Blame it on a discredited political class.
Phew, the guns haven’t gone silent in Bangladesh yet and there are are murmurs of similar discontent in the Indian paramilitary forces being heard in the Indian media. The Telegraph highlights the issue of poor pay and promotion aspects in paramilitary forces vis-a-vis the army, a disproportionate number of senior ranks grabbed by IPS officers and a general feeling of neglect among the troopers in paramilitary forces here.
The genesis of the problem doesn’t lie in the largesse provided to the members of the defence services by the SCPC, but in the manner the final decision was arrived at. The complete gamut of public wrangling, creating pressure through the media, emotional blackmail and defiance by the defence services, for what they believed were their “genuine” demands resulted in a perceived capitulation by the government. And perceptions, not the reality, determines actions. So, here are other similarly placed organisations aping the successful approach of the defence services to press the government for what they perceive as their “genuine” demands. What we hear in the media today is a thinly veiled threat from the paramilitary forces. Perhaps, this is a not-so-ominous sign of things to come.
A correspondent approach to reservations for SC/ST, OBC, EBC etc. had fuelled similar grievances for competitive entitlement by various caste groups across the country. The litany of feckless actions over myriad social issues has completely eroded the credibility of the political class in this country. The actions of the UPA government over the SCPC issue have only buttressed this belief of a lack of political will among the politicians in this country.
It will be interesting to see for how long the government can keep on giving in to various interest groups on their competitive entitlement. The tide of a fast-growing world economy, on which the boat of the Indian economy was sailing high, has subsided now. Can the Indian government still afford to continue with the same placatory tactics or will a denial lead to widening of fissures between various institutions of the state?
It is evident that no political party/ formation has the guts to honestly espouse the cause of governance, even when the general elections are upon us. See, it is far more comfortable for the political class to harp on peripheral issues of dynasty, aam admi and Ram mandir than to focus on substantive issues of governance, which will chart out this nation’s future. And the politicians will continue to have it easy as long as the civil society, and the media and commentators, fail to avoid the emotive and rhetorical trap of wily political leaders. Perhaps, it is high time the civil society identifies the issues that really matter to the nation and ask the politicians to come clean with their views on these subjects.