India is a land of the largest democracy. There is a multi party system of governance. As per the constitutional provision the party with the highest majority through a general election is entitled to form the government and its leader will be the Prime Minister of India.
After getting Independence in 1947 the Congress Party which played the leading role in the struggle for freedom emerged as the ruling party in India. This party continued to rule till 1977 continuously. In due course India was over crowded with so many political parties that the people were largely confused. In 1977 the Janata Party-a unified power of opposition parties replaced the long ruling party i.e. the Congress but only for a few years.
For the first time in 1989 the politics of coalition took a new form in Indian political system. Coalition means an alliance of different political parties which come together at a single platform to run a government with a common agenda.
The first coalition government headed by V.P.Singh was a great failure. Again the congress came to rule. The 1989-91 period of coalition saw nothing like happy consensuses emerge. Instead we had the Mandal Commission and the Rath Yatra. Far from becoming united India tore itself apart.
Even so liberal commentators continued to sing the praises of coalition politics. When the NDA coalition took office, we were assured that the BJP’s latent communalism had now been checked and those giants of secularism as George Fernandes would restrain the Hindu fanatics. But nothing of this sort could be seen.
Such experiences prove that coalitions tend to work against India’s interest. The big advantage claimed for coalition politics- that it leads to moderation and consensus-is entirely illusory. And all the obivous disadvantages-the squabbling for births, the slow pace of decision making, the absence of a clear ideology etc.- far out way any possible advantages.
Much worse, these days is the nature of the parties that any coalition will have to contain. The sad truth is that nearly any party in India today is built not around ideology but around the personality of a single leader or a family dynasty. In some cases the leader’s charisma is reinforced by caste calculation.
Every party is based on charisma and family. Few, if any, of these parties actually believe in any thing. A nearly every case there is no inner party democracy. No new leaders will ever emerge from their ranks. Success and succession are decided only by birth.
When we talk of coalition politics of the centre we are not really talking about a coalition of such parties as the Congress, the BJP or the CPM. To reach the majority figure, every coalition must include M.P.’s from several of these parties, many of whom will have to be made minister.
Thus it does not matter how much one party hates another, how much one support the other’s ideologies. The only concern for them is that how many MPs the party has. None of this can be good for India. As our polity fractures into regional dynasty and caste-based parties, all Central Governments have to bow to the demands of these regional dictators, their sons, their cronies and their criminal friends.
When these parties get to send ministers to Delhi, all they care about state concern and regional issues. None of them have any vision of India or any commitment to the well being of the entire country. Hence coalition is not a healthy diet for the India masses.