TODAY -

Passing the buck
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: April 05, 2024 -



IN a representative democracy, where every political party aspires to be in power; blame game between the opposition and the ruling parties is something that the people have to endure.

Why a political party is in the opposition or in the ruling depends largely on the popularity of that party among the people.

The most popular party gets elected to form the government and rule the state or the country for a fixed tenure while the one which is not in the good book of the people remains in the opposition.

Despite its unenviable position, the opposition, nonetheless, has an important role to play in a representative democracy.

It is the party or parties in the opposition which keep the ruling party or the government in check from becoming authoritarian.

It is also the main duty of the opposition party to criticise the policies of the government which are not in the interest of the people and the state.

So, the success of a representative democracy depends to a great extent on the constructive role of the opposition party/parties.

But more often than not the struggle for power between the ruling and the opposition parties in India becomes so absurd that the people are left bewildered.

While the opposition is always on the lookout for an opportunity to dethrone and snatch power from the ruling party, the latter has perfected the art of passing the buck on the former.

Instead of accepting responsibility for the results of a bad policy or decision, the party/ parties in power and its government have the habit of blaming the opposition for everything.

According to the ruling party/parties, all the bad things that are happening today are the fault of the. opposition party which was in power before it.

This attitude of the ruling party exactly fits the definition of psychological term, "deflection," a defence mechanism wherein one blames another person for his/her own mistakes or shortcomings rather than accept the blame or criticism to protect oneself from experiencing unpleasant feelings, such as guilt or shame.

With just a couple of weeks away from going to poll for the 18th Lok Sabha; the opposition party, Indian National Congress (INC), and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Manipur have also been indulging in the same political game of passing the buck, much to the annoyance of the people, particularly those seeking refuge in the relief camps after their houses were razed to the ground in the ethnic conflict that broke between the Meitei/Meetei and Kuki-Chin communities on May 3 last year.

Apart from the fact that the ethnic conflict is yet to be resolved; loss of hundreds of precious human lives, many still remaining missing and thousands of families on both sides of the clash divide rendered homeless seem to have become inconsequential to the two political parties in their struggle for power.

Pointing fingers at each other over some old video clips in which some politicians had made misleading comments about the conflict is not going to help in resolving the crisis any way nor in winning the support of the people in the election.

After months of enduring untold hardships, election is not even the last thing in the mind of the violence-affected people and the tears of families in bereavement are yet to dry.

So, it is absurd and ludicrous on the part of political parties to talk about resolving the conflict and restoring peace in the state if their respective candidates emerge victorious in the election.

Interestingly, the absurdity of political game of passing the buck seems to have reached its height when the Congress party proclaimed that the defeat of its "loaned" candidate in the election is going to be the defeat of the public and the BJP demanded to know the decision of Congress party on the demand of a separate administration for Kuki-Chin people, forgetting the fact that the demand was first raised by its own legislators from the Kuki-Chin community.

In addition to afflicting with the psychological symptom of deflection, political parties in the state are, perhaps, suffering from selective amnesia as well.



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