By S. Sivathasan –
When a nation’s economic priorities demand rearrangement, political philosophy too turns colour. India has come to this nodal point. Kept back by indifference and indecisiveness, rapid growth is seen as the route to compensate for past default. The tempo of political change unleashing itself at the Lok Sabha election is now at fever pitch. For a fundamental change in the destiny of India, firstly party fortunes have to be reordered. In a nation of over a billion people, more than half a billion have begun to wield the powerful vote to realize a future of value and purpose.
The stance they are expressing is determining the strength of political parties. The country can see a drastic difference that is coming about. It is said that in any nation those with heightened social consciousness are about 6%. This translates to a compact entity of 50 million in India, among the most formidable one-sixth of the world’s adults. It is an upheaval spearheaded by them that the world is witness to. What has churned it has been adequately examined. It would suffice now to assess how power will be distributed by a populace that has lost its patience. How much concentration at the centre? What is the geographical spread?
In a constitutional arrangement where the winner takes all, how will that power be converted into authority? When the latter is extended to the far corners, how effective will it be at the extremities, say Kashmir and Kanniyakumari? Power will necessarily be stepped down compared to the generation centre that is Delhi. But how well can the transformers be primed? To what degree can conveyance losses be reduced? Facing a more knowledgeable intelligentsia, these are far greater challenges for Modi to manage, than they were for Nehru or Indira.
To analyze the correlation, first the seat apportionment to parties by the electors needs to be assessed. The most essential departure is to dislodge a party that has governed India for almost 85% of the time since independence. A decisive choice on this occasion falls on a party; the BJP that shared the opportunity for only 10% of the time. A close and sensitive look at the mood of the electorate conveys a very clear image of coming events. What is the pattern in this unfoldment?
In four months of hectic activity, estimate of party strength has yielded space to predictable seat numbers. The writer’s forecast on April 12, for the results on May 16 is: BJP 280 and NDA 305. For INC 90 and UPA 105.
To make a point clear, hypothetical computations are relevant. When the two national parties are considered, the first among the two is tipped to get 280 seats. This is the highest since 1984 for any one of the national parties when Congress obtained 415. Also the highest in 7 successive elections. What the result connotes is that the nation tired of lumbering for 30 years in search of stability for growth, has settled down for a party that has shown promise of dynamism and direction. Secondly the nation has set its face against multi party obesity in favour of a single, trim, monolithic entity for smart steering. Standing on the threshold of a clear majority a month ahead of the day of reckoning, Modi is reiterating the need for 300 seats. The way the subterranean surge is surfacing, this is sure to happen.
The NDA together with UPA would garner 410 is the writer’s forecast. The lowest collected by the two parties at 7 elections was 289. When this is so, the space available to all other parties and independents is getting reduced disastrously to 133 in 2014 from 254 seats in 2004 and 221 in 2009. It is in such a situation of being squeezed out that the so called Third Front which may not get even a fifth of the BJP seats or votes is yet trumpeting to be in the seat of power in Delhi.
When the above configuration unfolds, there will be a great benefit to India’s democracy and state of governance. Over the last quarter century a dismal feature prejudicial to people’s wish has been developing. Popular vote for the national parties waned and that of state parties waxed. This led to opportunistic alliances based on bargaining for partisan, particularist, personal or sectarian considerations. A convincing majority for a single party can end such degeneracy and place governance on an agreeable footing. Reversal of a pernicious trend is now a possibility.
There are cogent reasons for a clear majority for the BJP. The Five State victory of December 8, proclaimed the mood of the nation. The upward curve for the BJP never dipped since then. Swings in states denoted a strong trend with a consistent spread. Larger states like UP, Maharashtra and Bihar are now home to BJP domination. Three other of the larger states; W.Bengal, Andhra and TN are now registering a fair presence. States like Rajasthan, Gujerat and Madhya Pradesh which had a strong presence have now become stronger.
Several parties identified the winning side to go in for alliance. This tempo boosts the numbers for the NDA. To add to all this the organizational verve of the saffron brigade has made its enthusiasm felt. Besides all this is the wealth of time yet left. It is true that nothing succeeds like success.
Political changes, party alignments and election results in Tamil Nadu are of keen interest and concern to Sri Lankans and to Tamils in particular. With alliances formed recently and some which failed to reach fruition, the picture of seat outcome has become clearer.
The writer’s prediction is: AIADMK 18, DMK and allies 12, BJP with allies 9 and Congress nil. After the election what is the position? AIADMK’s support will not be wanted or desired at the centre. Will not be solicited but spurned even when offered. The Himalayan ego of the person concerned is far too insufferable for anybody outside TN. In an ego maniac only the ego suffuses every pore of one’s being and craves to be satisfied. Never ever will SL Tamils feature in, otherwise than to steal a march over rival claimants for popular support. An earthen horse to cross a river is not a judicious choice. All options in the Modi basket with the awakened youth in full alert and in the forefront is a compulsion for the Tamils.
DMK’s taints of corruption, insatiable appetite for filthy lucre and unquenchable opportunism have made it an untouchable in TN and in Delhi. BJP will make its entry in TN, establish a toe hold and make it a foothold at the next election. If it makes a huge success of its tenure in India and impresses its strong presence in TN, it can dispense with the hangers on the way the tadpole sheds its tail as it grows.
The Congress with ignominious lessons taught the hard way will be wiped out. For treating the Tamils to unvarnished cheat and chicanery and most deplorable of all for crafty running and hunting will see elimination. The conspiratorial conduct at the UNHRC in all five years qualifies it for perpetual eclipse and no other. Tamil Nadu is a write off for the Congress and the latter is a complete write off for the Tamils of SL.
The above are the prospects for Tamils that a convincing BJP and Modi victory will spell out. Till an absolutely fresh political formation develops in TN there is no trustworthy party for a central government to rely on. The Tamils in their multi millions who are the source of strength in TN are the steel frame for the SL Tamil cause.
We Tamils have missed opportunities from Donoughmore times to Soulbury days. From 1956 we wanted only complete solutions perfectly worked out, leaving no space for subsequent chiseling or polishing. Any settlement should be instant. So asserting, we have lost 58 years – 1956 to 2014 – of opportunities. Any baby with the slightest imperfection we will throw with the bath water. Since we have done it in the past, we shall do so in the future as it is not wise or proper to forsake tradition. For such a mindset, anything falling short of a predetermined formula is marked out for rejection. ‘Accept and build on’ when understanding and goodwill develop were never in our reckoning. If anyone indicates acceptability he is a traitor.
For want of a strong body of opinion to overwhelm pre-set views, chances were forsaken. In recent times, President Chandrika’s Constitutional Proposals of 1995, were considered good for a fresh beginning. Hon. S. Thondaman while welcoming them instantly was also swift in placing his suggestions for further refinement in writing. Non-acceptance of the proposals publicly by the Tamils was a big miss. The Oslo Formula not getting a studied reception was another. With an all or nothing mental frame we cooked our goose at all times.
We have to get reconciled to the reality that the Tamil Problem is now an intractable one, with international dimensions added. There are no quick fixes. It’s a long haul. Through introspection we have to identify our infirmities and eliminate them. Our minds have to be conditioned for the acceptance of the pragmatic.
Always we had the wise words of Thiruvalluvar in front of us and yet we disdain to note them.
“WEIGH THE PROS, WEIGH THE CONS AND OPT FOR WHAT OUTWEIGHS”