Question: What do the following three instances have in common?
Instance 1: The Sensex has fallen to an eleven month low, and the free falling Rupee shows no signs of a rebound. Moreover, soaring prices in food grains has hurt household budgets. Inflation goes unchecked.
Instance 2: From April 15 to May 5, a platoon of the People Liberation Army of China made itself comfortable in Raki Nula near line of actual control (LAC). This position was subsequently reinforced with trucks and helicopters. The Chinese held firm to the assertion that their forces had not crossed what they perceived as the LAC.
Instance 3: A few short weeks ago, five Indian soldiers were subjected to cold-blooded murdered on the Line of Control by the Pakistan army. This of course, came amidst a full-fledged peace process.
Answer: All three aforementioned instances elicited a less than mediocre response from the UPA government.
The inertia of the ruling party is complete. Its scam riddled record, coupled with its inaction on paramount issues has taken India from a world power aspirant to a laughingstock.
However, it would be disingenuous to assume that nothing shocks the UPA alliance into a reaction. Sangh shocks the UPA; cooked up notions of “saffron terror” gives the UPA a reason to exist, to flap its gums about something, when real issues become too burdensome, too hot to handle.
So, when tales that are usually replete with half-truths, twisted out of context or simply untruths, surface in the media, there is full-throated condemnation by a government that seems eerily silent on almost everything that is real and pressing.
But as expected, A.K. Antony had to be pressured just to hint at the Pakistani military’s involvement in the cold-blooded murders. Its uninterrupted track record of previous transgressions did not stop the government’s jitters about stating simple facts.
The Prime Minister too, couldn’t help himself from doing what his party does best. Last week, while at a function to present Rajiv Gandhi national Sadbhavana award, proclaimed: “defeat communal forces in elections.”
Yes Prime Minister. Why not? Elections are around the corner. So it’s perfectly logical to make noise about something. But the economy keeps slipping. So why not make fixing it one of your primary concerns?
Alas, one mustn’t lose hope in these turbulent times. Maybe, just maybe, the honorable Prime Minister was speaking from the deepest depths of his heart. The party that has had better than six decades to divide society along the lines of caste, creed and region must be unequivocally opposed. Indeed, defeat communal forces in elections.
By Adity Sharma. Adity is a student at St. John’s Law school in New York. Her writings have appeared in HJS, Ivarta and Counterpunch.