Third Front: Sisyphus Syndrome & A Running Tragedy The Regimes Of National Front And United Front Were Politically Unstable, Economically Chaotic, Socially Explosive
In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a soldier who was condemned for a punishment to roll a huge boulder atop a hill. Every time he almost went to the top of a hillock pushing the boulder, it used to roll down for one reason or the other. He had to start all over again to roll the boulder atop the hill. That he never succeeded needs no mention.
Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and leaders of Left parties besides those of the non-BJP and non-Congress elements—Left, secular and democratic forces—have come together to “erect” the moth-eaten concept of a Third Front government. It is for sure that this Third Front is nothing but the proverbial Sisyphus Syndrome, which has neither any scope nor intrinsic positive potential to become a reality. Along with Gowda, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has teamed up with the Leftists in this “extravagant exercise”, which is going to be an “utter futility”. It is pertinent to mention that it was Jayalalithaa who brought down the NDA government headed by AB Vajpayee in 1999. It is also equally pertinent to mention that her party, AIADMK, has declared her to be the PM’s nominee, should the Third Front come to power. Where will that leave Gowda, who still nurses the ambition to “rise from the ashes”? What happens to Mulayam Singh Yadav and Nitish Kumar, who are dream-king, worming their way into 7 Race Course Road?
Having said that, for many of us who keenly watch Tamil Nadu politics, Jayalalithaa’s, rather surprise, decision to join hands with the Leftists in an attempt to “resurrect” the Third Front is “more a clever and deep-rooted strategy with a long range vision” and not borne out of any conviction. The strategy is to make sure that the DMK does not warm up with the Third Front. The DMK, it is already known, has decided not to join hands with the Congress. Before the DMK could worm its way towards the Third Front, the AIADMK, by announcing electoral pact with the Leftists, has effectively thwarted and stalled future efforts, if any, of the DMK to cosy up with the Third Front. This is a carefully crafted strategy evolved by Jayalalithaa. Jayalalithaa’s calculation is that the DMK, having burnt its boots with the Congress, will be forced to go towards the BJP, which, in that event, would make the minorities rally solidly behind the AIADMK. The overall objective of the AIADMK is to make DMK neither here nor there. The expulsion of MK Alagiri is a great boon for the AIADMK, as he is likely to cut into the DMK votes, thus paving the way for AIADMK to sweep the polls.
Except for mouthing their tired, failed and moth-eaten rubbish ideology of providing an “alternative to communal forces,” this Third Front has no positive agenda as well as an all-acceptable leadership with clarity and conviction. Every one of them—be it Leftists, SP or JD(S) or JD(U)—has been rank opportunist (politically promiscuous is the more appropriate word), who, at one point in time or the other, has taken brazenly unscrupulous and patently immoral stance that would be politically and electorally convenient to them. Who does the Leftists, Gowda, SP and JD(U) consider the communal forces? Only the BJP and the Sangh Parivar and not the Congress and other parties! So it only means that the so-called proposed Third Front mooted by Gowda and company is a platform for BJP baiters, which, eventually, may include the Congress also in the next coming days. Is there anything more than what the eye meets in the fact that both JD(U) and SP have not submitted their dissent note in the 2G spectrum scam to the JPC? Their silent on the issue of this monumental corruption is eloquent. It tantamounts to supporting the Congress.
Except for the Left parties and the SP, the other parties—JD (U), JD(S), AIADMK—have been with the BJP in one place or the other and at one point in time or the other. Nitish Kumar broke away from the NDA very recently, who is now singing tunes that is music to please the Third Front leaders. JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda, the self-styled champion of farmers and secular forces, was instrumental in bringing BJP to power, thanks to his “Dhritrashtra” love towards his son HD Kumaraswamy. The hara-kiri at the time of handing over power in October 2006 on the basis of the 20:20 formula enabled the BJP to come to power with a simple majority. That the BJP lost power solely due to its own folly is a subject which is not related to this story. But the sole responsibility and main culprit of enabling BJP to hold the levers of power is none other than the JD (S) of HD Deve Gowda.
Deve Gowda’s political promiscuity is something unique. He was a partner of the Congress government in Karnataka between 2004 and 2006 with Dharam Singh as Chief Minister and Siddaramaiah as Deputy Chief Minister. Suddenly one day, his son HD Kumaraswamy joined hands with the BJP to become Chief Minister with BS Yeddyurappa as his Deputy. And when the time came to hand over power, the father-son dubious duo played, rather, a game of fraud, deceit and skullduggery. Gowda had no qualms to knock at the doors of the Congress to once again form the government. Congress rejected him, and showed him his place. In the subsequent Assembly elections, BJP romped home to victory. That Deve Gowda, the so-called chief architect of the Third Front who had thundered that “he would rise from the ashes,” was not given as much the prominence and importance as he expected during his recent visit to Delhi goes on to show the scant respect he commands from the leaders of the Left parties and SP.
With such rank opportunistic like JD(S) and JD(U) in its fold, can the Third Front really be able to command the respect and support of the people? Can it really provide a viable alternative to the Congress and the BJP?
In the political history of independent India, the country has seen seven non-Congress governments. First, the Janata Party between 1977 and 1979; second, National Front government headed by VP Singh supported from outside by Leftists and BJP between 1989 and 1990; third, Charan Singh government which lasted only for six months without facing the Parliament even for a day; fourth, Chandrashekar government which lasted for five months; fifth, United Front government headed by HD Deve Gowda, six, United Front government headed by IK Gujral; seven, BJP-led NDA headed by AB Vajpayee for two terms of six years.
Of all these governments, the governments headed by VP Singh and Deve Gowda were disastrous. They were politically unstable, economically chaotic and socially explosive. The country was on the brink of a precipice; the nation was sitting on the mouth of a volcano during VP Singh and Gowda’s regimes, solely due to their vote-bank politics, rank communalism and blatant ad-hocism. Both the governments never had any positive agenda and the political will to deal with the problems. Both the governments were sent out lock, stock and barrel, by the people, rightly.
When hydra-headed menace, both inside the country and outside, is waiting to devour India, Can the nation afford to trust these unscrupulous elements trying to gobble up a Third Front whose recipe is sure to bring economic disaster and political chaos? It goes without saying that these so-called Third Front leaders are living in time warp. They do not realise that the political world in India has changed for the better. Leftists are a failed lot, not only in India but throughout the world. The Left ideology has failed to solve even one problem wherever they have ruled for the last seven decades in the world. They are a total misfit in today’s political and ideological culture. With most undependable and untrustworthy leaders in its pocket, the so-called Third Front is bound to fail, even before it takes off. Third Front will depart before its arrival.
By SA Hemantha Kumar from Bengaluru