The new normal

Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 November 2019 (13:10 IST)
- Inderesh Kumar Jain

1 As one ponders the goings on in Maharashtra, and struggles to make sense of the very piquant situation that all political participants have painted themselves into, one wonders as to where we are headed.
2 To begin, a brief resume of the major events would be in order, to refresh ourselves. The results of the Vidhan Sabha elections were declared on 24 Oct 19, amidst much fanfare and rejoicing in most quarters of the political space. The jubilation was short lived however, and ‘time’ the old warhorse kept up its momentous ticking.
3 After the BJP, the Shiv Sena turned turtle and President’s rule was enforced. Politics makes for strange bedfellows, is an old nineteenth century saying and frankly, those who only weeks ago were shouting each other down started cosying up to each other. 
4 The Shiv Sena, in an unseemly grab at the political pie, quite overturning the basic philosophy of its founding father and supremo, the late venerated Balasaheb Thackery of never yearning for any political designation, started the projection of Aditya Thackeray as a chief ministerial candidate. This was followed by intense and laborious consultations between the very unlikely occupants of the bed, as to the sharing of the political spoils.
5 This lead to the dumbfounding alliance between and Pawar Jr, the midnight drama at the Raj Bhavan and the swearing in ceremony. This of course could not be swallowed by the politically expedient ‘post poll’ alliance stitched up as the ‘Vikas Agadhi’, who moved the Supreme Court on a Sunday, with an impassioned plea to correct a perceived assault on the Constitution.
6 I briefly mention these facts to focus on some aspects which strike me as bizarre, to say the least. The hunger for a share of the political pie and the talk centered around ‘plum’ portfolios/ ministries quite obviously detracts from the mendacious mouthing of “ devotion to serving the aam aadmi” and the “mandate of the people”. Pre-poll or post- poll alliances are frankly meaningless in this quagmire, as essentially all are aimed at grabbing power (“and thereby making money” as said by Lord Meghnad Desai, in an article in the Indian Express). Marriages, they say are made in Heaven and solemnized on Earth. I am sure that political alliances are fashioned on Earth and solemnized in one of the levels of Dante’s Purgitorio; because the lifetime of some of them is like living through Pugatory.
7 Realpolitik has come of age and is slowly defining its own ‘theorems’ and altruisms. How fast this is going to lead us into oblivion, only time will tell. Unless we redefine ‘political integrity’ and we stop treating political power as just ‘spoils of war’ over which the victor has absolute rights, we are spiraling into an inferno from where we may never emerge. The constant knocking at the doors of the judiciary and asking them to foray into matters legislative will over a period of time start diluting the institutional integrity of the pillars of our Constitution, by the creation of perceived strife and discord between them. The political establishment must find within itself the robustness to stand up for principled governance as dictated by the mandate of the people. Self-regulation within the political space is the desperate need of the hour. Should this not be forthcoming, is it time to consider ‘the power of recall’? If the present state of affairs in the political realm continues, are we staring at a new normal where the integrity of individuals is up for sale and especially those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution? Frightening isn’t it?  
Widgets Magazine