“Nation is bigger than any party, any system. So, nation should win. If nation wins, you'll win. We all need to fight a hard battle to improve the things. Our politics needs to undergo a chemotherapy. The ignited mind of the youth is the most powerful resource on the earth, under the earth and above the earth. Knowledge will empower you to undertake great missions.”
— Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in a speech at JLN Stadium, Amaravati (Maharashtra), on January 19, 2011
There was another desperate attempt to cobble the opposition unity; another round of attack frantically criticising the decision of demonetisation and process of remonetisation. Once again the cover was poor and farmers. Obviously, target was the Prime Minister. Fair enough, opposition has a role to play and under the ‘able leadership’ of the most-experienced party in Bharatiya democracy they tried to evolve a ‘common minimum programme of action against demonetisation’. In the process, the fractured opposition not only exposed themselves but provided a bigger dent to the democratic culture by presenting the united face on corruption.
First of all, no major political party barring TMC, DMK and RJD joined the Congress led initiative to corner the government. Ironically all these parties including Congress are under scrutiny for some or the other corruption charges. The whole exercise turned out to be farcical with the conspicuous absence of the Left parties, JD (U), Bahujan Samaj Party and even Nationalist Congress Party. During the press conference, while Rahul Gandhi chose to personally attack the Prime Minister, Mamata Banerjee who started her remarks by saying that she did not want to indulge in personal allegation, again showing the discordant agenda of the ‘opposition unity’.
Congress, who has just completed the 131 years of establishment, continues its dismal performance as the opposition. In a hope to organise another ‘tea party’ like the one that led to the toppling of Vajpayee government in 1998, Congress further exposed its inability to lead the opposition, that was essentially grown on the agenda of anti-Congressism. Congress has forgotten that unless there is a constructive unifying agenda, no political formulation can stay together in Bharat. Till date no constructive programme has been unveiled by the half-hearted opposition on demonetisation or otherwise. Unfortunately, the ‘earthquake fame’ Vice President of the grand old party does not have the political wisdom to resurrect the party machinery on ground nor are there any old guards who can dare to give him a piece of advice. In such a situation, making allegations in the air, which are already disregarded in the court of law, that also against the sitting Prime Minister, further diminishes his credibility. This shoot and scoot approach hampers our democracy in the absence of responsible opposition is the real issue.
Mamata Banerjee who once had a reputation of being ‘clean politician’ has ghosts of Sharda and Narda behind her. She calling demonetisation as the ‘biggest scam’ after Independence is baffling for many others. While calling the prevalent situation in the country as ‘super-emergency’, she dodged question pertaining the grave communal situation in her own state. The frequent occurrence of communal frenzy activities by a particular group and busting of fake currency rackets on and off seems to be the real concern for ‘Didi’ who is consistently and directly calling for roll-back of demonetisation.
‘When will normalcy be restored?’ is the common and genuine question that is being asked from various quarters. The reality is the expected normalcy is not going to be that of pre November 8th where excessive currency created inflated markets for shares, properties and gold; most of the people were out of financial inclusion and
corruption in terms of cash transaction was a norm. The ground reality people are tuning themselves up for this ‘new normal’ where new standards will be established for creating a transparent system which were previously unexpected. Upcoming budget is going to be crucial in this direction. Youth are showing the way by taking initiatives for digital literacy. People at large are adjusting themselves to the new rules. It is better desperate and divided opposition accept this ‘new normal’ the earliest.