“No amount of politics would be of any avail until the masses in India are once more well educated, well fed, and well cared for.” — Swami Vivekananda
Every government and political party tries to justify its policies and actions in the name of national interest. If we analyse and understand the recent political developments in India, the conclusion is that ‘national interest’ is reduced to petty ‘electoral calculations’.
All the flagship schemes of the Centre, starting from MGNREGS to Food Security and now Housing Security, are launched on the backdrop of crucial elections. Without assessing the utility and effectiveness of the existing schemes and creating proper structures to implement them, new slogans are flashed to woo the voters. Some of the schemes and claims such as 600 model schools are re-launched and reclaimed in the election year.
Political responses to various incidents from Ishrat Jahan case to Batla encounter case have more serious implications. Without allowing the honourable Court of Law to take its own course, judgements are passed, secular-communal colours are painted and heinous attempts are made to plead the case of anti-nationals in the name of national interest. The (mis)use of investigating agencies for political purpose by offering them post retirement benefits has become customary. Specialist jobs are reduced to political chamchagiri.
The recent attempt of appealing to the US President to deny visa to the Gujarat Chief Minister is the worst case of undermining national interests for trivial electoral gains. The US, which is the enemy number one for many Islamic countries, is pleaded for targeting one person. The allegation of forgery on the official letterheads of MPs, with the emblem of India, is a more pervert version of denouncing national interest. When the core issue of governance and how to build India with its national ethos intact, needs to be the electoral plank and common masses are facing daunting problems, political parties are busy settling political scores.
The attempts of playing various cards of political calculations by various State governments, overlooking the interests of common masses, are some other acts of jeopardising national interest. The UP government is protecting criminals, Bihar is engaged in horse-trading while midday meal blame game is yet to settle down, a new ball of Rayala Telangana is thrown by the Congress to negate the Jagan Reddy effect, paid social media is put to use in Rajasthan, blatant violence and communalisation in Bengal panchayat elections, creating new electoral grounds by pushing the Anti-Superstition Bill in Maharashtra—the real issues are virtually trivialised. The politically motivated attempt of cornering the BSF by the Omar Abdullah government, with