Year 2020 was a year that will go down in history as one of the most challenging year for mankind. The year that has seen countries and Governments crumbling under the wrath of pandemic, necessity turning to luxury. The impact of this will be felt for long, even for decades in some countries.
This has led to a peculiar situation in 3 countries. India, US, and the UK. I am not discussing China here as any data from and about China cannot be verified, whether political or economic.
The leaders of these three countries had one thing in common. In subtle terms they wanted since the last few years, independence of their countries in terms of security, economy and self-sustainable. Trump fell away in the race. Not going again in the details of why but partly he had himself to blame in managing the people against their expectations.
Now remains India and the UK. In crossroads, both has PM who are taking steps so different that it will have a long-lasting impact in these two countries. The article is about the opposition of both these countries that are in a desperate splash to stay afloat.
Talking of Britain, post Brexit referendum the Government led by Theresa May clearly failed to provide any leadership whether it is on internal matters or Brexit dialogue with blood thirsty EU parliament and negotiators. Infact I don’t recall any valuable contribution of May’s regime in either the economy or welfare of Britain. Maybe she was fighting for her survival for day one and nothing else. The British Pound had a free fall, economy contracted, no clear direction from the Government to corporates leading to exodus of business. Her flash poll was almost a disaster where she returned with less parliamentary seats forming a minority Government. And then Boris Johnson took over. His vision and bullish tactics infused new faith in the economy. His ‘no nonsense’ attitude had the EU nervous for the first time dealing with Brexit. This led to a thumping 70 seat majority in 2019 elections with people clearly stating their faith on in Boris Johnson.
The Indian election had a different story to tell though. Fed up with a silent prime minister, economy meaning only scams, disastrous national security where not only Pakistan but even a minnow like Bangladesh was starting to behave like the boss to India, open support to one sided Muslim appeasement policies, the people voted in favour of BJP led by Narendra Modi and in 2019 based on the performance of the Government not only re-elected Modi, but with more vote shares and Parliamentary seats.
During 2020, Boris Johnson not only managed the country out of the worst possible period of pandemic but also successfully negotiated a Brexit deal that was unthinkable a year back. A deal which saves UK from additional duties but gives more fishermen rights and check on borders. There is a renewed business optimism. Not to mention the UK has have beaten the EU in vaccinations proving exactly why the UK wanted to be out of EU’s lagged bureaucracy.
India on the other hand not only managed the pandemic well with one of the lowest fatality rates but also pioneered in vaccination helping developing nations and increasing internal manufacturing capacities on other sectors. The economic support during pandemic was one of the best and further projection of IMF of +11% growth in 2021 is great news not only for India but for global economy.
Now comes the two most affected parties in this. First in Labour Party of the UK and second is the Indian National Congress. Both these parties are having internal issues on leadership, facing corruption, facing charges of racism. Both these parties fell apart trying to appease the Muslim population of their respective countries resulting in wrong policies, polarisation of votes and trying to bring communal imbalance. The worst part is neither of the parties did a proper Lessons learnt and tried to overcome this issue that has caused them to dive to their lowest popularity. The problem with both the parties now is “individual people’s motives” has systematically taken over from the principled party level vision and mission. And a dangerous trend has emerged from both the parties. Hateful communal propaganda by individuals of the parties (I am very conscious of not using the word leaders here) for their gains. Labour party individuals have started blatantly supporting extremists’ elements and interfering in India’s internal matters and policies. This is for appeasement of Muslim and certain section of Sikh votes. And the way it is co-ordinated it seems now both these parties are “in sync” of each other’s plans and activities.
India is going through a transformation with changes in law that dates back from colonial era. Taking the latest example of the Farm Bill, certain Labour party members are demanding repeal of the law, strangely the law is now closely aligned to WTO policies which is also like the UK Farm/Agriculture law. Basically, these members are indirectly saying UK laws are wrong. These actions are co-ordinated with the so-called opposition party of India which is Indian National Congress. They are playing the same trick. More amusing is INC wanted to bring these laws themselves but couldn’t due to lack of political will and courage.
The problem with both these parties are twofold. First and foremost is strong performance of both the Governments in both internal and international level which is giving them hard time to find real issues to fight for collectively as a party. Secondly, these two parties have not being able to decide if they want to be negative opposition (criticising all and everything the Government does) or play the role of constructive opposition where coming out with better suggestions in Parliament for debates that can further help the respective countries in this difficult and challenging times.
Until this happens, the individuals will splash hard for survival, in return making the surrounding wet and murky with hatred and fear for these individuals to survive.