The coalition compulsion
Where lies the people’s interest?
Compulsions of managing coalition politics'. This rather bizarre and clichéd argument has proved handy for the partners ruling the country and the states in coalitions. From Prime Minister down to the lowest levels in the democratic hierarchy in the country, the argument pops up every now and then as it is conveniently used to cover up the failures of a particular Government or the system to deliver.
If the proponents of this seemingly unconvincing argument, led by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, feel that they have been able to put the lid on their failure by invoking this sentence, they are sadly mistaken. More than two decades of coalition era has, of late, raised the issue of good governance and putting a proper delivery system in place to resolve people’s problems, more seriously than ever before.
Do the compulsions of a coalition Government stop the partners from at least ensuring providing proper basic amenities to the people? The answer is an emphatic no. Instead, the fractured mandate should bring added responsibility on the ruling coalition partners, collectively as well as individually’ to perform well. Collectively, they will never stand together as they are unable to shun the enormous sense of self-inflicted insecurity, of course, under the garb of the compulsions of coalition politics. But individually they should put up better performance if not for public welfare but at least in the hope to improve their own rating in the next elections or so.
One of the worst case scenarios of running and managing a coalition dispensation is the National Conference-Congress combine in Jammu and Kashmir. Just weeks after the state government counted its achievements on completion of three years, the lid was blown off, through a sting operation, about the pathetic conditions prevailing in a children’s hospital just a few kilometres from Srinagar’s civil secretariat.
It is more glaring an example of a coalition failure than anything else. Certainly, it is criminal on the part of the ruling combine to have closed their eyes and permitted the life being snuffed out of the newly born infants due to the government’s failure to provide basic facilities such as an incubator and life saving drugs. Leave alone the messy and unhygienic conditions prevailing in the hospital premises.
There is a reason to call the GB Pant hospital story a bigger failure and a glaring index of coalition mismanagement. For a moment, let us keep politics out of the NC-Congress saga, to analyse the sordid children’s hospital tale. In this case the coalition has been working at two levels. Firstly, at the state levels and secondly the hospital was being run by the state administration in collaboration with the defence establishment. The fact that the towering Congress leader from Jammu and Kashmir Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad is the Union Health Minister can also not be ignored. For the sake of argument, it will not be wrong to say that both the Centre and the state machineries have miserably failed in this case.
The handsome and not too aging Medical Education Minister, Mr R S Chib, who also holds the charge of sports and youth affairs, was perhaps too busy in the factional rumblings of his own party Congress and touring far off countries in Latin America and other sub-continent in the name of sports promotion to spare a thought for health infrastructure in the state. And his Chief Minister is no exception as he discovered this hospital only after the issue was brought alive by a private TV channel through the sting operation.
There is a broader question involved here. If such is the state of affairs in the city based GB Pant hospital and SMGS Hospital in Jammu, those who are slightly aware about the topography of the state can well imagine the plight of the people living in far-flung areas. They are truly at the mercy of the God. While Neros in the coalition Government are fiddling with the power packed flutes to extract their pound of flesh, the man on the street is looking heavenwards for his survival.
It is unlikely that his sufferings will end so soon as the coalition partners National Conference and the Congress have already started a fresh round of one-up-manship. And so is the case in the faction ridden Congress. Mr Azad is already in the Summer capital when this piece appears, to galvanise the party. But both his and JKPCC chief Prof Saif-Ud-Din Soz’s camps are gearing up for a showdown. One hopes they will, at least pass a resolution condoling the scores off deaths that took place due to the failure of the government.
The coalition partners must realize, in the overall context that chaos, confusion and ambiguity will serve no one’s interest. The worst sufferers in such situations are the masses. The Chief Minister and his band of ministers, irrespective of their party affiliations, must act before it is too late.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM OPINION
‘Azad can’t break the Govt as Centre is with us’
Srinagar, May 20: A day after Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the tragic death of infants in Valley’s sole maternity hospital, G B Pant, as “shameful” and blamed State Government for More
- Srinagar City
Srinagar, May 20: For the past over two years, upper Soura – Ahmednagar road is in dilapidated condition causing much of inconvenience to the residents. “For two years now we are moving from pillar More
Jammu, May 20: Normal life in Jammu and its outskirts was paralysed as a dust storm hit the city on Sunday evening. "There was a dust storm and dazzle in the capital with winds travelling at a velocity More
- South Asia
Islamabad, May 20: Pakistan Sunday blocked micro-blogging website Twitter after it failed to take action on the publication of blasphemous content. The Nation daily said the Pakistan Telecommunication More
Rome, May 20: Panicked people rushed into the streets when a powerful earthquake struck northern Italy early today, killing three people and injuring at least two others, rescuers said.  More
- Education and Career
University Of Oxford Announces Rhodes ScholarshipThe University of Oxford announces Rhodes scholarship for Indian nationals. The Scholarship is initially for a period of two years but if necessary can More