We are witnessing a massive crossover of some leaders from one party to another in Goa. It all seems to have begun with some NCP stalwarts joining the Congress. Some banners of Christmas greetings show that some ex-congress leaders and others had clandestinely joined the NCP. Some others left the AAP on being unable to push their own candidature for the upcoming elections. The political weather Cocks having signalled the dawn of opportunity, two sitting MLA ‘s have disserted the Congress and joined BJP. Like the Goa RSS, the MGP has already broken its ties with the ruling BJP. There are rumours that some others are prowling on the boundary. These restless leaders are seeking their opportunity to cross over to any side that they deem as sunny. Even political parties like Shiv Sena are entertaining their chances of fishing in the political ocean in Goa. Besides, the newly born Goa Forward has already made inroads into our political landscape. What are these new political crossovers doing to Goan politics? May be it is important to understand the impact of these political crossovers on us.
This politics of crossover that seem to be on the rise today displays a dynamic pattern. Once a leader crosses over to the other side, he is born again. He/she carries no scars of his previous birth or existence. He /she makes natural leap of consciousness. He/she is born into the new ideology. The cross over is portrayed as a cleansing experience. All past sins of commission and omission are forgiven. It looks like a smooth operation swatch Bharat. Besides, the new entrants jump the hierarchical ladder of the receiving party. They get parachuted ahead of the other loyal foot soldiers of the party. The parachuted men are rewarded in front of the loyal party workers. We can identify the above pattern irrespective of the parties. As these parties receive these imported leaders, they seem to suspend their ideologies. A leader from any ideological background is seamlessly accepted by the import export formula. The discourse that justifies this import/export tarnishes the parties from where these leaders exited and exalt the parties that receive them. Inevitably, we have to face this pattern in all shades of political crossovers. We have already seen how some tainted leaders were washed clean. The scams attributed to them have come to be projected as only attempts to commit scams. What does this all tell us about out political ecosystem?
The import export of leaders takes place cutting across party lines. We seem to have moved into post-ideology era. Leaders belonging to different ideologies just cross parties without any problems. Ideologies do not matter anymore. The individual charisma of the concerned leader seems to have become the major determining factor of these crossovers. The death of ideology thus, manifests the rising tide of politics of crass opportunism in our society. The political parties seem to prefer candidates irrespective of their ideological moorings. Political leaders without any solid ideological preferences are like decaffeinated coffee. But do we like to drink decaffeinated coffee? The answer lies in ballot. If we vote for these decaffeinated candidates, we shall prove ourselves that we too have moved to a post-ideology era like several of our politicians. Post-ideological era is dangerous for our democracy. The fact that we seem to be in a grave danger of sinking into it is almost certain. The so called the national parties easily forget their ideology and open their doors to decaffeinated candidates point at a bleak future for us. These parties seem to want to have power without responsibility and accountability. They seem to prefer a de-caffeinated politics. Politics without ideology can become rudderless and lose direction. A decaffeinated politics, Politics abstracted of ideology will degenerate into totalitarianism.
Some political parties have exhibited their taste for decaffeinated politics despite of their time tested ideologies. The death of ideology or the post-ideological era that we have evoked here is not non-ideological. It is de-caffeinated coffee but still coffee all the same. It tells us a soft lie, a lie that we can bear up. Ideology in a decaffeinated mode becomes a lie. It makes us believe that leaders that have arrived in the new party came as decaffeinated but are immediately soaked into the strong coffee (ideology) of the Party. But the lie does not consist in just immersion of a decaffeinated leader into the receiving party apparatus. The lie stays largely in the belief that the ideology of the Party is supreme. We have to believe in it even when it is not working, particularly when political leaders are parachuted across the parties. Indeed, we have stepped into a post-ideological era in Goa. It is like the Santa Claus at Christmas. We all know he does not come. Yet we need this myth every Christmas. The same is true of post-ideological era. It does not demand for the working of the official ideology. Such ideologies can stay in suspended animation or erasure.
Somehow ideology seems to have become a myth. That is why the truth lies in a candid admission that decaffeinated politics has come because we, the citizens prefer and tolerate our decaffeinated coffee. Hence, responsibility lies squarely on us. Shall we drink decaffeinated coffee again these elections? Since we like decaffeinated politics that is reigning, we only can see import /export of leaders. There is not alliance of the political parties in sight. It requires the coffee of strong ideologies to come to a common minimum programme. All prefer decaffeinated coffee. Individual leaders are being traded for what they will bring to the party table. What shall we do? Shall we stay with the decaffeinated politics at play? Or shall we have a voter alliance to do away with the decaffeinated politics? We may have to have a voter’s alliance to counter the decaffeinated politics that is breeding politics of no alliance. The voter’s alliance seems to be the only viable option to sharpen the power of our vote. Goa needs Goans to stand up for Goa and for them. When there is no alliance of the parties, only the alliance of the voters can save the power of our vote. Otherwise our vote will lose its power to shape our destiny.