Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Role of NDA allies significant

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Editor
The mandate in the recently concluded general elections has brought in a lot of questions, introspections and pushes political parties to think of better strategies ahead of 2024. The election has been a big lesson for the BJP with the party squandering 31 seats in the Lok Sabha and is down to 32 to be the party with the single largest majority in the NDA alliance. This has allowed the allies who have agreed to support the BJP on certain conditions to extract their pound of flesh. The portfolios that the major allies will be demanding from Mr. Narendra Modi will be a thing to wait and watch. It will put to the test the tactical skills of the PM designate. The way the results have turned out shown re-emphasizes that fact that the people of India who have seen the previous two tenures of the BJP-led NDA government being driven by a Modi-fied image of bulldozing issues and going against people sentiments. This has put the brakes on his future ambitions such as changing the Constitution, pushing the UCC and CAA amongst others. For the BJP to deal with experienced politicians like Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar will be a different ball game altogether considering the leverage that they currently have over others. They are a group that will tread cautiously on issue that alienate people. They have already made their demands clear to PM Modi. The coming days will be interesting to watch the role of the two key ‘king makers’.
Yours etc.
Dominic Stadlin Wankhar
Via email

Media and ECI failed in their duties

Editor,
It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. This can be said about the never-say-die attitude of nearly all the opposition parties at the national level and especially about Rahul Gandhi and his strenuous Bharat Jodo Yatra and Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. The opposition parties did their duty of raising the people’s grievances against rising inequality, unemployment, and prices in the Parliament and the streets. They did it in spite of having a level playing field. They faced unprecedented financial inequality among political parties and allegedly “preferential” treatment from investigative agencies.
Moreover, they got little support from the media. Just like the opposition parties, it is the duty of the media to ask the government questions of the people. Media is a bridge between the ruling (and opposition) parties and the people. But a large section of the fourth estate preferred the role of cheerleading the ruling batting side.
Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra and Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra successfully created a direct bridge to connect with the people. Being on the streets for months gave him an opportunity to directly listen to the people. This is one of the reasons why the Congress manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha election becomes more pro-common people, pro-women, and pro-Dalits than their previous manifestos.
The Congress party has been the main opposition party of India since 2014. Therefore, a call for a Congress-mukt Bharat sounds like a call for an opposition-mukt Bharat. It is a despotic call to end democracy in India because democracy can not function without opposition parties.
A political leader instructed the audience in some recent election campaigns not just to vote for his political party but to punish the opposition parties by pressing the EVM button as hard as possible. This is in sync with the call. The guarantee of 400 plus seats again bears not only pride but also an aspiration for an opposition free football match where a team can score as many goals as it wants.
The mandate of voters in the election is for democracy and against using religion and fault lines between communities as a political tool. The fault lines between communities have been used in the recent election campaigns as a red herring and to polarise the voters.
Political leaders holding the most responsible constitutional posts are not supposed to play this game. However, the theory of demand and supply points a finger towards the people. In order to answer the criticism for showing sadistic violence in the movies, the movie makers always say that they are doing it because audiences want to see violence to get entertained.
An anchor of a TV debate also throws the ball to the people’s court when he is confronted with uncomfortable questions regarding on-screen debate becoming a platform for abuse and verbal violence.
It is a vicious circle. A cigarette company, for example, gives advertisements associating cigarette smoking with fashion and freedom to increase the demand and starts producing more cigarettes if there is a rise in demand. But the question is how to break the circle.
The statutory warning against cigarette smoking effected a cut in the demand. In the same way, the censor board can check the portrayal of unnerving violence in films. Similarly, it is the responsibility of the Election Commission of India to take prompt action against the use of religion and fault lines in an election campaign. It is highly unfortunate that the Election Commission preferred to look the other way on many occasions.
Yours etc.,
Sujit De,
Kolkata

The new Arthashastra in NE India

Editor,
Recently the 7th edition of the Indo-French military exercise dubbed ‘Shakti’ was held at the Joint Warfare Centre in Umroi showcasing the best brains and brawns in crafting military strategy and tactics. The major takeaway from such engagements is working towards future threats in an uncertain environment. Units from the Rajputana Rifles to the French Foreign Legion showed how far the relationship has stretched. After the declaration of the election results, Northeast India and its security paradigm should be taken seriously by the new government as proxy elements alongside our 5,500 km (approx) vulnerable borders are watching us more closely than ever.
Such joint endeavours with foreign forces enables security forces to combat unconventional warfare in cyberspace, narco-terrorism, financial terrorism and EMP technology which could render instability to the economic architecture while pointing to high unemployment rate statistics amongst youths who might fall into the bear trap.
The pulse of the people and its various demands is a balanced concept while taking every stakeholder on board and being accountable but that depends on wise leadership. Kris Paronto’s book ‘The Ranger Way’ outlines the principles of how leaders deal with their problems, accepting responsibility thereby opening a window of opportunity towards better learning and ideas.
Yours etc.,
Christopher Gatphoh,
Shillong-10

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