Indian Election 2019 – Dilemma and Dynamics

August 31, 2018

Indian Election 2019 – Dilemma and Dynamics

Padmini Arhant

The two major political parties – one projected as secular, plural and tolerant proved in name only i.e. Congress party headed by Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi representing dynasty politics besides scandalous legacy is dé·jà vu for the base and the rest of the nation.

Interestingly, the neighbor Pakistan’s prominent press cheering for Congress return to power in India while celebrating the ejection of political dynasties submerged in corruption investigations in their domain viz. the Nawaz and Zardari family explains the former selective fascination and rejection respectively. 

The other – BJP with RSS as the guiding force widely known and perceived as fundamentalists in the misuse of religion with Hinduism as casualty brandish the sword against dissent.  The latest action against human rights activists as well as several controversial communal incidents traced to RSS influence cannot be ignored as political barb from the opposition and critics.

Indian politics being run by families as personal family affair at national and state level, they are noted as such and referred to as Parivar meaning family.

For example – Gandhi Parivar is in reference to Sonia Gandhi family with her son Rahul Gandhi elevated as party President and ever remaining the Prime Minister candidate.

Similarly, BJP is identified as Sang Parivar associated with RSS organization.

At the regional and provincial level, the Parivar (family) factor is prevalent and the political parties are set up following the common tradition – inheritance of power like the DMK in Tamil Nadu, RJD in Bihar, SP in Uttar Pradesh (UP), NC and PDP in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and the trend continues nationwide in the so-called world’s largest democracy.

Though there are many political factions representing different states in India, the ultimate choice is usually narrowed between BJP and Congress with both of them requiring coalition in Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament.

BJP political alliance with parties conforming to same strategy cane to power as NDA – National Democratic Alliance in 2014.

Congress on the other hand teamed up with whoever willing in the political assortment and came to power as UPA – United Progressive Alliance in 2008 and earlier.

Congress and coalition were ousted in 2014 predominantly due to an avalanche of corruption scandals that brought BJP as NDA to office.

BJP under RSS direction is currently dealing with self-inflicted wounds and branded as Hindutva, the title conferred to misinterpret Hinduism.

The term Hindutva is invented to malign Hinduism largely emanating from ignorance and indoctrination.

Hindu philosophy on peace, gender and social equality aptly depicted in Hindu Goddesses epitome of different faculty from energy to wisdom and prosperity. Furthermore, Hinduism is the progenitor to other religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and so on.

The assault on religions whether Hinduism, Islam or Christianity and Buddhism…is premised on provocation for political and vested interests. Notwithstanding the intent to stir reaction on sensitive issue.

The political options for Indian electorate are not unfamiliar as the two national parties BJP and Congress along with the remaining political groups prepare for the upcoming election in May 2019.

BJP tied to RSS have to contend with dissatisfaction and disappointment in the wake of many social and economic problems not barring freedom of speech and intolerance to peaceful protest or activism experienced among mainstream ordinary citizens in society.

Likewise, Congress maintaining dynasty and tarnished trajectory on corruption scandals hardly appealing to the public. The voters are burdened with the responsibility to choose the government in the forthcoming election.

Considering the tough situation, the question to both parties and their response most likely through surrogates and talking heads would clarify the status quo on India’s democracy as well as the quest for power over republic progress.

Given the latest hype, nod and frenzy to add confusion to dramatic disposition of Punjab’s State Minister – the cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and his apparent good will trip to Pakistan to attend the oath ceremony of the newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan, also a former cricketer, raise the obvious question.

Since Congress President Rahul Gandhi recently claimed that he has no ambition to contest the Prime Minister post,

Would he then nominate the Congress member and Punjab State Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to run for office of Prime Minister of India?

Navjot Singh Sidhu having been approved by both sides of the political aisle to represent India in Pakistan at the formal event might reflect well on Congress party in choosing the young State Minister to lead the youthful Congress in the national election.

With BJP – the candidacy offered to other potential contenders within party or outside other than the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi in addition to disavowing RSS would provide better choices for the electorate in 2019.

In a genuine democracy, the people electing the Prime Minister candidate from across the political spectrum and the race between two final contenders at the general election would justify as a true democratic process. Unlike the existing system with party nominated Prime Minister candidates vying for the coveted position in politics.

Regardless, the above proposal for Congress to back Punjab State Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and BJP to field new challenger instead of the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi would determine the political parties’ democratic values in addition to infusing new dynamics in the race in 2019.

Are Congress and BJP ready for such political illustration?

Also, Dalit obsession among Indian, Pakistani press and alike including the female rank and file member of Pakistan’s PPP party touting Tanzanian ancestry citing Hindu Dalit woman in interview, or for that matter any member from that community specifying them as Dalit that is not applicable to a brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaisya castes from India and various denominations in other religions or culture speaks volume of the individual trait and background arguably beneath human nature.

Do they act and behave as such in obedience and servitude to foreign diktat? These are the kind who bow to liability called royalty despite the latter existence dependent on the so-called commoners’ charity.

Whatever the reason behind crass demeanor, it only highlights their impropriety.

Again, it verifies their lack of credibility to serve or represent any segment let alone marginalized demography in Sindh, Pakistan or anywhere and for those in the press in India, Pakistan and elsewhere never cease to mention Dalit in their articles and public discourse reveal their inferior mindset, contempt and prejudice. Ironically, they discuss social and economic disparity when they contribute to inequality.

Yet another favorite expression in the Indian and Pakistani print press, media as well as for those whom they quote in articles is Hindu majoritarianism. 

By the same token,

Isn’t Muslim majoritarianism in Srinagar the bone of contention on the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir?

Only small minds could be the author of The God of Small Things and notably the preferred designate to  parody anyone beyond their scope of realism.

Unfortunately, the myopic view of these folks cloud judgment prompting ill-conceived classifications causing unwanted social rift and tension in the environment. 

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter




















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