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Changing political tunes- then and now

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President of the USA Barack Obama addressing both houses in a Joint Session of the Parliament of India

The political tunes are changing with time.

Till the middle of last year, BJP members were occupying the opposition benches. They displaced the Congress men on the treasury bench. The electorate asked the Congress members to occupy seats held by the BJP.

It was a switching of roles no doubt but what did it change?

As the ruling party, the BJP, seems to have adopted not only the role but also the style and attitude that the Congress was known for in the parliament. It is the script – the principle characters in drama have been replaced but apart from that everything else remains the same.

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Whereas earlier the media would report, “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in Lok Sabha…, now it begins, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in the Lok Sabha.” Words that follow remain same. Only the names have changed, not the content.

It cannot change. People do not want to change, lest it disturbs their lives and the safe environ they lived for generations. Change denotes risking the established traditions that provided them security.

NaMo asked people to change their attitude. Keep streets and offices clean. He wanted to celebrate the dream of Mahatma Gandhi. Old people liked the idea. It presents the ruling party politicians with a photo opportunity to holding a broom in the hand. It is a great pose for newspaper cameramen- to see a politician holding broom in his hand. The lens men rush the pictures to news editors. They have done their duty, so have the politicians. They pose. The media carries the pictures.

Perhaps the Prime Minister who has a habit of scanning all newspapers early in the morning may even notice. They had done their duty by obeying the Prime Minister and removed dirt from the street. It is left for the sweepers of the civic body to do the rest. Similar stunts were performed earlier also. There is no change… not even change in attitudes.

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 The Congress-led government was keen to introduce second tranche of economic reforms last year. However, BJP did not find it a right time to change as it could not risk exposing the Indian retailers to completion from the multinationals in retail trade. The BJP on the opposition benches argued that the entry of multinationals with their capital, technology and systems to was against the interest of the Indian producers and consumers. But now the Prime Minister has decided not open only to open the retail trade but many other sectors. Surprisingly the BJP trumpets it as a great step, but the Congress found it a retrograde measure that would hurt Indian economy. Their interpretation of the same thing changed since they swapped places. One wonders whether their understanding or seat they occupy is dictating the dialogue.


The government has changed not only at the centre but also in Haryana and Maharashtra.  The Congress led governments in both states were miserable failures. The first thing that the BJP government did was to launch a probe in the land deals of son in law of the Congress president. The underlying belief was that if Robert Vadra is declared a villain and sent behind bars or deprived of his profits, life in Haryana would improve a lot. If this perception was correct, why a similar action was not taken against fake the Godmen? Why were the religious pretenders promising to provide their blind followers of a direct ticket to heaven not touched?

During the election campaign a promise was made to bring back all ill-gotten wealth stacked in foreign banks. Now in position of authority they seem to have realized that that banking laws in safe havens do not permit the stacked wealth to be disturbed. They claim that they have no idea of the amount stacked. But believe it to be huge. They also do not explain the basis of their belief. Their opponents now want them to keep their promise.

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Vijay Sanghvi
Vijay Sanghvi
Political Commentator and Analyst Vijay Sanghvi, 81 has created a niche for himself as a seasoned media person with proven credentials and political, economic and social analyst since 1962. Sanghvi worked for five years in Mumbai for Gujarati papers before shifting to Delhi and continued to work for various dailies in Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi and English as well as for international media. He has many newsbreaks to his credit as well as inside view of many epoch making events. He covered parliamentary proceedings from 1967 till 2007.


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