FRACTURED V/s FULL POLITICAL MANDATE
Political pundits as well as Intellectuals have been seen voicing their resistance to full Political Mandate to a single Political Party saying that the Political Party will tend to be arrogant and go about doing things that are not in the interest of the State/Country, bordering on being dictatorial.
And, we believe that there is a lot of truth in this. We have had Indira Gandhi’s rule of 1975 - 1977 when she imposed Emergency Rule because the case against her ‘election malpractices’ in the Allahabad High Court had gone against her, the verdict, when challenged by her in the Supreme Court, was upheld. We had Rajiv Gandhi’s Rule of 1984 - 1989 ended with him having been rejected and shown the door, mainly due to the BOFORS SCAM, the scandal of magnitude that has still not died down, coupled with the Union Carbide’s Bhopal disaster and Shah Bano case.
We have had ‘Tiananmen Square’ in China, the ‘Tahrir square’ in Egypt etc. emanating from dictatorial rules. Thankfully, there are other dictatorial regimes in the world where benevolent governance seems to be warming people’s hearts. Example: Emirates of Abu-Dhabi & Dubai, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Brunei, Singapore, to a most extent, because, though it is a fully a democratic state, people other than Singaporeans tend to think that it is dictatorial, because they cannot do things that they are used to do in their own respective countries and get away with. Democracy, according to them, must allow every whim and fancy of the citizen. A full Political Mandate given without any preconditions is asking for trouble. But then, such preconditions must come from the political outfits themselves, based on their moral standings and the will to improve the ‘governance’ on belt-tightening exercises, and not be dictated by the people for acceptance by the political class before elections and discarded with contempt after elections through shameful U-Turns and negations.
If a State or a Country in a democracy suffers from the malaise of misgovernance for long, the people are bound to seek to change this situation, come what may, eager to grab at any floating straw, sans giving deep thought if the straw will save them or sink them. Such ‘change’ becomes imperative as the sufferings reach a point of no return.
Let us dwell on the dictatorial behavior of democratically elected political parties which have been given full mandate to rule and which, always but always, gone askew, hurting the sentiments of the people so bad, that they are sought to be humiliated in the worst manner at the next hustings. Example is the Congress Party of Goa in 2012.
In 2012, the ‘straw’ that would save Goa and Goans from imminent disaster was the BJP, because the Congress had utterly failed in protecting the sentiments of Goans through miserable performance, bordering on insensitiveness towards galloping corruption, drug abuse, utter failure of Law and Order to name a few. Why did this happen? It is not the Congress Party in Goa that is to be blamed for this eclipse but Goans themselves. Because, they had voted the same dons to power who had proved themselves incompatible to rule Goa and give it a shine that was expected. As habits die hard, people’s full mandate to rule was taken as the weakness and the proverbial dog’s tail remained bent as ever. If this tail of the Congress was sought to be amputated to a stub before being elected, brow-beating it to accept the people’s MANIFESTO and not the same rotten eggs in the basket, with the people seeing to it that this people’s manifesto remained honoured at all costs and at all times, things would be different and the floating straws would perish automatically in the whirlpool of currents. Sadly, this did not happen and therefore the floating straw of the Goa BJP became the only option, with Goans not having the backbone to support and/or create a third option of their own, remaining satisfied to bounce from Congress to BJP and vice versa in the understanding that they will have learnt their lessons well being out of power.
Any sensible Political Party would learn from the mistakes of its predecessors, to chart a course that is straight, so that the hunger of the people for decent governance would be lessened, if not totally satisfied. Again, bouncing from the Congress to the BJP, giving it a quasi-full mandate was morally wrong. We say quasi-full, because, there were 3 Independents - so called alter-boys of the BJP- and a maverick political leader lending their support to the BJP, who, together, could have been the helm controlling the rudder of the BJP-ship. Unfortunately, this never happened emboldening the BJP to chart a winding course, far from being straight, bending and touching only the BJP so called karyakartas with the rest be damned. This gave rise to shameful U-Turns with downright contempt for the election time promises, the main being NO MOPA and Special Status for Goa under Article 371 of the Indian Constitution.
Once bitten twice shy on Congress, and taken for a jolly good ride by the BJP, Goans on the lookout for a floating straw to cling to, found ready and willing jetsam/flotsam coming across from Delhi with a message of deliverance [read AAP]. If Goans had sported strong backbones of their own, they could have very well managed to swim in the turbulent waters of Goa’s politics, to touch shore without clinging to any jetsam, flotsam or straws of subterfuge and false promises, endangering their safe landing ashore.
Going back to the reasoning that full mandate will always but always create arrogant dictators, and, the sure way to stop this happening is the fractured mandate, the fractured mandate can best be explained as a pack of hungry HYENAS. In the ensuing fight for lucrative positions and posts to be enjoyed at tax-payer’s cost, the ‘hyenas’ will have torn the sick and weak body of Goa to pieces, not leaving anything over the bones for the vultures, so to speak, to satisfy their hunger. This would be the last thing that Goa would want to happen to itself, especially when it is most vulnerable with approximately Rs. 70.000 crores in public debts, galloping towards its funeral pyre, all the while continuing on heavy borrowings.
We, have always been supportive of a strong mandate on a belt-tightening basis to steer Goa’s passage of past 55 years through turbulent political waters. And this strong mandate cannot be asked for on flowery promises on a mere one page manifestos. Every promise, every issue, every commitment featuring in this redemptive manifesto must be backed by firm actions that will be taken, sacrifices that will be made and determination that will be put into these actions, with leaders possessing the moral backbone to lead, who would not buckle down to the skeletons falling out from their cupboards.
No one wants governments to put ‘food’ on their plates for free. But they expect that the governments will provide them the means to do so, themselves, with job opportunities that they deserve, so that they may strive to keep themselves in good stead, besides availing of facilities and utilities that their hard-earned tax-money must provide to make their life livable, but not to promote profligate life-styles of their elected representatives.
Notwithstanding GSRP’s decision since 2012 that it shall give the necessary home-grown regional option to the Goan voters with sufficient number of candidates in the ensuing 2017 mother of all elections since 1963, it strongly believes in the phenomenon of ‘avalanche’ when triggered, will take down everything in its path. It still has hopes that Goa’s regional satraps will yet rise up to the occasion, coming together on a necessary Common Minimum Programme, considering the gusty divisive forces in play to ensure the calculated split in the secular voting to perpetuate the combined communal-corrupt rule in Goa which Goa can ill afford.
GSRP is keeping a watchful eye on the political developments as the zero-hour is fast approaching when Goans will punch in their choices on the EVMs, and, rest assured, it shall take the best option available in the perennial interest of Goa and Goans at the right time.
The Author is the founding President and presently the General Secretary of the Goa Su-Raj Party.