Can a brand new Opposition narrative emerge?

Can a new Opposition narrative emerge?

There doesn’t look like even remotely a problem to the BJP at current. | Consultant File Picture

Is Opposition unity solely a mirage? With nearly 16 months left for the mega electoral battle of 2024, by no means have the Opposition ranks appeared extra disparate and confused. Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which has now crossed the 100-day mark and is nearing its finish sport, whereas ostensibly delinked from electoral issues, is a superb platform to deliver anti-BJP voices collectively, however the response of the Trinamool Congress and the Samajwadi Get together, two key regional forces, is reflective of the waning index of Opposition unity. Whereas Congress allies just like the DMK in Tamil Nadu and the NCP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra understandably joined the yatra, different anti-BJP events just like the BRS and Aam Aadmi Get together have maintained a wholesome distance from the Congress-led occasion.

On New Yr’s Eve, Rahul Gandhi confused on the necessity for unity among the many Opposition to defeat the BJP on the hustings. Whereas asserting that solely the Congress can present the central ideological pivot, Mr Gandhi admitted the significance of mutual respect amongst events. On New Yr’s Day, JD(U)-leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, too, expressed the hope that Opposition events would unite and provide you with a cogent plan to tackle the BJP, his ally turned bitter enemy.

The reality is there doesn’t look like even remotely a problem to the BJP at current although the saffron social gathering has confronted defeat in states, most just lately in Himachal Pradesh and in the course of the municipal elections in Delhi. Robust regional leaders can problem the BJP of their strongholds, however in the case of parliamentary polls, the index of Opposition unity collapses. There isn’t any cohesive chief or ideology to tackle the majoritarian, populist, jingoistic enchantment of the saffron forces. In practising smooth Hindutva, Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP and the Congress aren’t any match for the BJP which has perfected the polarisation template. Solely a very totally different narrative could make any distinction to the electoral arithmetic of the nation. Whereas Mr Gandhi and Mr Kumar seem to have realised this, it’s moot whether or not such a assemble will emerge within the subsequent 16 months. The necessity of the hour is an alternate comprising leaders with a definite imaginative and prescient for India who’re prepared to shed their egos, neighborhood and caste affiliations to strengthen a rustic that’s in dire want of amity and unity. The clouds of hatred and worry engulfing the nation have to be dispersed earlier than later.

Minister within the eye of a storm

The allegation of sexual harassment levelled by a girl coach in opposition to Haryana Sports activities Minister Sandeep Singh, former India hockey captain and Olympian, is stunning however nothing new within the sordid saga of exploitation of ladies athletes in India. Mr Singh’s wonderful exploits on the pitch have been overshadowed by these prices. That he has merely stepped again from his duties and handed over his portfolio to the Chief Minister until a probe is accomplished doesn’t bode properly for an neutral inquiry as he nonetheless instructions the facility and perks of a minister. Hark again to the horrific Ruchika Girhotra case when a budding tennis participant was compelled to take her personal life after she and her household had been hounded by senior IPS officer SPS Rathore, founding father of the Haryana Garden Tennis Affiliation, for spurning his advances and submitting a grievance in opposition to him. The case dragged on for years.

There have been innumerable cases of ladies athletes being promised prized spots in return for sexual favours. In a system that’s tilted a lot in favour of males, to talk out in opposition to tainted officers requires an excessive amount of braveness. Many promising sportspersons have had their careers lower quick as a result of they refused to offer in to obnoxious calls for. This malaise shouldn’t be confined to India. Through the years Olympic gymnasts within the USA had been subjected to sexual abuse by group physician Larry Nassar. Athlete after athlete revealed his raft of misdeeds. It’s crucial {that a} speedy inquiry is carried out within the Haryana case. It’s for the Union Sports activities and Girls and Youngster Improvement Ministries in addition to nationwide and state ladies’s commissions to take the lead and demand the minister’s sacking. Solely then will justice be served to Haryana’s betis.

(To obtain our E-paper on whatsapp each day, please click on right here. To obtain it on Telegram, please click on right here. We allow sharing of the paper’s PDF on WhatsApp and different social media platforms.)