The General Elections in India are due after about ten months from now. The country is gradually witnessing the changing political process that will reach its logical end in May 2024. The opposition parties formed a strong coalition now known as I.N.D.I.A (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance). The Bengaluru conclave of this new formation was attended by 26 parties. The ruling political formation till yesterday did not care a fig for any ally and remained slave to one ‘face’, it suddenly projected itself as a coalition of 38 political parties. It is an open scenario that all decisions at the Centre are taken by one ‘face’ that made all ministers redundant. He is all in all, at times he takes over the role of his foreign minister, the next day he becomes the finance minister, then defence minister, at the end of the historic farmers movement he became ‘agriculture minister’, he occasionally assumes the role of his Railway Minister. The ‘face’ is projected by his devotees as if he were ‘omniscient’, ‘omnipresent’ and a ‘lord of all’ or ‘a king’ who wears a crown of various shapes. All ‘inaugurations’ are performed by him with Hindu Brahmins. The inauguration ceremony of the New Parliament Building was like a coronation of a Hindu ‘prince’ who will soon declare his country to be the sole ‘Hindu Rashtra’ on this universe, earlier it was only feudal Nepal that now has opted to be a ‘democratic republic’ with modern civilized political system of democracy.
The BJP-RSS, once under the leadership of L K Advani had initiated a debate to change our system on the pattern of US electoral model where election is based on two ‘faces’. With the same mindset, this question is posed every evening, ‘who is the ‘FACE’ of INDIA formation?’ In reality this question is absurd. Our Constitution rejects this type of mindset. It clearly mentions: ‘The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.’(Article 75) The practice of the ‘nomination of a Prime Ministerial candidate’, even when the electoral process has not officially begun, is the product of those rabid communal forces such as the RSS who do not believe in Indian democratic system. It is also the product of backward consciousness of feudal times propagated by literature of those ages that an ‘avatar’ would provide succor to the suffering subjects.
The actual practice of appointing a PM in our system is that a political formation with a clear majority or support of elected members of the Lok Sabha elects a leader of that formation and then approaches the President, who if convinced about the claim appoints that person as the PM who proves a majority on the floor of the House.
The BJP, a Party governed by the RSS outfit, is largely seen to follow the dictates of its base-organisation that follows the fascist ideology as defined by their Guru, Golwalkar, in his early work, We or Our Nationhood Defined (1930) wherein he clearly embraced Nazi ideology with praise and submission. The fascist ideology is alien to Indian culture that treats the whole world as one family. It is but natural that a Party based on the un-Indian fascist ethos may crush under its feet any democratic norm and stoop so low as to declare a candidate on a party ticket from a constituency to be ‘the PM-in-waiting’ for a great country like India with diversity of rich cultures, languages, religious practices and divergent ideologies. The BJP does not care for its fundamental duty as enshrined in the Article 51A(a) of our Constitution that enjoins upon all of us ‘to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions…’
However, there is some method in this madness. India gradually has achieved a stage of capitalist development and has now annexed herself with the tail of the developed capitalist world. The international finance capital has now established its hegemony over world economy and it is a well-known feature that finance capital promotes fascism in various parts of the world. That is why the BJP serving the interests of world capitalism and having slavish connection with crony capitalism in India promotes a ‘face’ to meet the ‘faces’. The BJP is trampling under its boots all democratic values, destroying all institutions and in essence demolishing the idea of India. It is this reason why it had harped earlier on the presidential system of governance to ape the US system of elections. It couldn’t succeed in its earlier venture, so it invented the new method by declaring its suitable ‘face’ to be the head of Indian State. The propaganda machinery and ‘godi’ (obsequious) media create a noise about a ‘face’. Every anchor on the television and every journalist on the side of dictatorship can be seen posing this question, ‘who is the ‘face’ of the Opposition alliance to meet the ruling ‘face’.
The BJP does not care for merit of its cadres, or their commitment to its ideology, it watches the ‘face’ and ‘faces’ are selected as candidates for election. It loves the faces of sadhus, sadhvis who may spread the poison of communalism, some faces of Bollywood actors who need a ‘director’ to utter a dialogue without applying their own brain. We hardly see such crowd contributing to the debate in our temple of democracy. They worship the ‘face’ and that is their only role. They hardly visit their constituency and see the suffering faces there. They serve the leader best by acting as dumb and deaf ‘faces’ in the Parliament. Some of them speak the written dialogue only at the occasion of oath-taking ceremony and after that they remain silent for the whole term of five years of the House.
The anti-democratic and mischievous elements will pose this question repeatedly, who is the ‘face’ to meet the ruling ‘face’ who calls himself to be the only ‘heavyweight’ in the arena. The INDIA formation should not fall prey to this unconstitutional media-hype. If any media person or any spokesperson of any party poses the absurd question of a ‘face’ to meet the ‘face’, he or she should be directed to first read the Constitution of India. The so-called ‘new India’ nurtures ill-literacy and ill-logic. That is to be countered vehemently to put the record straight. It is a democratic task, a fundamental duty as the Constitution of India has enjoined upon all of us, ’we the people’ ‘to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform’ under Article 51A (h).
Chanchal Chauhan taught English at a college of Delhi University, now retired. He is Executive President of Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, an all-India association of Hindi-Urdu writers. His writings can be seen on his website, www.chanchalchauhan.in