ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Interpretation of Maladies

Interpretation of Maladies One cannot disagree with P S Appu’s observation that, “Time serving postpoll alliances lacking ideological compatibility and devoid of commitment to firm policies and programmes are the root causes of the malady” (“The Republic in Dire Straits: How to Put It Back on the Rails”, EPW, 10 December 2011). Most of the post- and pre-poll alliances are neither made to serve the people nor to provide political stability. They are based on a “power-sharing formula” and the stability of the government depends upon the ability of the leader of the alliance to concede to the demands of alliance partners.

When I was a college student at Coimbatore in 1974, I was told that E M S Namboodiripad had come to address the students. I could not believe that he had come in an Ambassador car and was wearing a dhoti like any other ordinary person in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Today, even a village sarpanch shows off his power by slapping a teacher in front of a huge gathering as happened recently in Punjab. During Indira Gandhi’s time, the governors of states acted like party ambassadors, chief ministers were arbitrarily dismissed and the party leader reigned supreme. The chief ministers were appointed instead of being elected and were the “ears and eyes” of the Congress Party president. This is the main reason for the failure of democracy and absence of collective leadership in most of our political parties. Unless we have political parties committed to serving the nation and the people, democracy and the republic will have no meaning.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top