United Opposition

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With the united opposition gunning for the BJP, the political scenario in our country is set to enter a new state of entropy. The embers are steadily getting stirred and flames of political tempers are threatening to rise. We do not need political punditry to forecast that the run-up to the 2019 elections is going to be an interesting battle.  A day in Indian politics is a long time and a year can be an eternity.  This is why it is difficult to predict with concision and clarity how things will pan out in the course of time. This is so politics is more performative and less descriptive.  The dynamic of event-hood is vital in politics. All politics has to make things happen.  That is politics is primarily a practice. Hence, the event that set most of the opposition parties standing together for the swearing of H D Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal ( secular) has set the cat among the pigeons for the BJP. It has shifted the axis of politics in our country and we can already feel the pulse of the unfolding drama.  It appears to be explosively packed with disruptive power. We can see a formation of a new centre of resistance to the formidable BJP.  A condition of various possibilities is rising on the horizon.  As the road ahead is open we cannot simply close it to satisfy our whims and fancies.  

For too long politics in our country was a mimetic or an imitative practice. most debates at prime time on television is centred around proving that both the national parties cannot find fault with each other on most issues as both have indulged in unethical practices at some time or the other. The new political formation makes this imitative politics a bit difficult as the opposition has several players who resist all reductive readings. Hence, what they say may not be more important than what they do. This development has pushed us away from imitative politics to performative politics. imitative politics has left us nothing much to choose between both the Congress and the BJP. On the level of corruption, there is no much difference. If BJP is programmatically communal, Congress has been pragmatically communal. Both these parties seem to have been two sides of the same coin. Hence, we may hold that there is coming together of the opposition parties is a welcome event on the scene.  It focus on the performative dimension of politics is not merely aesthetical but profoundly ethical. This means what we consider as political does not reside in our tastes, likes and dislikes but in the ethical and the moral.  Hence, in some way, the event of coming together of the opposition along with the congress is a great blow to the politics of mimetic fidelity that trapped our society for too long. 

The event of opposition unity has punctured the triumphant narrative of the BJP. Both BJP and Congress have already given stories. Their narratives are contrasting yet exhibit mimetic mechanisms at several levels as they both need each other to displace each other politically. Although the coming together of opposition parties have greeted by some political opponents and pundits as rudderless, we may see in it the seeds of destruction of imitative politics that plagues our country far too long. The representational field of politics has changed with the opposition unity and has open space for new counter-narratives beyond the ‘tu tu mei mei’ of BJP and Congress.  The new developments bring the regional satraps into play and the order of representation and narration of politics will change. The catch-all unifying national frame of the national parties will have to face heterogeneous local frames of representing politics. the little narratives of the local people will have priority over the grand narratives of the national parties. 


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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao