Kaleem Kawaja

There is no question that the convincing win of the Modi led BJP in the Gujarat election bodes ill for the Indian nation and the nation’s pluralist political culture. In the short run it will be a shot in the arm for the fascist forces who regularly trample on the weaker sections of society, who abuse religion in the pursuit of power, and who give two tuppence for India’s millennium old secular and democratic ethos. However let us hope that it will ring a timely alarm bell loud and clear for all secular and democratic forces in the nation to come together and isolate the fascist political forces.

In the last one year there has been much bickering between the Communists and Congress, the two major power centers in the UPA government in New Delhi. The nuclear deal with US and the UPA government’s extraordinary leaning towards the Bush Administration’s foreign policies did create a high level of tension between these two power centers in the UPA. Indeed in the last four months there was plenty of talk of an open split that was speculated as a downfall of the UPA government and maybe an early election for the
parliament. Now both of these power centers can see ominous dark clouds and threats of the right wing fascists for the next parliamentary election in another year. Thus in the interest of the future of the nation and their own self-interest both of these power centers should minimize bickering, make greater efforts to compromise with each other and instead of confrontation opt for greater cooperation and common cause.

That bodes well for the future of these two power centers and the nation itself. Congress should now be more inclined to implement programs to provide relief for the deprived segments of society and the religious and ethnic minorities whom it has largely left alone to twist in the wind in the last three years. Congress should realize that the nation is not willing to take dictation in the foreign policy arena from the right wing Republicans in US. In the background of Nandigram Communists should realize that they have to pay attention to grievances from the common people rather than listen only to just their own party cadres. If both act wisely under the common threat of fascist forces that is now a handwriting on the wall, it will give both of them adequate time to recover lost ground in the electoral arena throughout the nation and help them do well in the next election. The UPA win in the next parliamentary election is a must for the survival of secularism and pluralism in the Indian nation as a whole. ( <> )

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