Switching Party Politics
What is service to the people or the nation? A mechanism that can test the moral integrity of the candidate should be incorporated in service selection.
The most awaited and hated news in the morning is the shifting sands of party in political turmoil or drama of Manipur. Not only the poor but all general public are under threat and facing an extreme hardship due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, power monger politicians and intending candidates seemingly prefer the present pandemic situation to the normal times. Attitudes of some parties and some intending candidates seem to have finished the campaign work for the coming 12th Assembly Election with the distribution of Covid-relief items. Others are rushing to Delhi to beg new cap and muffler (Lengyan) of new colour. And reportedly a few are in queue for this.
The felicitation functions for some heavyweight politicians who have working experience in some parties are being organised at Delhi with Central Level Leaders, while some B grade fellows are being felicitated at Imphal. So, their enrolment style is highly categorised. Then, it must be at micro level for a layman. The policy hated yesterday becomes the best one, today and the foe adversely criticised yesterday becomes bosom buddy, today. The promises he made yesterday becomes a curse today and the companion of yesterday becomes his enemy, today. Very interestingly, people also condemn them before election but the same leader will return. Thus, the question arises if the number of people who condemned them is very few. So, in a tactful version, they openly claim this practice as a way to serve the people in modern politics. People are in conflict to describe them to be a man of wisdom or opportunist or many more. Sometimes, some high profiles are blaming innocent people for taking money in the election. In the same way, many seasoned politicians, including bureaucrat-turned politicians are indulging themselves in dirty politics against the constitutional spirit without any self esteem. So, where is their honour even when they do not respect themselves? For bureaucrat-turned politicians, question arises among the people if there is any mistake in service selection methodology of the concerned commissions.
A mechanism that can test the moral integrity of the candidate should be incorporated in service selection. As far as moral is concerned, innocent people are far better than high-profile people.
Today, shifting of party by a politician is unpredictable and uncountable but also reversible except communist party. Sometimes, the BJP is wrongly perceived as Congress or vice versa because both parties are to be interchangeable in regard of members. One time in the Assembly, even assembly secretariat also got confused to arrange the seat of one ex-minister. So, it will be very interesting to discuss the different ways of affiliating into a political party.
According to political scientists and political analysts, one can approach for joining a political party through four perspectives. They are (i) Rational Motivation; (ii) Traditional Motivation; (iii) Emotional Motivation; and (iv) Deliberate (Opportunity) Motivation. When someone realises and believes in the ideology and philosophy of a particular party with comprehensive digestion, he may become a member of that party.
The finest and highest degree of quality of the party philosophy and ideology will be instilled in his mind. Then, he will work with a spirit of courage for the party. Such party member will never surrender or compromise his ideology. This way of joining party with the highest moral principle is termed Rational Motivation.
The second approach, Traditional Motivation is also remarkably regarded almost as same as the first one. Someone, since his forefathers, inherits and associates with the party ideology and philosophy. Moreover, he works and abides by the party ideology and collective decision. There are many leaders who hailed from such back ground.
The third attitude of joining party, the Emotional Motivation is the most common response of today’s politicians of Manipur when they switch their party. An eminent leader may be admired for his courageous action or his powerful speech or personality or anything else. Many people, because of him, may follow the party. However, the success of such joining is fifty-fifty that means he may become a hardcore member or may vanish without trace when the leader is no longer in power or in continuance.
Deliberate (Opportunity) Motivation is the most dangerous and cheapest way of joining with an opportunist motive. We should be cautious of such politicians who enter politics through this outlook and the parties which encourage such system. This is the superhighway which leads to any desired destination of today’s politicians of Manipur. There is speedy with no hurdle on the way and induction programme with pomp and ceremony. Some parties are very curious in recruiting such members. They will intentionally endorse with reward and induct those who defect from their party for personal gain. Demands of those adopted members are sometimes intolerable. If they are not satisfied with the offer then waiting for another opportunity or they will begin dogs eating dogs phenomenon within the party.
Some who enter in a sycophantic manner will remain silent without any courage to react or express against the autocratic and bossy nature of the party leader. Obviously, they become puppets or boot lickers. The consequence of this situation vandalises not only the inner party democracy but whole structure of democracy also. Even they cannot elect their own president, legislative leader and ministers. All of them are selected by their central leader in the name of party discipline and everything is to be done through remote control. Party discipline is not only the obeying of the decision of the leader but also is abiding by the party collective decision.
Everyone knows that many intending candidates of same party of same constituency are campaigning for the forthcoming election. This is the atmosphere, level of their understanding and inner democracy even within the constituency level so called block/mandal/local whatever is. You know, cold war or lobby for candidature has already been started among them and the ultimate solution for this matter will obviously be the central leaders. Here, people frequently question where are the right, power and function of block/mandal/local level body - Nothing. One who practices Charan-therapy will never be mentally active. This is the reason for being puppet by our leaders. In fact, there is no intending candidate in a democratic disciplined party. A candidate is rightfully proposed by his block/mandal/local whatever may be at constituency level.
Another interesting narration for shifting towards the ruling party is that any complaint or request of workers or micro level office bearers of the opposition MLAs are not entertained by even a lower clerk in any office. That is what they like to possess the uninterrupted status of supremacy that they enjoyed during their regime. Both ruling and opposition members are just practicing tit for tat policy. This is the response of the jobless MLA in any media interview that on demand of his workers he is under compulsion to shift the party. Interpretation of present politics as nepotism and favouritism is very unfortunate.
What is politics? What is service to the people or the nation? If you are a cadre of a party then you should have some qualities such as patience, militancy spirit to protect your country, patriotism, nationalism and what not. Only few minor welfare services like distribution of rice, sugar, kerosene and cleaning of drains are not prime duty of a politician. Your party ideology, philosophy and manifesto are the guiding principle to serve your people and Nation. In a disciplined party, there will be no autocratic leader or boss.
The prime reason for shifting sands of party is for chasing the earning source. Some MLAs frankly say that the amount spent in election cannot be recovered by serving as an opposition MLA. But, no one except Left parties speaks out or mobilises to throw out the outdated problematic electoral system. CPI, National Executive Member, Dr. M. Nara’s declaration of turning down from electoral contest is a kind of protest to the general public to be aware of the necessity of an electoral reform. Please come forward my countrymen and let us do something to make a new change for lessening our burden.
(The views expressed are personal)