A beacon of democracy surrounded by an ocean of uncertainties

Monday, May 18, 2009

It is remarkable that Indian electorate has simultaneously clipped the wings of "Left" and "Right" while rewarding pro-poor policies coupled with Dr. Singh's strategic approach to "make market work" for India. In some states like West Bengal, I am not sure if the electorate had voted for Congress but they definitely voted against parties who had been seen by voters as spoilers. Nevertheless, at this hour of history, Congress is entitled to take all the credit for the outcome.

It is even more remarkable to note that, India has survived yet another test of democracy. When charismatic Vajpayee's government was defeated in 2004, despite his exceptional leadership, he accepted the verdict humbly and said, "It is always with the will of the people that governments have been formed - and changed. This power of democracy is a matter of pride for our country, something which we must always cherish, preserve and further strengthen..." Our faith in democracy has made India a beacon of democracy surrounded by an ocean of uncertainties.

The immediate challenges ahead of UPA government are "global economic meltdown", "troubles in India's neighborhood" and safety & security. Now that Left is out, Congress can get things done easily at home and it can now focus more on pursuing long term strategic foreign policies. Verdict of 2009's general elections is decisive not only for India but also for the world. Given the kind of uncertainties in South Asea and middle east, the world wanted stable government in Delhi so that India can play a significant role in establishing peace and tranquility in the region. Indian voters have done exactly the right thing by rewarding UPA.

Quite often, "Left" and "Right" wings in India overestimated Dr. Manmohan Singh as an economist and underestimated his abilities as a politician. I think, he has an unusual brand of politics. To strike a balance between coalition partners, Sonia Gandhi's powerful influence and his own position as the de-facto head of the government is never an easy task. I think he has done that successfully. More over, The internal politics of Congress is much more complicated than Indian politics. If one can survive that, he cannot be a weak politician. During 90s, in the era of protectionism and India's own brand of socialism, he was able to convince the leaders about market friendly approach. Yet again, his impeccable position on Indo-US nuclear deal has established his strength and proved his far reaching vision. Only time can prove his political strength as it proved his strength as an economist.

One can only hope that, this victory of democracy will bring much needed peace and stability in the region.

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This work by Manjunath Singe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. The views and opinions expressed in this work are strictly those of the author and do not represent his employer's views in anyway.