people’s foes
    Date :07-Aug-2021

peoples foes_1  
NO MATTER the multiple appeals to good sense, the Opposition parties have continued to act as if they are people’s foes -- by refusing to attend parliamentary proceedings and engaging in debate on issues of national importance. The latest appeal to sanity has come from Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, who asserted time and again at a press briefing that the Government was willing to have meaningful debate on Pegasus issue. However, it is only perponderous to expect that this assertion should carry appropriate weight with the Opposition parties. If the Opposition did not listen to the voice of sanity by a senior Congress leader like Mr. Veerappa Moily last week to change its approach to fighting with the Government, then it not likely at all to take Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad’s appeal seriously.
What is most disturbing part of Mr. Prasad’s briefing was the statistics of financial loss to the national exchequer on account of the Opposition’s refusal to attend parliamentary proceedings appropriately. He said, in effect, that the Government has lost as many as Rs. 130-plus crore because of the wasted sittings of the two Houses of Parliament. He has also given the details of how many hours of parliamentary proceedings were actually wasted because of the Opposition’s obstinacy. These details are good enough to disturb any sane Indian.
In the past some time, not just the Government but also many other sane-thinking people have made urgent appeals to the Opposition to allow parliamentary proceedings to go on smoothly so that the nation can benefit from the dialogue at the highest level of democracy. But all those appeals have gone waste simply because the Opposition’s strategy is to avoid any open dialogue with the Government, but to keep disturbing the parliamentary process by accusing the Government of running away from any discussion.
This is not just falsehood but also an acrimony that smacks of a resort to the law of the jungle. Just a couple of days earlier, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Mr. Venkaiah Naidu and others made similar appeals to the Opposition parties. But each one of them drew a blank simply because of the obstinacy and haughtiness of the Opposition leaders.
A deeper consideration of this entire episode, however, leads to an invariable conclusion that the Opposition is on a suicidal course politically and electorally. For a while, its blocking strategy may seem to work, but subsequently, it is going to bomb at the hustings as the common voters will realise that the Opposition is not serious about democracy as a system.
In his briefing, Mr. Prasad also made a very serious and rather personalised observation about the Congress leadership symbolised by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Rahul Gandhi and Mrs. Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra. Mr. Prasad alleged that the Congress party’s interest in democratic method and manner is restricted only to serving the interests of the Gandhi family (parivar). He cited many examples, too, to support his statement very convincingly. This is, of course, a very serious charge that seeks to expose the Gandhi family as having only personalised and narrow interest in politics rather than an abiding commitment to the larger cause.
The country has been witnessing such an uncouth conduct of the Opposition for the past seven years in different situations and issues. There is every reason for the common Indian people to believe that such political parties will only push the country over a precipice from where no redemption would be possible. Naturally, therefore, they -- the common people -- are turning to Mr. Narendra Modi as a voice of sanity and a symbol of national unity, no matter the different negative narratives that are doing the rounds in the country in the past some time. However, the Opposition does not realise its own suicidal positioning. This should serve Mr. Narendra Modi and his Government well. For, the Opposition is almost ensuring that it would defeat its own cause in the long run.