Thursday, 24 April 2014

LS 2014: The 3 men and the 3 women.

In the run up to these elections, which turned out to be a hotbed of various public discourses and people openly wearing their opinion without restrain, I wonder if we've gone too far to realize who the real players are. Just like cricket, anything is possible in Indian politics and the ones who make the largest impact are often the ones who've been undermined for long. This time, the kind of melodrama, the kind of public detraction, the burlesque, the tirades, we've probably witnessed that intensity for the first time. Moreover, we've coronated three leaders, out of whom one is bound to come up as the baton holder, our much awaited ombudsman, our catharsis. While the debate regarding the contention between #NaMo, #RaGa and #AK49 has already seen a lot of brouhaha, jamboree and pastiche, I wonder if they're actually the game changers for this season. Maybe it's not about the three men, afterall. Maybe we overlooked the three women whose supremacy does not stem out from their oratory persona or their intellectual visage or even their dynastic provenance, but who may prove to be powerful enough to decide the fate of more than one sixth of the world's population at the end.

It may rile a lot many people, but combined, the states of UP, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have approximately 160 seats at stake and the three women namely Mayawati, Mamta Banarjee, and Jayalalitha, can be expected to garner anywhere between 80 to 100 seats. While cumulatively the number does not signify anything given the 272 figure required to assert majority, these 80 to 100 seats might as well be the deciding factor on who gets to have their appellation emblazoned on the throne. And guess what, this may not be the first time that the fate of a billion lives lied in the hands of these women or at least two of them. While you may question the credibility of these women as the fate changers, Mayawati's supposed rescinding led to the fall of the first Vajapayee government and withdrawal of support from Jayalalitha resulted in the end of his second tenure. It was only after the two defeats that he finally understood their true position and formed a formidable alliance keeping these intricacies in mind. 

While this time, the market is already ripe with speculations of an upcoming third front, a third front's existence in itself seems to be a little too specious to believe in. The debate on leadership shall serve as a perennial threat to its existence. So what if the three ladies decide to serve one of the three possible governments? Modi, even with his swashbuckleness and flamboyance, is likely to garner no more than 230 seats for their alliance as it stands at present. Ergo, he'll need support from at least one of these three women. And like we've seen before, they're not as yielding as one thinks they are. Their T&C list is something that gives you doldrums every now and then. So despite Modi's strength in governance, half of his decisions shall lie at the mercy of this one woman he chooses to ally with. 

What about Rahul? Congress has an epithet of forming secular, or pseudo-secular alliances actually, in the past and it has even been able to run governments with support from any or all these women. However, the dimensions are different this time. Congress will have a shaky ground and hence it will require support from all of them in order to run an alliance. Talk about Laissez Faire and now you'll have three women who can ravage your peace like anything. If even one of them is powerful enough to shake your foundations, presence of the entire trio will make sure those three are the only one who take the shots. Just imagine the clamor that shall ensue. 

And finally, coming to AK. While predictions on him are likely to go awry with everyone underestimating his elan and finesse, he too, in any case, will need support from all three, or rather lend support to all three, either with or without Congress in the alliance. While AK and Congress appear to be at loggerheads, you know what happened in Delhi and there would be no surprise if they join hands again. In any case, they'll need all the three women again, not only now, but even if a re-election takes place because of the leadig party's failure to form a government. Hence, AK is bound to ally with at least 2 of these women at least for the next 10 years and once again, the din and cacophony that these women shall bring upon you, will make sure you cant stand by only your own ideology. And these women, as we know, are bereft of ideologies, they've ephemeral agendas. Once again, those two women will rule the country, unlike what we thought would happen. 

While this account may seem exasperatingly chagrining, it's a truth we need to gulp. As the nation praises its three heroes, these 3 women would already be slobbering, knowing what role they're likely to play. Once again, the magnanimous democracy of this country is all set to astonish and stupefy us. The cuts and joints that we shall witness in May, would be the apogee of strategy formulation but none can deny the role that these 3 women would play. It's not the three heroes, but these 3 ladies, who'll choose what happens with this country. Just hoping god endows them with some sanity to make sure we move ahead.