Monday, August 15th, 2022 05:27:07

Degrading Political Debates

Updated: February 19, 2017 7:20 pm

In the Budget session of Parliament, the nation witnessed a live theatre.  The leader of Opposition, leaders of different regional parties, leaders of the ruling party staged a high-voltage drama by blaming one another. The arguments were atrocious; the language they used in the temple of democracy was too low, in fact, very much incongruous to our cultural fabric. Once upon a time, the leaders of the political party, or maybe social or spiritual leaders, were mentioned in our textbooks, to inspire the young generation through their high standards with ideological moorings. Leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai, Subhas Chandra Bose, Bakshi Jagabandhu, Aurobindo, Deendayal Upadhyay, Madan Mohan Malviya, Rajendra Prasad, Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayprakash Narayan and many more are not visible now. It seems nowadays our leaders do not fight in the Parliament for the cause of the people, but for scoring political gains. One glaring example of this session, I would like to quote from the speech of Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, is: “Gandhiji ne desh ke liye apne pran diye. Aap ki party se koi kutta bhi nahi mara tha (Gandhiji died for the nation. Not even a dog died from your party in the Freedom Strugle)”. Kharge was speaking on the occasion of giving thanks to the speech of President of India. In his reply, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid back in Kharge’s own coin as he said: “During that period (freedom struggle), whether our men were there or not, whether our dogs were there or not…other’s dogs may be present that time…but we don’t believe or live in that sort of doggy traditions (kuttewali parampara). But crores of people were there from our country when the Congress party was not even born. The great war of 1857 was fought together by our brave countrymen irrespective of any caste, creed or religion. Lotus was well imminent that time and now also has a good presence.” Now let’s leave it to the readers to judge, whether both the Leader of Opposition and the Prime Minister addressed each other in the august House with all dignity or not ? Kharge many times made allegation against the government with all data, where the Narendra Modi government failed and where the government missed the bus. It is equally important for any political party to play the role of a constructive Opposition. After ruling this country for such a long period, I think the Congress party should have enough experience and knowledge to identify where lies the fault-line. But the poor Congress party literally failed to play the role of a strong Opposition. The leadership of the Congress party was clearly missing. It looked as if Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi found no time to guide Kharge, how to play the role of the Leader of Opposition. Kharge should learn to know what words he should use, when he is speaking as a Leader of Opposition. In this regard, if one leader who is always remembered as a great Opposition Leader, he is former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Vajpayee always played the role of a constructive and cogent Opposition leader at the time of war, natural calamity or any other important situation. The grand old Congress party has to learn from Vajpayee as a Leader of Opposition, how he always helped the ruling party, if it was good for the nation.

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The present-day political leaders are becoming shameless to raise question against any decision, if it is against their own self interest or party. It is alleged that the BJP, which is known as a cadre-based ideological party, also sometimes compromises with ethics and morality. Now the cadres of the BJP in the present assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are openly shouting against the party for obvious reasons. So in socio political life, there has been a profound degradation of morality among political leaders, barring a few. The ideal leaders never leave their basic nature to achieve their ambition. They should have clarity in their mind how to emulate or live the basic Dharma, rather than Karma. The purpose of true leadership has always been selfless service, not selfish service. But today politics has become a profession, and no more an ashram of devotion for a good cause. The leaders should follow the path of spiritualism, with a peaceful mind. When the Narendra Modi government assumed power at the centre, the political system, governance and the character of the leaders were all in disarray. When one shifts to a new building to stay, one does not instantly start living there. One changes the house as per one’s likings, and accordingly things move. Likewise, when Narendra Modi started his journey to run the Union Government, he started to cleanse the political system, modify the style of functioning of governance. Modi became the inspiration for millions, in fact, his work culture has a reflection on the world. Modi infused some sort of samskars with healthy mindset in the system of governance. These samskars are nothing but one form that is guided by principles. Now everyone asks questions on his work culture, whether it is bullet train or demonetisation or Swachh Bharat. He is again facing the agnipariksha of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and other four states. One thinks he too will be keeping his fingers crossed.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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