A 100-Day Agenda For The Opposition - Vibes Of India

Gujarat News, Gujarati News, Latest Gujarati News, Gujarat Breaking News, Gujarat Samachar.

Latest Gujarati News, Breaking News in Gujarati, Gujarat Samachar, ગુજરાતી સમાચાર, Gujarati News Live, Gujarati News Channel, Gujarati News Today, National Gujarati News, International Gujarati News, Sports Gujarati News, Exclusive Gujarati News, Coronavirus Gujarati News, Entertainment Gujarati News, Business Gujarati News, Technology Gujarati News, Automobile Gujarati News, Elections 2022 Gujarati News, Viral Social News in Gujarati, Indian Politics News in Gujarati, Gujarati News Headlines, World News In Gujarati, Cricket News In Gujarati

A 100-Day Agenda For The Opposition

| Updated: June 13, 2024 12:38

Modi jee bees saal pradhan mantri rahe, koi buri baat nahi hai, lekin vipaksh mazboot hona chaiye (Modi can be prime minister for 20 years, there’s no problem, but the opposition should be strong),” said a neighbourhood shopkeeper as he readied the order of a customer.

Harish Khare said in The Wire that the shopkeeper’s native wisdom underlines the fact that there are two parts to the 2024 election: voters not only wanted Narendra Modi cut down to size but have also empowered the Opposition to play the role of a robust and effective check on the executive’s waywardness. Voters have renewed the legitimacy of the idea of Opposition and have rejected the argument from the Modi clique – the technocratic elite, the corrupt media barons, and the crony capitalists – that there could be no questioning or critiquing of a self-proclaimed Messiah. India’s citizens have unambiguously affirmed that there is no place for an emperor in a democracy.

The Opposition has its mandate. Modi will start behaving like a tin-pot emperor if the Opposition leaders do not respect their mandate. And, how seriously the Opposition leaders discharge their part of the mandate in the first 100-days would set the template for reclaiming the Republic. The reprieve the voters have provided has to be converted into something lasting.

First and foremost, it is necessary for the INDIA bloc partners to build on the solidarities, unity of purpose, and habits of cooperation that have got instigated during the campaign. Sadly, cracks are already appearing in Haryana and Maharashtra. Realism, common sense, mutual respect, and, an unadulterated commitment for constitutional principles would be needed if the Opposition parties hope to act as a formidable voice in defence of the democratic Republic.

Though the Lok Sabha is the ideal forum where Opposition togetherness can be most efficacious, the unity need not be confined to the two houses of Parliament nor just to the elected members; officials and activists from the INDIA alliance  have to devise new protocols and practices of producing the requisite synergy, even when possibly pursuing different political and electoral goals.

Three areas demand immediate and combined attention from the Opposition: constitutionalism, federalism and secularism.

The Opposition should see to it that Parliament starts functioning as a robust forum for debate and dissent. For ten years the executive has been able to get away with committing many constitutional delinquencies; the voters have now withdrawn that licence. For example, there must be an insistence on the Prime Minister coming and answering questions, as per the best Parliamentary convention. The post of the Deputy Speaker, deliberately kept vacant these past five years, should be filled in the very first session of the new Lok Sabha; otherwise, the matter would need to be settled by the Supreme Court. And then the Speaker, even if he or she belongs to the ruling benches, is expected to function in a non-partisan manner. A rubber-stamp presiding officer brings only disgrace to the dignity and prestige of Parliament.

The Opposition leaders have an obligation to impress upon the newly elected parliamentarians the absolute need for seriousness and diligence. For instance, the Opposition members in the two houses could float a forum/manch for discussing grand issues and critical developments at home and abroad. Eminent experts can be asked to lecture on themes like climate change, Ukraine-Russia war, the genocide in Palestine, etc.. Such workshops mean an engagement with issues, beyond slogans heard or shouted at election rallies.

The Opposition parties have been given a mandate to work for the restoration of the federal spirit that has been mauled out of shape these last ten years. Fairness and constitutional principles, rather than the omnipresence of this or that prime minister, need to be worked into co-operation between the Centre and the States. The least that the Opposition partners can do is to hold joint meetings in different parts of the country; let the dominant partner in Patna, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Jaipur, Raipur, or Gauhati have the responsibility for organisational efforts. The idea is to offer joint thanks to the voters and a combined front to the NDA establishment.

Thirdly, the Opposition has a moral duty and the political obligation to engage with India’s minorities, reassure them they have a place and a role in shaping the collective destiny of this nation. Voters demonstrated that they have moved away from the inspired bigotry and animus that the Hindutva leaders dished out these past 10 years. The electorate has seen through the BJP’s communal agenda. The Opposition needs to shed its reticence about allowing Muslims in the photo-frame.

Fourth, with becoming humility the Opposition leaders need to remember that it is the masses who were in the forefront of resistance against creeping authoritarianism. The Modi establishment was helpless in the face of the ingenuity, imagination, inspiration, and innovation displayed by voices from civil society in disrupting the godi media’s narrative. Because of the code of conduct, there was very little the police-wallahs could do against these intrepid individuals as they poured ridicule and scorn on the Great Messiah.

The Opposition parties, particularly the Congress, have a duty to resurrect the idea of civil society as also to resuscitate the NGO sector. Both civil society and NGOs  are anchored in the profound belief that the state alone does not know best. The Opposition, especially wherever they are in power, ought to find imaginative ways to engage with civil society and NGOs – notwithstanding the activists’ habits of contestation and contrariness. Opposition leaders will discover that there are enough talented and experienced individuals around eager to lend their expertise and time in challenging the authoritarian agenda.

Perhaps the Opposition could signal its seriousness by choosing a seasoned leader like Sharad Pawar to be its functional chairperson, and, to designate someplace in New Delhi as its “headquarters.” An edifice of cooperation must be built.

In sending more than 200 of its members to the Lok Sabha, voters have entrusted the Opposition with the onerous task of defending the Constitution against an anti-democratic phalanx of Big Money, Bad Media, and Badass ‘Chankayas’. The electorate has done its bit in gloriously standing up for democratic values and constitutional wholesomeness; now, it time for the Opposition to get cracking.

Also Read: Send ’em Back: MEA Stern On Russia Using Indians In Army

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *