim. The WB CM was critical at the central leadership's anti-congress stand and the Kerala CM was all smiles at the electoral bashing, and his body language suggested that his stand was vindicated.

UP, the home turf of the SP and BSP, the key state as was suggested by all the news channels turned upon it head. The ground gained by the Congress, still baffles the BJP, BSP and the SP alike. The SP openly endorsed that the presence of a pre poll coalition with the congress could have swept the BSP away. The BJP, still groping in the dark to find a reason for their electoral bashing, blaming Varun Gandhi for his extremist comments which seems to have driven away the muslim votes. After all, How could they have expected to receive the muslim votes by endorsing on a hindutva campaign? The aspirations of Mayawati to become the prime minister too took a hit. Little did she realize that development doesn't come along by building her statues across the state. The state of UP testify Rahul Gandhi's ability as an election strategist. He persuaded the congress to believe that they can go alone in UP, a stand vindicated by the electoral triumph.

The Shoe hurling at the Home Minister as a mark of protest of the Sikh community did create some nerves at the congress headquarters before the elections. The congress had switched to damage control mode and revoked the candidature of the person in question. However the people of Punjab proved that the lack of good governance at the state was the core issue than their sentiment against the anti-sikh riots of 1984.

In this elections verbal assaults were at an all time high. Advani vs Dr. Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi vs Priyanka Gandhi to name a few. The people of India has proved who is weak and who is not. Dr. Singh proved once again to the opposition that 'Singh is King'. He seems to be the dark horse. The people of India has reposed faith on this honest and workaholic Prime Minister. He is neither a crowd puller nor an eloquent speaker like Mr. Modi or Mr. Advani, but has the qualification to run this secular country. The party has done away with their dynastic politics by taking charge as Prime Minister in 2004. The endorsement of a democratic setup within the party too has helped in that regard. The congress governments of the past were tainted by the charges of corruption, but the previous UPA saw some of the honest and trusted politicians donning the mantle as Cabinet Ministers. Critics often point that congress is an old man's party. The emergence of Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot has brought in the much needed youthful exuberance to the party. What really turned it around for the UPA is the NREGA, and the farm loan waiver. A right mix of pro poor and corporate policies helped the party to garner votes from the various sections of the society across caste and party lines.

General Elections 2009, has drawn to a close. The Indian voter has simplified numbers game. This election saw the prime ministerial ambitions of many leaders taking a hit. The beginning of the election season the emergence of many potential king makers. As the season draws to a close, it is evident that there would be no more horse trading or king makers to destabilise the government. I hope a stable UPA government under the leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh can take our country to greater heights.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

True Faith

Stress is indeed too stressful to handle. So like most of us, i too resorted to reading books on spirituality. While skimming through the pages of one such book, I came across a short story. The crux of the story was 'True Faith in God'. This story sparked of an emotional turmoil, and questioned my faith in god. 

The story:

An aethist was walking downhill. He slipped, and was falling into a deep gorge. Luckily for him, he caught hold of a twig and was hanging. The man clinged on to his life, and out of his desperation, thought of praying to god.

He said, "My lord, I shall serve you for the rest of my life"

There was no response

He continued,"I shall spread your idealogies for the rest of my life"

No response

He continued further,"Oh Lord, I shall be your firm believer for the rest of my life".

A deafening noise broke the silence, and it said, "Son, I am impressed by your words. I shall help you out".

He said,"Help me, my lord".

The almighty said, "Son, you shall leave your hold on the twig".

Amused and disgusted, he said "I am no fool to do that".

I presume, dear reader that the moral of the story is self explanatory.

@The Aethist Reader:

I suggest  you should skip the rest of the article. 

In times of distress we turn to the almighty but the extent of our devotion is questionable. We never realise the essence of true faith. We tend to blame fate for whatever happens to us. If we start realising we are part of his script, we can bid adieu to our worries. We can leave everything at his disposal and wait. A point to be clarified here is, you need to do your part and leave the rest on god. If things don't go according to your plan, it simply means the plans are out of synch.

Failures are part of life. Just as there is day and night, there are failures and successes in life. Neither be taken aback by a failure, nor be too thrilled by success. Life hinges on this balance. Realise this divine principle and happiness will be there for the taking. 

FYI: I have had a mixed bag of success and failures. I have realised the essence of it and I am at peace now. No more worries or fear of failure haunt me any more.