I watched the special Lok Sabha session yesterday with as much dismay and incredulity as anyone else. The morbid state of Indian democracy and the quality of its denizens have always been apparent to the followers of chaotic Indian politics. But yesterday, they took a new abysmal low – with the smuggling in of cash, the bedlam in the house, the opposition’s disrespect for the Prime Minister’s position by not letting him speak, the lack of protocol, the MPs who were let to come in and vote from prison was just eminently depressing.
And in between all of that, there were bright moments – speeches from Omar Abdullah, Rahul Gandhi and yes, Lalu Yadav ( “you wear made in USA watches, your children wear Made in USA clothes and yet you have America phobia”). And like with everything in India, after all the utter disorder and chaos, the shouting and the slogan chanting, the moronic speeches and the hideously intellectually bankrupt arguments in some cases – the vote did take place. And the UPA did win. And from what it seems like, the Nuclear Deal will be pushed through.
The intent of this post is not to opine about what happened yesterday. Anyone with half an interest in politics would have heard enough about that on Indian TV over the last 24 hours or so. I wanted to follow up on my post earlier on some of the less commented about aspects of yesterday’s happenings.
One about the Left – its back to where it belongs – on the fringes of politics. Their next move is to align with BSP (with Mayawati at its helm) – they are now saying that the new found allies will now fight the next general election together with Mayawati as a Prime Ministerial candidate. As I have repeatedly stated, the Left does not really have a constructive agenda – all their agenda is obstructionist – obstruct the Nuclear Deal, obstruct the economic reforms, obstruct the pension bill revamp. And now with the government in power, their next move was predictable – join with the BSP to “campaign against the Nuclear Deal”. The moral bankrupcy of the Left was made apparent when they expelled Somnath Chatterjee because he didn’t resign from the post of Speaker of Lok Sabha. It took them one day after the vote to expel a man who was a member of the CPI-M for 40 years. But this blogger is extremely satisfied to see the Left out of any policy influencing position. Now we can finally get some of those reform bills passed and move on. And get the Nuclear Deal through before Bushie goes out of power.
Second, there was a little commented about incident – where the White House issued a statement commending Manmohan Singh for “soldiering on”. I don’t get it. Sometimes its so infuriatingly difficult to understand American foreign policy. Are American just plain stupid or is it a mixture of hubris and ignorance. Or just naivete. Americans are so good at hurting their own foreign policy with their own actions. I just found it funny that the White House thought it appropriate to condescendingly “commend” a head of the state of a country of the size and importance as India. These asinine steps are precisely what anti-American forces feed off of. At a time when America is not the most popular nation in the world – and India probably one of its closest allies – it doesn’t help its own cause by passing pats on the back of the largest democracy in the world. Its frankly a little distasteful and for the lack of any more appropriate word – stupid.
And finally, I wanted to talk about what I think is the positive impact of this huge year long hullaboo on the 123 Nuclear Deal. Given the attention, the controversies, the near-fall of a democratically elected government, the vote of trust and all the debates – now that finally the path of the deal is clear in India – I think the United States will now go that much further to ensure that NSG approves India’s waivers without conditions. It makes sense for the United States – if this deal stalls at the NSG or the US Congress, this will have huge negative strategic impacts on any large agreements that the US and India can have. Already there are voices emanating from the US confirming the same. And I think, in retrospect, this is the most positive outcome of the Left’s ignorant tomfoolery.