Politics of opportunism in ‘post-ideology phase’

Kanshi Ram was ahead of his times, these days all parties prefer short cuts to power

ajay

Ajay Singh | March 18, 2015


#political parties   #bjp   #bsp   #national conference   #nc   #pdp   #kanshi ram   #nitish kumar   #amit shah   #kejriwal  


In the mid-1990s when BSP chief Kanshi Ram was not diffident about making “opportunism” his political ideology, it was frowned upon by media and mainstream politicians. However, two decades later a certain academic-turned-politician has discovered a euphemism for this and called it the post-ideology phase of Indian politics.

We have been celebrating this phase all over the country. Call it opportunism if you want to wear the tag of being an outdated, archaic fossil in your thought, the new trend can easily find its justification. Take the case of Omar Abdullah who took a potshot at the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir while having a secret meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah to forge a coalition at the same time. This revelation was hardly startling given the Abdullah family’s penchant to stick to power.

For Abdullah, the BJP is communal and fascist so long as it does not align with him. The moment the BJP acquires enough strength to become a ladder to power in Jammu and Kashmir, it is acceptable to both the NC and the PDP. Similarly, the party which had been shouting from the rooftop all these years that Article 370 is non-negotiable is now amenable to dilute its stance to be in power. Ideology is conveniently expendable at the altar of politics.

More recently, this was evident in Bihar when chief minister Nitish Kumar moved the trust vote in the state assembly. Nearly a dozen JD(U) legislators who had pitched strongly for dalit chief minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi ostensibly for the cause of social underdogs voted for Kumar in order to save their position as legislators for six months. Since the JD(U) issued a whip to make rebels fall in line, they meekly surrendered as defiance would have invoked provisions of the anti-defection law. Interestingly, all of them, immediately after voting for Kumar, came out and criticised the chief minister for working against the interests of the state and downtrodden. Why did they vote, then? The obvious answer is to save their jobs.

That ideology is a fig leaf to be used to cover the hideous face of politics is evident much closer home in Delhi. Arvind Kejriwal caught people’s imagination by promising them a politics which will be transparent and radically different from the past. However, shortly after taking over as chief minister, he acted in a manner as opaque as an iron wall. His coterie curbed dissent and threw out those who claim to provide the ideological anchorage to the party. If Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan had any illusions about steering the AAP to an ideological course, it must have been dispelled on the day they were ejected out of the party’s decision-making body. Absolute power is vested with Kejriwal who seems to be relishing every bit of it. There are all indications that he has been acting more conventionally than conventional politicians. He emerges as an ardent adherent of the maxim that everything is fair in politics.

The reigning ideology as of now seems to be opportunism that filled the void created by the de-ideologising of politics. Of course, Kanshi Ram was ahead his time when he dismissed any disdain attached to opportunism. He had been saying all along that he would not hesitate to side with anyone that protected and promoted the interests of “his people”, that is, the downtrodden. His opportunism was a carefully crafted and well-conceived strategy to empower marginalised sections and there was nothing personal about it.  He used opportunism as a tool to achieve his political objective of the larger good. In the process he could be accused of promoting a crass culture of corruption and individualism reflected in the BSP’s politics at later stage.

Comments

 

Other News

America loves India, America respects India: Trump

America loves India, America respects India, said US president Donald Trump as he and first lady Melania Trump began their short visit of India from Ahmedabad on Monday, welcomed by prime minister Narendra Modi. The US president was in Ahmedabad, in Modi`s home state of Gujarat, to attend th

2020 is crucial for CPSE: Arjun Ram Meghwal

"The year 2020 is going to be a significant year for India and especially for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), "said the Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for heavy industries and public enterprises on Wednesday at the 7th PSU Awards and Conference organised by Governance Now on 19th

Vice President springs surprise, speaks in 22 languages

Highlighting the importance of preserving, protecting and promoting Indian languages, the vice president of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu spoke in 22 languages at an event to mark International Mother Language Day in New Delhi. He urged all the citizens to take a pledge to promote mother tongue and also lea

Title Insurance: new product for old issues

Real estate is among the priciest investments around. More so for the common man who has to live with the burden of monthly EMIs. Yet, it is an art to discover the real owner of any property. Government and revenue records, which are easily accessible to the public, are not properly maintained. Individual

Aadhaar linkage with electoral roll on cards

The election commission of India (ECI) has been working on a series of electoral reforms, and the agenda includes linking Aadhaar with the electoral roll, considering paid news and false affidavit as electoral offence/corrupt practice, better monitoring the role of print media and social media intermediari

Save Panje wetland, give it Ramsar status: environmentalists

To protect the fast depleting wetlands against being used as landfill and for development activities in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR), environmentalists have asked the centre to declare the 289-hectare Panje wetlands in Uran tehsil of Raigarh district as a ‘Ramsar site’ and preserve its ecol



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter