The Congress Coalition
The never-say-die Congress continues to live in hope that divine intervention will keep it in power
Whenever, as it must, the Congress-led coalition at the centre falls it will not be for the first time that one or the other of the two principal Dravidian parties of Tamil Nadu would have figured in it.
In 1999 it was the AIADMK, founded by the Tamil superstar M.G. Ramachandran and inherited by his long time heroine, J. Jayalalitha, that brought down Atal Bihari Vajpayee's first attempt at Prime Ministership by withdrawing her party's support.
It is now the turn of the original DMK, led by the film script-writer, the octogenarian M. Karunanidhi that has pulled the rug from under the UPA coalition. In the first instance, the union budget presented by Yashwant Sinha was virtually left in a limbo and in the instant case P. Chidambaram has already presented his proposals which were “considered” by parliament before the DMK opted out of the coalition.
The never-say-die Congress though continues to live in hope that divine intervention in the shape of a Mulayam Singh and a Mayawati will keep it in power, long enough for it to assess its prospects at the polls to some State assemblies set for the next few months, ahead of the parliamentary poll. Not many give the UPA much of a chance to survive until then but it has the unpreparedness of Parties like BJP, the CPM and the others for an early general election going for it Thus, the UPA continues to ride its luck even when the Congress party seems to have virtually forfeited popular trust, largely due to its nonchalant ineptitude.
The manner in which it capitulated to the pressure mounted by Karunanidhi in the end has done it more harm than good. It wanted to be seen acting tough or in a principled mould only to be seen in the end as waverer, unable to tell the right from wrong. In the event it has dealt a mortal blow to its own credibility, internally and internationally.
By endorsing the US resolution before the UN Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva late last week the Indians neither pleased its dissenting domestic partner nor will it henceforth lend credence to its policy of opposing third party intervention in what it has argued were strictly bilateral issues More significantly, the Indian position at Geneva stood in sharp contrast to the position taken by almost all Asian nations ranging from China, Bangladesh, Indonesia etc. who negatived the US resolution suggesting credible human rights investigations into alleged rights violations of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The Indians seemed to have suffered a temporary a loss of memory when they chose not to remember that many LTTE training camps were run in India with official. Later, with then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s blessings, India sent an army peace-keeping Force to Sri Lanka to fight the self – same LTTE and that Rajiv Gandhi, a benefactor of the terror group, was massacred by LTTE itself during a poll rally in Tamil Nadu.
While the Indian concern for the well-being of Tamilians settled for nearly one and a half centuries in Sri Lanka should be a matter of concern but that doesn’t give India and Indian political parties the right to intervene in an internal matter that concerns Sri Lanka. Remember the Indian position vis-a- vis Kashmir, bilateralism
Given this stance of New Delhi can it, against the backdrop of the position taken by it in Geneva last week, tell pro-Pakistan separatists or Pakistan itself that the Kashmir issue can only be solved bilaterally, that it has no international aspect. Bilateralism by which Indian policy-makers have sworn all these long years, even after acknowledging the existence of a Kashmir dispute, should normally have been applicable to the Sri Lankan issue.
President Rajpaksa may not be made in the same democratic mould as India but how is he any different from the Congress’s first family when he is accused of having put his key family members in powerful positions. If Indira Gandhi can be succeeded by her daughter-in-law, her sons with a grandson already ensconced as the party’s future hope, who has authorised the Indians to question Rajpaksa’s credentials? And why should India, given its strong belief in its “historic” ties with Kashmir object to Pakistan endorsing the separatist demands in the valley? Whether we like it or not, the Kashmir dispute is very much alive; I was at Shimla that night when the man come to sue for peace after the debacle in Bangladesh (East Pakistan) stuck to his ground until nearly midnight on the final night of his (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s) talks with Indira Gandhi to get 93,000 Pakistani POW’s back and insist on Kashmir being an “outstanding” issues to be resolved. And what did all those rounds of talks –I have attended about 20 of these – between the Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers bureaucrats of the two countries about? And how long will this incompetent UPA government and its faltering leadership try to avoid facing the reality in the valley?
Like it or not, that’s what the ground reality appears to be like after our stand at Geneva last week. Thank god our leaders of the day who had the good sense not to interfere in newly independent countries with substantially large sub-continental populations. Or we would have had our platefuls of trouble in, say, in Fiji, Mauritius, the Caribbeans, South Africa et al.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST
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