Opposition? We Don’t Want One

The recent trends in elections in India, barring a few exceptions is of people electing governments not just with a majority but with an overwhelming majority, at times reaching to the all-powerful two-thirds majority.

The elections to the Parliament in India and the subsequent elections in the states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, etc are notable examples.

Furthermore, most states in India at present have bipolar political rivalries, which lowers the chances of a fractured mandate and therefore, of coalition governments.

These trends suggest that people are fed up of governments where the single largest party will have to waste precious time and efforts in winning consensus for everything either of the opposition or its own coalition partners.

The policy paralyzed coalition government which ruled from 2004-2014 clearly played a role in the birth of this mindset.

In fact, such is the distaste for opposition that the electorate have decided to render them irrelevant, as evidenced by the relatively few concerns raised by the public about the attempts of the Union government to eradicate the opposition, legitimately or otherwise.

Given the spate of Indian politics, leaving the opposition redundant isn’t probably such a bad idea, is it?

Because an opposition here has never been of the responsible kind. They have (whoever’s been sitting in those hated benches) always opposed for the sake of opposing, thrown spanners in those rare progressive plans the government of the day came up with and never missed out on making issues out of non-issues.

We now think every issue raised by the opposition is a non-issue.

To simplify matters for the non-Indian reader, politicians like Donald Trump are the staple here.

I must add that while politicians and the intelligentsia criticize the emergency of the ’70s, the lay people remember it for two things only: Sanjay Gandhi’s overzealous family planning initiatives and that trains in those days were so regular one could set their watches by them. Both things are seen in a positive light.

We Indians haven’t ever been fans of democracy to be completely honest. Most of our families are good examples of that where it is the iron hand of the patriarch or matriarch which rules over all. Plurality of viewpoints is not appreciated, rather disliked because it is perceived as a rebellion of sorts and a source of disharmony.

The dislike for democracy is well known, but is its downfall nearing as well?


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