Roger Cohen writes an excellent article in the IHT, drawing eight rules of modern, global politics drawn from the supposed problems between Venezuela and the United States. I have tried to compare the rules and their applicability in the Indian, mostly Tamilian context.
- Trade trumps politics. Wrong! Well, mostly. In India, politics trumps everything. Only inaction trumps politics. A thousand examples are readily available. Like Mamata Banerjee’s mockery of a fast-unto-death when even the Communist Party decided that West Bengal was in need of some economic reform. Or the collective inaction of the central and state governments on the Sethusamudram issue.
- Globalization breeds nationalism. In our case, globalization has bred regionalism. Because the southern states have been the major beneficiaries of a boom IT and related services sector, there has been a considerable movement of people to the South. This causes lots of friction. You only need to read arguments posted on the bulletin boards in IT companies to reach this conclusion. Regional parties, evidently angered by what they see as a lowering of the “otherwise lofty” standards of morality in the South, take to various forms of protests. The drive against the pubs in Chennai, and the demolition of KFC outlets in Bangalore are examples. Globalization has also bred something else – the nauseating perpetration of Tamil as spoken on TV, rather than thamizh.
- Oil centralizes power. Not directly relevant. But in India, dynasties centralize power.
- Anti-U.S. networks are here to stay. Again, not directly relevant. But if you think of the Communists as some kind of pseudo-anti-US networks, then the sad fact is they are here to stay.
- Ideologies are now served à la carte. Absolutely! In his response to an earlier post about how Vaiko went back to form an alliance with Jayalalithaa for a few extra seats and some crores, even after the latter had incarcerated him using some flimsy provision in the POTA, Gokul points out that in the state which championed the self-respect movement, the scions of that movement hardly display any self-respect when it comes to forging poll alliances. Ideologies only exist to fill up party websites. It is power that matters.
- Democracy is devalued. The Communist Party fights the Congress party in Kerala and West Bengal, and serves it a huge beating most of the time. Elections in these states are tense affairs, and partymen bay for each other’s blood. Yet, these parties come together each time at the Centre, and they know this will be the case even before they clash in the polls at the state-level. And that is to say nothing of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s gun-toting henchmen.
- Utopias live. Hope. Why else would people vote diametrically opposite in subsequent elections? Or give a government a bad beating, and give another party an absolute majority, even when they sort of know that nothing will get done. Hope. That the country would be a superpower in 2020. Good luck.
- TV trumps all. In spewing one-sided party agenda, truly yes.
No related posts.