Thursday, November 29, 2007

Coalition (a)dharma

The facts are too compelling to ignore the analogy between the UPA government pulling out of the much-touted Indo-US nuclear deal and the JD (S)-BJP coalition ending in a whirlwind period of 20 months. This entire analogy is drawn with a broad brush dipped in filial relations.

Let us concentrate on the national front. To save its government, the UPA has kept the deal at abeyance, which suggests it is as good as over. The usually complaisant AICC supporters are at their nonchalant best because the deal always defied their intelligence. And this is Manmohan Singh's baby. Why care about him when Mama's boy is already gearing up for his inclusion in the big league? There should not be any doubts about why Sonia Gandhi is not supporting the deal. Even if divine providence strikes and Congress emerges as the single largest party Manmohan Singh will not be the Prime Ministerial candidate. As it is, many things are going against him. He is not a rabble-rouser, he does not hobnob with the grass root leaders. Consequently, he does not command much appreciation from the hoi polloi and his recent ten commandments at the recent CII meeting did not endear him to the corporates either.

All said and done, even if the Congress had gone ahead with the deal, jeopardizing its rule it would not have made political sense. The nuclear deal can never be a poll plank and Manmohan Singh will not be the face of the Congress. Further, all indications suggest yet another coalition government. Why start the entire vicious circle only to end up with the Left as partner again? When the deal was scrapped Manmohan Singh said that the Left was not opposed to the deal, it wants a debate in the Parliament. As far as this writer's memory serves him there was no debate on the Left's opposition of opening up of the insurance sector, the privatization of airports and PSU disinvestments, increasing the FDI stake, pension reforms. These have been carefully sidelined.

Traverse into the Deccan Plateau and the son of a son of the soil is lamenting pulling out of the JD (S)-BJP coalition in Karnataka. H.D.Kumaraswamy was a decent leader who led the government deftly in these 20 months, what with his Janata Darshan initiative, staying with the destitutes in their shacks, providing land holdings to the poor. But an already agreed pact with BJP came to a grinding halt because of the intervention of Deve Gowda who felt his party's secular tag is taking a beating. No one had the gumption to ask him why he suddenly felt this when he had the entire 20 months to ponder upon. This move of Deve Gowda will prove costly to Kumaraswamy because his party has lost its credibility.

This analogy has a common loser. The BJP. Advani was asking his cadres to get ready for snap polls and Yediyurappa was already passing orders as the de facto Chief Minister. Alas, filial relations are terribly strong.

Shoot the piano player: After watching this film I understood how important Truffaut must have been Godard's "Breathless".

Spring, summer, fall, winter.. and spring: Kim ki-duk rules the roost when it comes to make ample use of salubrious surroundings.


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