Where do the parties stand?

2. Responsibility lies in being responsible.

Indian polity has all along been a single party affair with the Congress dominating the scene. Every other party, be it national or regional, could only play a second fiddle at the most.

The emergency in 1975 and the arrest of leaders of opposition paved way for the coming together of many parties under one name, under one umbrella – the Janata Party. General elections of 1977 on the lifting of emergency proved the might of the people in great measure. The world understood that Democracy had truly arrived in India.  The message was loud and clear.

Stalwarts like Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Acharya Kripalani and Jayaprakash Narayan had joined hands in the interest of the Nation. All democratic forces of the country had for the first time rallied together to fight against Indira Gandhi. The man of austerity – Morarji Desai, Chandra sekhar, Sanjeeva Reddy, George Fernandez, Atal Behari Vajpaayee and the like were there to lend adequate strength to pose a formidable challenge to the invincible Congress.

The mighty Congress and the all powerful Indira Gandhi had been defeated. Mrs Gandhi herself had to taste a bitter defeat at Rae Barely in U.P.  losing her seat to much less known Raj Narain by more than 65000 votes!

Morarji Deasi, a true Gandhian led the country as the Prime Minister. Most of the members of the Cabinet were real crusaders and they were all men of great qualities. They were honest; they were clean; they were selfless; and, they had enormous talents too to run the country. Yet, the Janatha government could not last a full term.

Morarji Desai, the principled leader of par excellence did not possess the much needed hypocrisy and manipulative tactics to stay on as the Prime Minister. He had to give way to Charan Singh, the only farmer to become the Prime Minister. He too did not last long. Factions led to the inevitable, premature fall of the first non-Congress government. 

The country went into the polls in less than 3 years. The stability factor played a big role; Indira bounced back to power in 1980 with a convincing win. The first real big attempt of building a forceful opposition aborted a bit too early. But the fight was carried on relentlessly by the ‘rightists’.

The Jan Sangh of Deen Dayal Upadhyay, took a different name – the Bharatiya Janata Party – to emerge as the strongest non-Congress party in the next few years. It had the most powerful orator, easily the best parliamentarian that Independent India ever produced – Atal  Bihari Vajpayee. His speeches mesmerized the public and drove them crazy after him for his scholarly wits and humorous punches. First time, India witnessed the presence of a true statesman in the electoral arena where everybody else looked dwarf before this towering personality of great traits.

The sweet and solid leadership of Vajpayee was very ably assisted by Lal Krishna Advani- the fiery politician who took the Indian political scene by storm with his Rath Yatra. The combo of Atal and Advani simply took the fight to enemy’s camp.

The sudden and violent deaths of Indira in 1984 and Rajiv Gandhi in 1991left the Congress headless and the opportunity was seized by the BJP to its fullest advantage. Vajpayee, the finest political leader of free India became the Prime Minister.

The most erudite leader P V Narasimha Rao led the country as the Prime Minister introducing various economic reforms of far reaching consequences. The days of Globalization and Liberalization had stated. Thanks to PVN, free India was growing fast into a global economic power. Sadly, his own party men did not want to accept the achievements of him for the sole reason that he did not belong to the ‘all important family’.

The decision of the Congress to discard and discredit PVN facilitated the victory of BJP and Vajpayee was to be the Prime Minister to firmly put India on top of the world challenging the super powers like the U.S., China and Russia.

Let us not go into the details of events that led to resignation of Vajpayee, only to came back stronger and stronger. He led the country for a full term of 5 years from 1999 to 2004 to be the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete the full term in office. It firmly established the BJP as a legitimate party of the masses to be a serious contender to rule the country all on its own in 2014.

The intervening period of 10 years of government of the most reputed economist Dr Manmohan Singh helped the BJP consolidate its position.

Then came the three time Chief Minister of Gujarat – Narendra Modi.  He ensured that the BJP wrests power on its own strength and he succeeded to form his second government entirely of the BJP. The situation was so conducive and favorable that the BJP could act swiftly and independently to take the country forward.

Is it what is happening?

Baskaran Krishnamurthy.

Contact: [email protected]



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