Media and the opposition provide the expression of discontent against the government policies and actions (or lack of them). That is theory.
In my previous posts, I described through some examples how the media fail us in expressing the other voices on the issues of corruption, black money, and protests by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. It is true that the media expose corruption scandals and also intentional mishandling of some prominent crime investigation cases like Jessica murder. But the same media join ranks with the government when it comes to any protests against corruption.
It is as if, the monopoly of any major protest movement belongs to the opposition.
Now, I come to what our Opposition is doing. Barring the BJP, all the other ‘national’ opposition parties are confined to one or two states or they are properly state level parties. All these parties have one foot in the Ruling coalition and the other in the opposing coalition. The communists, who usually display lung power and media attention disproportionate to their vote share, are dumb struck now after the massive defeat in West Bengal. That leaves for us the BJP as the only ‘opposition’.
What has the BJP been doing on various issues?
1. 2 G scam: For several years it let the Sonia Manmohan combine to ride roughshod all protests against A. Raja’s playing favourites and plundering. It brought itself some credit for forcing the government to appoint the JPC. But whether it will use the JPC platform well or not remains to be seen. Given it’s track record of lack any systematic fact-gathering and fact-marshalling one can not hope for much.
2. CWG: The BJP did little while Kalmadi was going berserk within his CWG empire.
3. Terrorism: BJP just plays a game of token protests and does nothing to study and expose the rot, sloth, and incompetence in our intelligence gathering, prevention, and investigation activities. We are seriously and dangerously vulnerable to more terror attacks.
4. National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: This Sonia’s pet project is a colossal waste of money in the name of jobs for the poor when assets of dubious value are ‘created’. It is actually a scheme for ’empowering’ congress workers and oiling the party machine. The BJP has been silent on his too.
5. Other than the above, there many non-headline-gathering but hugely important issues like -our entire developmental model, our broken system of justice (no big criminal fears punishment), our handouts and sops oriented and absurdly discretionary tax empires and general economic policies, our land laws, land records, and title enforcement (lack of it) that let politicians, officials, and builders amass illegal wealth, our (non) public transport policies that literally crush pedestrians, cyclists, and the have-nots and that makes living hellish even for those who have (cars e.g.). BJP has been uninterested in any of these issues that affect everyone badly.
For every policy and for every act of illegal enrichment people are the loosers. If it is not the opposition party, who will fight against this?
The BJP is not interested in this -why? Perhaps it thinks that the ‘work’ required for all this is not worth while. Or is it scared that if it opposes those so called ‘aam admi’ policies, the Congress will successfully paint it as an anti-poor villain?
This how our Main Opposition work. On the other hand, our media would ‘carry’ and ‘story’ only it it ‘sells’ or only if it hurts some powerful persons’ inflated egos. Media are after all owned by the businesses. And businesses are just businesses.
Don’t you also feel gagged?