COMING events cast their shadows before, and the shadows are long and dark on India’s political scene. The Marxists have been bundled out—in West Bengal and Kerala, and Karunanidhi & Co in Tamil Nadu. Next it will be the turn of Sonia’s Congress, which will be shown the door in New Delhi, and that will mark the start of a new era in Indian politics.
The writing is already on the wall. The Marxists ruled West Bengal for a third of a century, longer than almost any other party in the world, let alone India, but nothing could save it when its time came. A slip of a woman vanquished it, as you crush a smelly bug, and the poor Marxists sank like a stone in the Hooghly.
The Marxists say they will come back again, but that is most unlikely. Nowhere in the world have communists ever returned to power, how hard they may try. This is because Marxism is a failed ideology, and failed ideologies, like failed film stars, can never be revamped. There is not a single communist party in power in Europe, where Marxism was born. We shall not see Marxists in power in India for a long time to come, whatever Karat & Co might tell us.
It is a slightly different story with Karunanidhi & Co, but not all that different. Karunanidhi provided the most corrupt administration in the country, where even family youngsters just out of their teens were handling hundreds of crores of tainted money, just as you and I handle a couple of currency notes. The DMK had an efficient business model. Make money out of graft and use the cash to buy votes. Also ensure that your entire family is engaged in money-making – not just your sons and daughters, but your cousins, nephews and wives, the whole caboodle. This is what farmers used to do—their entire family worked in the fields—and this is what politicians like Karunanidhi have now been doing. Politics is now a family business, and only the family knows who does what. Karuna & Co have taken politics back to the sixteenth and fifteenth centuries, when families ruled the roost and ran the show.
But the business is no different from that in another family and much older than Karunanidhi’s – the Nehru family business. The Nehrus have been in this business since 1910 or so, when the family patriarch Motilal Nehru started it. Motilal handed it over to his son, a so-called socialist, who, in turn, handed it over to his daughter and so on, until it passed into the hands of a foreigner who is preparing to pass it on to her son. If she succeeds, and it is a very big if, it will be the fifth generation to run the lucrative business, longer than the business of Tatas and Birlas, the oldest business families in the country.
I said it is a very big if, because people have seen through the game and will not allow it, just as they did not allow Karuna & Co to transfer power to its sons and daughters. The Indian voter is a shrewd animal and he knows what is what. Otherwise, why would he suddenly turn against the oily Karunanidhi and vanquish them in one fell blow? Why would he come down heavily on the commies in West Bengal and Kerala, and hand over power to an untested woman in West Bengal, who has not done too good a job of whatever she has managed at the Centre? The Marxists had become so insufferable that the voters were fed up with them and just threw them out.
The Nehrus have now become what Marxists were in West Bengal and the Karunas in Tamil Nadu – insufferable and corrupt, even more corrupt than the Karunas in Chennai. There is hardly any activity, political or otherwise, from which the Nehrus have not profited. They have their men and women in the right places, whether it is Suresh Kalmadi in the Commonwealth Games, or some officials in telecom. It is inconceivable that so much money would have passed hands without the dynasty knowing about it. Can anyone spend as much as Rs 76,000 crore, as Kalmadi & Co is reputed to have done, without No. 10 Janpath knowing about it? You need proper sanction to spend even ten rupees to purchase ball point pens – and here a man from Pune goes and spends Rs 76,000 crore, no questions asked!
A hundred years is a long time for a dynasty to be in the limelight, and more than half that time in power. The Congress has been in power at the Centre—and also in states—almost continuously since Independence, with the exception of a few intervals when it had to twiddle its thumbs, waiting for its turn. Sixty years is a long time, too long a time, for any single party to be in power, which explains why it has become so fat and corrupt, full of jokers like Digvijay Singh, who every time he opens his mouth puts his chappals in it. His boss, the great economist also a Singh, is no exception. They are all puppets on a string, waiting for scraps from the high table.
Congress is out of power in almost all big states, viz., Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal (where its fortunes depend entirely on a temperamental lady) Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These states put together account for almost two-thirds of MPs in the Parliament. It can scrape together a few seats only from a few minor states which, between them, do not add up to even a hundred seats. I would not be surprised if the Congress winds up with between 50 and 100 seats in the next Parliament, may be something like 75-80 seats, which would be less than a sixth of the total.
Indian voters are in a ugly mood, determined to throw out anybody or any party they dislike. They are voting against rather than voting for, which explains the ferocity with which they threw out the Marxists in West Bengal and Karunanidhi & Co in Tamil Nadu. They are not at all concerned about who will replace the discarded lot. In West Bengal, it happened to be Trinamool under Mamata Banerjee, but it could very well have been someone else. In Tamil Nadu, it was Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK, but that too was an accident. Had there been another party, they would have gone for it. The voters are in a mood to throw out the crooks, as they are fed up with rascals and arrogant bastards whose only job has been to line their pockets. The voters are, in fact, saying, so far and no further. It is a warning the Congress must take heed of, or perish.