"Jeevan ka safar hai toolaani
Yaan ikraani hai naadaani
Jo shahsawaar maahir hain
Woh raah badalte rehte hain"
"Life’s journey is long
To be consistent in it is a sign of immaturity
The expert horse riders
Keep changing their paths"
A huge political storm has been created in India by the defection of the Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia from the Congress party with about 22 MLAs who are all set to join the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).
In the 230 seat MP Legislature, in the 2018 state elections the Congress won 114 seats, BJP won 109, BSP got 2, Samajwadi Party got 1 and there were 4 independents.
With these defections the Congress party in the state has been reduced to a minority in the state legislature, and consequently the Congress Govt is bound to fall. In all probability a deal was worked out in advance between Scindia and the BJP leaders that Scindia will become the next Chief Minister of MP.
Indian politicians remind us of the French politician cum diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1758-1834), who was an expert in changing his political allegiances at the nick of time, on getting a sniff of the changing political wind, always being on the winning side. Although initially he worked for King Louis 16th, he abandoned Louis and went over to the French Revolution when it broke out in 1789. When the Revolution ended he switched his loyalty to Napoleon. When the latter’s reign ended at Waterloo in 1815 he quickly transferred his allegiance to King Louis 18th. And when Bourbon rule collapsed in 1830 he went over to Louis Phillipe.
The same philosophy is being followed by the Indian political leaders— our ‘Bharat Bhagya Vidhaatas’. Consider these examples :
(1) Charan Singh, the UP politician, who though originally a Congressman, changed political allegiances so often that he became known as ‘Chair Singh’
Charan Singh with HN Bahuguna
(2) HN Bahuguna, who left Congress in 1977 and formed the CFD along with Jagjiwan Ram (who also defected from Congress after the Emergency) and his son Vijay and daughter Rita who have joined the BJP. HN Bahuguna became a Minister in the Janta Dal Govt, and Rita in the UP Govt of the BJP (and later a BJP MP).
(3) VP Singh who defected from the Congress in 1989 and formed the Janta Dal and formed the National Front to become the Prime Minister.
(4) Arun Nehru, who was brought into Congress by Indira Gandhi, but after her death left Congress and joined Janta Dal, and later the BJP.
(5) Arif Mohammed Khan (presently Governor of Kerala), who was originally in Congress but later joined the Janta Dal, then BSP, and finally (in 2004) the BJP.
(6) Jayaprada, who has been in Telgu Desam Party, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and finally the Bhartiya Janta Party.
(7) MJ Akbar, who was at one time a Congress MP, spokesman for Rajiv Gandhi, and adviser to the Ministry of Human Resources in the Congress Govt. Later, sniffing the change in the political wind he did a somersault, abandoned secularism (of which he once professed to be a staunch advocate), and joined the BJP, becoming a Rajya Sabha MP and Minister only to be deprived of this post when involved in a sex scandal.
(8) Nitish Kumar, presently Chief Minister of Bihar, who like a trapeze artist and acrobat keeps somersaulting between Lalu Yadav’s RLD and the BJP, sniffing the change in the political wind.
(9) Mamata Banerji, who defected from the Congress and formed the Trinamool Congress to become the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
(10) Kashmiri leaders Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti etc, who though professing secularism joined hands with the BJP, which is known to be communal, to share power.
(11) Bhajan Lal, who to retain his Chief Ministership, defected in 1980 along with most Janta Party MLAs in Haryana and joined the Congress, saying "In politics one should either take sanyas
, or take the right decision at the right time".
Talleyrand’s spirit would be delighted to see his tribe flourishing in India!
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.
Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.
Most shared Punjab Today articles:
KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI
Three Women of 1984
FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?
REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE
KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM
If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?
Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt
Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal
Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?
In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart
WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron
"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship
The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!
WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed
AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER
OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties
TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE
OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES
Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA
BAD, BAD WOMAN!
Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.
— Team PT