Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine


 JAMADI-AWWAL / JAMADI THANI
JUNE 2004
Volume 17-06 No : 210

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Editorial


Task Before the New Government

Task Before the New Government

The departure of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government from Delhi evokes both a sense of relief and satisfaction. Relief, because it was indifferent to the plight of the poor and exultant over rise of sensex and forex, indices that pertain to the concern of the three per cent rich. Satisfaction, because one is more than ever sure now that the common man in India does not lose his sense of judgement in the face of propaganda and artificial euphoria. His ability to take out grain from the chafe is intact.

His faculties are fully capable of discerning between the reality and myths. Even if it is granted that communal antecedents of the rulers do not bother him, there cannot be any gainsaying that he can kick out the corrupt who masquerade under the majoritarian agenda. He is not misled by the xenophobic propaganda and can judge it on the merit of its source. A third reassuring factor is that he is not altogether averse to playing musical chairs between claimants to power as was evidenced in rejection of incumbents in this and the Assembly polls held around the end of the last year. The NDA must now ask itself as to why the Indian electorate rejected the party headed by much lionised – though undoubtedly a stalwart – leader like Atal Behari Vajpayee who, by their own claim, was on par with Jawaharlal Nehru and stood shoulders above other prime ministerial hopefuls in the country. Rejection in Gujarat, severe drubbing in Andhra Pradesh, an almost knock-out blow in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Haryana is index enough that Ram Mandir mantra no longer works wonder. And the voter is yet to be persuaded to the party’s new slogan of Vikas, notwithstanding Bharat Uday Yatra, Shining India campaign and the much tom-tommed ‘Feel Good’ factor. In their punishing mood, the people judge the rulers merely by their capacity to deliver or absence of it, not by sentiments of ephemeral value. The BJP and by it extension, the NDA, must introspect. They have fallen prey to their own propaganda. They began to believe the hype their spin-doctors created at their cost. Modi convinced them that they could perpetuate themselves even by politics of murder and mayhem. Sari episode failed in tempering their ‘India Shining’ campaign with any element of reality about grim grassroots economic conditions. Tehelka and coffingate scams had just been brushed aside, NDA refusing to accept any taint, dirt and graft within. Irrationality of introducing purohitry, punditry, astrology and vedic mathematics dawned on them only when the minister for astrology himself was humiliated. Finally, their double-speak on Gujarat became manifest in the light of severe reprimands handed down by the Supreme court. That was all that was bad about them. But at the same time one cannot lose sight of some of the bright spots of the NDA Government. It brought about some breathtaking changes in the Indo-Pak relations, restored a modicum of sanity in Kashmir by initiating talks, injected a lot of fairness and accountability in several departments related to the Finance and Central Revenue, refused to bend under US pressure on the key issue of sending army to Iraq, and lastly, shifted the axis of debate from socially fractious issues to development towards the end of their tenure.

The new Government would do well to build upon them. The circumstances are fortuitous, because the initiators of the Indo-Pak peace process had been those who earlier were enimical to it. This would absolve the new incumbents of the charge of minority appeasement or ‘bending to the pressure of terrorists’.

Pota must be consigned to the waste-bin for it is nothing but a tool to harass minorities, particularly Muslims. They must be seen taking effective measures to uncover conspiracy behind Godhra carnage, its cataclysmic aftermath and see to it that Modi Government’s moves to scuttle the justice to victims are thwarted. But above all, the new Government must accord priority to make education and health available to all. Commercialisation of education and medical care has hurt the people most. India will not shine if poor women have to deliver babies on footpaths in front of expensive nursing home and higher and professional education become the exclusive reserve of the privileged few. Social inequities of the millennia cannot be wished away under the broad sweep of liberalisation.

Nothing cost the NDA more than its indifference on this score.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Letters Trends Karnataka Polls - Commentary Elections-2004 Muslim Perspectives Fast Forward Book Review Features Children's Corner Just For the Young Miscellany Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Question Hour Religion Facts on Faith Quran and Science Role Models Reflections From Here and There Crossfire Journey to Islam Matrimonial
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