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The Game Politicians Play

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Actress-turned politician Roopa Ganguly participates in a protest rally against attack on minorities in Bangladesh; in Kolkata

Bikram Vohra on the Blame Game of Indian politicians. Congress, BJP, SP…. and the great Indian polity’s ‘you did it’ syndrome

Actress-turned politician Roopa Ganguly participates in a protest rally against attack on minorities in Bangladesh; in Kolkata
Actress-turned politician Roopa Ganguly participates in a protest rally against attack on minorities in Bangladesh; in Kolkata

Now that my old buddy and Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar has popped his head up again and given this stirring speech in Kozikhode, he comes across as the perfect example of what is happening in our country. We are all dedicated to living in the past instead of moving on.

Every one of his accusations against the Narendra Modi government is old hat, just remixed without even changing the tune. I was going through his quotes and it’s the same old caterwauling, a monotonous droning. It’s like the way little kids do ‘tu main, tu main’ after school. Till when is he going to keep lifting the scab off wounds that time has healed and parade them as fresh indictments?

Can you believe that he even brought up that skewered comment about comparing Somalia and Kerala as if it was a criminal offence now? It is over and done with and Modi had his wrist slapped. How empty the bucket must be if Donald Trump has to be made the mental doppelganger for Modi? And this is supposed to be heavy duty saviour stuff!

Writer Parinda Gandevekar, who styles herself as a pseudo intellectual, puts it succintly: Even (Arvind) Kejriwal got off to a rocky start. (Anna blamed him for misusing the Jan Lokpal Bill funds and derailed his anti-corruption movement.) Kejriwal blamed Congress for the corruption. Congress blamed BJP for the Godhra riots. BJP blamed SP for Muzzaffarnagar riots, and SP blamed BSP for the killing of two advocates. BSP blamed Congress for the poor (only a state of mind) turning into Naxalites.

 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal addresses a rally
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal addresses a rally

Now, Kejriwal blames Modi for everything and when he takes a break he goes for Lt Gov Nawab Jung. It never ends. On a good day we can go back to Bofors and the eighties.

If the BJP does something wrong today, the defence is that the Congress under Sonia Gandhi did it in 2012. The Congress then takes it even further back in time with another slur from the old BJP tenure.

Every politician and party is engaging in this absurd ping pong game. Even at the state level. If a flyover falls in Kolkata, the Trinamool Congress blames the CPM because construction had begun during the Left party’s tenure. The BJP now wants Akhilesh Yadav to resign because of the Bulandshahr rape. Why not just take the culprits and make them culpable? Tomorrow the BJP will be in the same dock over their MLA Harat Singh Rawat being accused of the same deed in Uttarakhand.

If someone is murdered or raped, the defence is rooted in past rapes and murders. A young woman is murdered in Ernakulam in Kerala; no one says ‘let’s find the killer’, instead political parties get into a blame game with gusto.

If Dalits are beaten in Gujarat for skinning a dead cow, it is balanced out because remember in 1994, when the Congress was in command, the number of cases against Dalits stood at 1,916. Much higher than it is now. That is an answer.

Agusta Westland choppers: Congress vs BJP. We returned the fleet, cancelled the deal, move on. Especially if you cannot take the investigation beyond the blame level.

Corruption and the two main parties have made Parliament come to a halt more often than they have let it function. All we hear are slogans against each other. Every state has the same situation…pass the hot little potato to the other lot. When will it ever end?

Ask yourselves what else do we hear. Does anyone talk of tomorrow and the goals set in every discipline? We are never told what the grand plan is or where we are going with this country. It does not matter what the issue is…from ill treatment of Dalits to alienation of Muslims, to scams, corruption, cops with indigestion and tired feet, the reaction is the same.
Mommy, they did it first. Finger pointing ad nauseum.

Who can we pass the buck to is all that matters. There is no call for political co-operation or adherence to developmental deadlines, just throwbacks predicated to one simple fact. If we erred today, you erred yesterday or even way back last week…or 30 years ago so now, by some current logic, we are quits.
Will this stop or simply take us backwards forever and a day?