Vantage point

Saturday, August 24, 2002


I know many people who will be aware of a thousand things happening anywhere in the world, but have no inkling of the big upheavels in Indian politics.

"Politics? It's so boring, yaar" is their most common refrain.

While I am no one to judge anyone for their disinterest in a specific field, one thing that politics is not, is, boring.

The BJP, has recently been giving us a lot of food for thought and is keeping us fully entertained.

I have grown up disliking the Congress. I saw and read about how Nehruvian Socialism and Indira's zealous Nationalisation brought the country nothing but corruption and stagnancy. Add to it their various scams. That is why, when the BJP rose to prominence, I expected something different. I did not expect an unrealistic windfall under which poverty would vanish in 5 years. But i expected a start towards the right direction.

How stupid of me!!

After seeing them in power for 3 eyars, I have realised that like C made way for C++, Congress has simply made way for Congress++, that is the BJP. The BJP has all the vices that the Congress has, has committed all the sins the Congress committed, and, in true Home Trade spirit, the BJP is a bit more.

You can see it in their standard defence. Whenever they are asked about anything that went wrong, they will talk of the Congress rule.

q- The tehelka defence scandal?
a- What about Bofors?

q- The Petrol Pump scam?
a- What about Harshad Mehta's suitcase to rao?

q- Gujarat riots?
a- What about 1984 Sikh riots?

This party does not have any answers. It just has questions.

In the process, the BJP ends up looking stupider by the day.

Look at this whole Lyngdoh issue. Modi insinuated that because Lyngdoh was Christian, he was close to Sonia Gandhi, and so he postponed the Gujarat polls. That is so laughable. There are about 2 crore christians in India. Are they all close to Sonia?

Then there is Thackeray. He says he wants to retire from politics because it has become "very dirty" and "there is no scope for anyone who wants to serve the people", blah blah blah. He says this a day after he fired Suresh Prabhu, the Power Minister, who according to anyone and everyone was doing a good job. So why was Prabhu fired inspite of his efforts at reforms?

Thackeray says it is because "he wanted to be called Mr. Clean" and "was not doing his job well". In plainspeak, that means he was working for the people and not for the party. Talk about hypocrisy. The one Shivsainik who was actually working well, was fored for narrowminded reasons. And then Thackeray says politics is dirty.

That's like a pig complaining about how dirty the sty is.

Anyway, the Congress is bad. The BJP is worse. The left? Don't even get me started on the left.
So what does an Indian do when he goes to vote?
An Indian generally does not go to vote. An Indian goes to the US embassy, or the Australian embassy, or the British embassy, or even the Kenyan embassy. He leaves the country.

So where does this leave the country?

In the hands of thugs like Modi and Murli Manohar Joshi. In hands of actors like Advani and Jaitley.

In the hands of pompous hollow masks like Vajpayee.