The politics of ‘Prestige’
March 10, 2011 2 Comments
All is well when it ‘bends’ well : So the Congress must feel after forcing the DMK to bow down to it’s “apparent” demand of 3 additional seats for the TN Assembly elections.
Sorry for starting this post on such a poor note but, I couldn’t – despite the abundance of free time at my disposal – come up with a better one.
The political drama of DMK and Congress going their separate ways has come to an end not before the wily patriarch M Karunanidhi ensuring that his first-second family is well insulated from the 2G spectrum probe.
Even when the entire nation knew the cause of the rift, Karunanidhi made it appear that it was only the issue of seat sharing. But then, he has serious ability with his oratorical skills.
If only Sonia Gandhi had the oratorical skills of Karunanidhi there would be no need for this note. But unfortunately she isn’t as gifted and so she came up with the poorest of excuses that can be thought of as to why the alliance came to the brink of collapse.
According to reports Sonia Gandhi told the emissaries of the DMK – Maran and Azhagiri – that she wanted the additional seats to protect the “prestige” of her party. So much so in the name of “prestige” that Madam Gandhi didn’t care whether the Government survived or not, she wanted the honour of the grand old party of India, the Congress, to be restored.
If Sonia Gandhi was merely the president of the Indian National Congress, we can comfortably side-step her point as yet another electoral gimmick. But we know that she runs the puppet Government and hence, I have listed some ”key highlights” of our country that could be of interest for Madam Gandhi. Of course all in the name of “prestige”.
- More than Six decades after independence, India still ranks below some of the African countries in Human Development Index especially in the areas of child nutrition, sanitation, healthcare, education and family welfare.
- We are the only country in the world whose territorial borders are still challenged and gradually conquered with each passing day.
- Transparency International rates India in the low 80s in the “Corruption Perception Index”. It must be a matter of extreme irony that India should rank so low while it’s legal tender has the image of Gandhi who lived his life in the name of integrity.
- Thanks to the indecisiveness in pursuing a non-existent “middle-ground-socialist” economic agenda, India had to pledge it’s Gold in the 90s to cover the whopping deficit in foreign reserves.
- Whether it is Dawood, Modi or Quattrochi, the Indian legal system has proved itself to be incompetent in delivering justice to the citizens of this country.
- While we boast of supersonic missiles, ICBMs and nuclear submarines, we don’t seem to be having enough cold chains to store our food grains. Worst still, we are the only nation whose Government expresses its inability to distribute free food grains to people, preferring the rodents to eat them instead.
- Whether it is a group of 10 indoctrinated men coming in dingy or stone throwing street urchins, we have a common security policy that is we can’t handle either of them. We are certainly the only nation in the world where the “Rapid Action Force” had to “wait” for an aircraft when a group of terrorists were holding an entire city to ransom.
- We are the only nation whose restrooms become an international concern as the Commonwealth Games showed. Our idea of “Just in Time” of Stadiums, Games Villages and Ceilings, caused many nervous breakdowns to those not familiar with our working style. To top that, we also announced that our standards of hygiene are “different” thereby signaling our pride of place in the world.
- We are the only country in the world where a swindler is reappointed to a ministerial post in the name of upholding coalition “dharma”. It is no wonder that our quaint interpretation of dharma in the land which is often seen as the spiritual capital, is lost on the world.
- We have as our Prime Minister an honorable man whose only response to any allegation is to admit his responsibility. (Last heard that he owned up responsibility for the dropped catches of Kamran Akmal too.)
This is not really the only compilation that is possible. It is a safe bet to assume that more than a million variants of this list can be made. While I really didn’t intend to include the above as the “only” or the “greatest” achievements of our country, the speed at which I could compile this did surprise me. Even a casual attempt at listing some significant achievements of our country makes for such interesting reading.
I would be delighted if Madam Sonia Gandhi could reflect and share her perspective of the positive impact of some of India’s highlights listed above on the country’s “prestige”. After all her party had a significant role in these highlights. Admittedly isn’t “prestige” very dear to her ?
One may wonder whether Sonia Gandhi is singularly responsible for all such “prestigious achievements” of our country. Certainly not, but I am not in the least amused that she’d prefer to pull out the ‘prestige card’ to bluff the nation about the “less-than-honorable” deal with Karunanidhi to spare his family in return for his support.
As a nation we have realized that cleansing our political system may be near impossible. Every day we are witness to politicization of everything, but we have learned to move on with life.
The only hope that we have is the value system that common citizens of this country believe in. The venal political system has delivered a body-blow to the hopes of the country when Sonia Gandhi invoked her party’s prestige.
If Prestige is a trivial matter of “3 assembly seats”, I’d pity those who still believe in our political system.