- Must read highlights cognitive dissonance within UPA RT “@cbcnn_Pilid: Kaushik Basu’s full paper on Fin min website http://bit.ly/cheJ8Z
- Interesting coincidence RT “@pragmatic_d: Shekhar Gupta on Congress’ left-turn. http://is.gd/eHzQ6”
- But Shekhar Gupta must realize this left ward drift is significantly different from the earlier ones on two counts
- It has not concentrated power in State instead it has marginalized it devolving power to quasi-constitutional bodies with no accountability
- In doing so it has created a stake for a new class of leftist special interests going far beyond delhi’s leftist intellectual circles
- There in lies the long term damage to the Constitutional Institutions and to Governance
- Disagree with @swapan55 http://j.mp/9Qw1Kd backroom interventions in Parliament are not same as taking a coherent public position on policy
- Let us be clear there is only one credible yardstick to measure if BJP is on it’s way to recovery or not
- That yardstick is the degree to which BJP challenges the Congress’ left liberalism at it’s very root through direct public policy positions
- All else like this intervention on nuclear liability issue is just feel good politics that’s far from making lasting impact on it’s fortunes
- Urgently needed – a “Values based Constitutionalism” to pose a credible challenge to the Sonia Rahul “Rights based Entitlement Left Liberalism”
- Absolutely true federalism will be a key constiutional value RT “@raoabhijeet: @offstumped Alternative is True Federalism”
- BJP’s current non-strategy can be summed up: Nation will tire of Congress. Let us be non-shrill enough to be acceptable to lead a non-Congress coalition
- Hence BJP non-strategy requires not taking strong ideological policy position against Left Liberal entitlements to humor noncongress rag tag
- Need more proof that Rights based Entitlements have queered the pitch for Congress http://j.mp/dufX3j
- That LK Advani could not think of a single Rural Enterprise success story as theme for Peepli Live and only NREGA came to his mind says lot
- RT “@centerofright: @offstumped he shld hv read @rashmibansal‘s stay hungry stay foolish or connect the dots, both have good examples”
Original Blog Post
In 2007 then BJP National Vice President and Lok Sabha MP from Orissa Juel Oram had raised the banner of protest in Orissa against the state government’s move to sanction prospective license (PL) to Posco for mining at Khandadhar iron ore reserve. Two years before in 2005 Juel Oram had this to say of his opposition to mining projects in Orissa
displacement will affect the socio-economic conditions of the people and this is a major issue. “When a project comes up in any locality it affects not only the tribal people, but also the community as a whole,” says Oram. He has been vehemently opposing the12-million-tonne POSCO steel project near Paradip. Thousands of people who were displaced by the Rourkela Steel Plant, the Hirakud dam, the Rengali dam, and many other medium and small projects have not been compensated till date, he says.
But for Juel Oram’s opposition there is not much to glean from the last 5 years on where exactly the BJP stands on the issues related to Mining from the point of view of the environment and more importantly the Forest Rights Act. On the Forest Rights Act itself there is little that can be found by way of an informed policy position from the BJP. There are stray stories on Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh demanding speedy implementation of the Act and later on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi claiming credit for its implementation in his state. But beyond that there just is little to glean on
#1 what exactly was the BJP’s contribution to the debate on this legislation
#2 if there was an informed point of view on this Legislation that was both rooted in its political ideology and was derived from an enlightened political/electoral strategy
#3 if there was even an attempt by the BJP to influence public opinion one way or the other on the various aspects of the Act to bring to bear pressure on the UPA in shaping the contours of this Act
The story is not very much different when one looks at the BJP’s role in shaping and influencing other key Entitlement programs succesfully legislated by the UPA as Constitutional Rights.
Let us take the case of NREGA to which every BJP ruled state government has been a willing party. But for stray election time remarks on NREGA there has hardly been any firm political opposition to it. But for this criticism from Yashwant Sinha, it is hard to find any strong position on the NREGA. Only belatedly Narendra Modi has spoken up on corruption within the NREGA but not much beyond.
The BJP’s approach on Right to Education, RTE is no different either nor do we see any well formed position on the proposed Food Security bill.
So what we have here is the BJP mostly reacting to the Congress’ left liberal “rights based agenda”, riding on its bandwagon in states where it is in power while being mostly clueless on the long term strategic implications of this “rights based left liberal law making”.
The Vedanta episode highlights how these Rights based laws like the FRA have effected a long term strategic advantage to the Congress. The Rights based Agenda allows the Congress to
#1 – appropriate a messianic political role making any opposition to its agenda look petty and belligerent
#2 – give a stake to a nationwide network of NGO activists who in turn return the favor by advocating its cause if not overtly by proxy. This is happening on multiple dimensions ranging from mobilizing public opinion on local issues to beseiging its political opponents through litigation and popular protest.
#3 – remake the electoral landscape to suit its class rhetoric. The myriad challenges in the recognition of these newly granted Rights will ensure an abundance of victimhood that the Congress can conveniently exploit as is evident from the Vedanta episode
#4 - give a permanent stake to the Delhi based Left Liberal opinion making class (across the media, Judiciary and intelligenstia) in law making and law enforcement as is evident from the dual role played by NAC members
#5 – distort the constitution with complex legislation that over the long term weakens the primary Institutions of the State, diffuses accountability while creating new special interests that no non-Congress government of the future can either displace or fully overcome
The BJP on account of its intellectual vaccum and myopia has shot itself in the foot by contributing unwittingly to this Left Liberal strategic shift in favor of the Congress.
What is worse the BJP still does not see a need to chart a fundamentally different course Legislatively or Politically to challenge the Congress.
The Congress under Sonia and Rahul Gandhi may be lacking in tactical political acumen as is evident from the political bungling over Telangana. But the mother and son duo have more than made up for that lack of tactical political leadership by effecting a long term strategic shift in favor of a messianic role for the dynasty. Unlike in the past this time they have nurtured a network of NGOs and Delhi based special interests to ensure the gains from this strategic shift are Institutionalized.
This has raised the threshold significantly against any effective politco-intellectual challenge to this” Rights based Left Liberal Agenda in favor of the Dynasty”.
The Indian voter does have a mind of its own. Electoral outcomes are far from pre-determined. The Congress has no immunity from the effects of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
This “Rights based Left Liberal agenda” may not guarantee electoral success to the Congress.
But it does queer the pitch in favor of the Congress forcing the BJP to play a me-too game. A game that does not come naturally to the BJP, thus making it look like an opportunistic B-Team of the Congress.
And we all know when given a choice between the Original and a pale imitation, what choice the voter will likely make !