Wanted: An Opposition in India

For the most part, the governing Congress party is having a free run in India. The Opposition parties (BJP, the Left Front) are beset by their internal difficulties, and as much there is little co-ordinated action to keep the government in check. It is the stupidities of the government (two recent examples: leaking the Liberham report, deciding on Telangana at 11:30 pm at night) that seem to be creating their own counter-forces, rather than anything the Opposition in India is doing.

Six months into the new government, one has to feel let down. (And this is not just because I supported in the BJP in the elections.) India needs big, bold vision with speedy decision-making and flawless execution to get us moving along the path of development. We seem to be getting none of the above, even though the government has to worry little about what its opponents are doing.

Given that India’s real Opposition parties seem to be in slumber, is there something we can do to organise? The role of an Opposition is not to oppose, but to provide alternative viewpoints as needed. In fact, if the government does right, it needs to support it. We seem to be missing a culture of sustained and deep debate on issues that are of national and far-reaching importance. What can we do to change the situation?

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