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Political value-system of 1990’s in India

The political complexion of the nation underwent a revolutionary change after the fall of Rajiv Gandhi’s Government and then disappearance of Nehru-Gandhi family from the political scene.

An era of instability started. Mr. VN Narayan described about the climate of 1990’s as, “We have a political problem (scams and scandals), but we have no political solution, we have a religious problem (Ayodhya), but no religious solution. There is an economic problem (poverty), but there is no economic solution (Liberalization). There is a social problem (Sectarian conflicts), but there is no societal remedy (Secularism and Mandalisation). There is a socio-medical disease (cancer of corruption), but there is no socio-medical cure (ministerial resignations and reshuffles). There is only one solution to all problems – a human and spiritual solution. We have to consciously move toward humanizing our social institutions and spiritualize (not communalize or secularize) ourselves.”

The last time a general election in India producing a clear parliamentary majority was in 1984. Since 1989, the Governments were acutely handicapped by their minority status. It led first to politicization of criminals, then to criminalization of politics, which adversely effected the daily life of a common man in many ways and made it increasingly difficult for decent, peace loving people to breath freely.

During this period, the country faced many explosive problems, which made the nation weak. Instead of plugging the loopholes in the system, those in authority, gave importance to electoral gains and losses and to attain political power at any cost, so that they could lead a luxurious life at the cost of public money.

In the absence of any sound ideology and clear vision, the politicians of 1990s depended ideologically on “Caste”, “Community”, and “Political secularism” considerations. They pursued sectoral interests. Use of power of money and muscle had increased to widen their electoral base.

This period witnessed complete polarization of society on caste and communal basis. Inter-caste and intra-caste, inter-community and intra-community and inter-tribal and intra-tribal conflicts gradually increased. The politics of Mandal had divided the society on a permanent basis, which suited the sectional parties well especially in the provinces.

The result – hung Lok Sabha and Assemblies, loss of parliamentary culture and decorum, increasing fall in the standards, ability, values and conduct of legislatures, as was seen by poor quality of debates and scanty attendance in the houses of legislature, unruly behavior of members, scenes of pandemonium, all round erosion in the role of legislatures and bad image of legislator due to criminal records, corruption, manipulation, sale and purchase (horse trading) of legislators to increase their number in legislature etc.

 The Governments were formed, not on the basis of popular mandate, but through post election manipulations, unholy alliances, bargaining, horse-trading and give and take principle. Voters turnout in general elections hardly reached 50% of the total population. It was difficult for any single party to get clear majority. For a majority party in Parliament, it was difficult to get 25-26% voters support. A minority party getting a few seats could form a national Government, with majority party supporting it from out side.

Hung Parliament and hung assemblies gave immense power to even marginal regional parties with handful of independent MPs and MLAs to dictate their terms and conditions to national issues and pursue their sectional plans.

The developments of 1990s threw challenges before the nation to run a viable, assured and stable Government to check casteism and communalism, to tackle separatist movement tactfully, keeping the unity and Integrity of the nation intact and to decentralize excessive concentration of authority at center.

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June 24, 2009 - Posted by | Social and political values and systems |

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