India is facing a unique situation today, needing to make the choice between two opposed ideologies and personalities.
On the one side is the overactive erstwhile Subaydar of Gujarat, who has now vanquished the rulers of Delhi and taken over the Sultanate of Delhi, which he had been reviling till the other day. He is following a well-chalked out strategy to gradually take control of all levers of power in the country, to ultimately establish a virtual autocracy. Steps are underway to control the bureaucracy, with moves to have direct links with Departmental heads, bypassing Ministers. Cabinet Ministers including senior ones like those in charge of important portfolios like Home Affairs cannot even have personal staff of their choice.
One Person’s Writ Runs
There is only one person whose writ runs, and he is the new Sultan of Delhi. The ruling party is also run by his aide-in-chief, who is otherwise facing trial in cases of alleged involvement in fake encounters in Gujarat, for which the state earned notoriety during the rule of the erstwhile Subaydar of the state. The new Sultan of Delhi, at the very least, has been the new party president’s godfather during the period when the fake encounters took place.
As part of the overall design to control all sources of power, the Delhi Sultanate has now got Parliament’s seal of approval for the legislation and Constitution Amendment to overturn the established system of appointment and transfer of Supreme Court and High Court judges. It has been helped in this by the groundwork done by the erstwhile ruling party and coalition.
Shorn of platitudes. the proposed changes in the law and the Constitution give the executive a foothold, and with some contriving, a stranglehold and even a veto over who would be Supreme Court and High Court judges, throwing to the winds the concept of independence of the judiciary.
Opposition Led by Part-time Politician
On the other hand, we have the erstwhile ruling party, now in the opposition, virtually led by a person, who is in politics only part-time. At each step, we find him running away from leading at the front, shunning responsibility. After forcing a debate in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, on the rising spectre of communal violence, we find him shying away from debating the issue, when the matter was finally discussed in the house.
Earlier, he had skipped the task and responsibility of heading the defeated party in the Lok Sabha. And further back, during the last ten years, when his party was in power, he had rejected out of hand the then Prime Minister’s repeated supplications to him to join the Cabinet.
India is in a sorry state of affairs today with the levers of power in the hands of a person, who wants to usurp all authority, and an opposition too timid and effete to play its rightful role.