Left and Right Wing Politics

A general question that baffles most people, when they read politics is the ideologies of the Left-Wing and Right-Wing. The spectrum of Left and Right-Wing is basically the set of beliefs that are practiced by the individuals having an inclination towards betterment of the society; the people can be politicians, community workers or social entrepreneurs. These principles help an individual or an organisation to formulate a strategy on which they plan to work for a progressive state.

RELIGIOUS MEANING

In terms of religious connotations, since most of the people were right-handed, right side meant being positive, while left was considered negative. The terms like righteousness and leftovers developed due to this mentality. In Buddhism, out of the two-paths, the right-hand side leads to Nirvana. In Christianity, the Son is at the right-hand side of the Father and in The Last Supper, the favorite of the Lord, the apostle John is sitting to His right, and not left.

HISTORICAL MEANING

The history for this segregation takes us back to 18th century Europe, specifically in France which was on a brink of a revolution. The French society was divided into three estates (like the Indian Caste system): First Estate (Priests and Clergymen), Second Estate (Nobility and Warriors) and Third Estate (Workers).  In the decade of 1780s, even though France was indulged in nine years of war, yet the French monarch increased taxes only on the third estate, to maintain the lavish lifestyle of the Royal family as well as the two estates. This led to large-scale food shortages and riots.

In order to fix the situation; in 1789, months before the revolution, Louis XVI convened a national assembly of these three estates. The Meeting of the Estates as it was termed; the representatives were made to sit in a set pattern. The third estate members who opposed the monarchy [workers] were made to sit on the left of the King while the first two estates who supported the monarchy [Clergy and Nobility] were made to the sit on the right, given the religious connotations – right is superior, left is inferior.

The French Revolution witnessed the third estate members (seated to the left) to be anti-establishment, while the first and second estate members (seated on the right) worked on protecting the establishment. They eventually threw out the monarch, the religious authorities and the nobles.
Since then, left wing meant throwing the establishment and right wing mean protecting the establishment.

EVOLUTION OF MEANING

From the times of French Revolution, the Left became a symbol of change, while the Right became a symbol of order or preservation.

Since both religion and business is to do with preserving the existing, both groups often allied together. Rapid change was bad for both business & the church. World over, religious and business conservatives thus got into an uneasy partnership even if they both despised each other. They were also more likely to be patriots/nationalists, because nation is an identity that is at the core of stability. They are much more likely to be aggressive in preserving the symbols – flag, history, Constitution, anthem etc.

Since, the left was the side from where the workers came; it traditionally was much more towards equal rights and about spreading of wealth. Most often, leftists hated both religions and businesses. Thus, they voted for governments that put tight clamps on both – such as Communist China & Soviet Union.

MODERN MEANING

The definitions of Left and Right have changed over time, and depend on country and party. But, from a broad, broad perspective, Left-wingers will include the communists, feminists, anarchists, egalitarians, secular, atheists like Stalin and Mao. And right-wingers will include the fascists, neo-Nazis, religious fanatics, monarchists, racial supremacists and fundamentalists like Hitler and Mussolini.

Left wing beliefs are usually progressive in nature, they look to the future, aim to support those who cannot support themselves, are idealist and believe in equality. People who are left wing believe in taxation to redistribute opportunity and wealth. They believe in equality over the freedom to fail.

Right wing beliefs value tradition, they are about equity, survival of the fittest, and they believe in economic freedom. They typically believe that business shouldn’t be regulated, and that we should all look after ourselves. They believe in freedom to succeed over equality.

The intermediate stance is called centrism and a person with such a position is a moderate or centrist. Even though there are many extremists on the either side, most of the politicians are moderate or centrists. They are segregated as:

  1. Centre Left: They believe in working within the established systems to improve social justice.
  2. Radical Centre: It is defined as idealism without illusions. Most radical centrists borrow what they see as good ideas from left and right, and then meld them together. Most support market-based solutions to social problems with strong governmental oversight in the public interest.
  3. Centre-Right: They believe in building progressive societies by promoting capitalism.

 

BELIEFS ON CORE ISSUES

1. Economics

LEFT: Central planning via governing structures, a welfare state, nationalization of economy. Income equality; higher tax rates on the wealthy; government spending on social programs and infrastructure; stronger regulations on business and subsidies.

RIGHT: Capitalism, social and economic hierarchies, economic freedom, decentralized economy, lower taxes and less regulation on businesses, reduced government spending, balanced budget, less dependence on subsidies and welfare assistance.

2. Society

LEFT: Progressiveness, Counter-Culture and belief in Internationalism.

RIGHT: Important to defend Tradition, Moral Order and national interests.

3. Global Trade

LEFT: Anti-free trade. They don’t values profits if they come at the cost of violating laws of social equality and levelness. They rarely lay down the red carpet for multinationals and private players.

RIGHT: Pro-free trade. They make sure that the policies they draft ensure good amount of profit to the nation even if some of the parameters of social justice are compromised on the way.

4. Minority Rights

LEFT: Extra Protection and privileges

RIGHT: Everyone is equal

5. Crime

LEFT: Several people on death row were innocent and have been exonerated. The justice system is not perfect and it would be wrong to kill an innocent person. It is inhuman to take a life, even that of a murderer. It’s not so much about how heinous the crime is but how much the defendant can afford to spend on lawyers.

RIGHT: The death penalty is an effective deterrent against crimes, especially crimes of a heinous nature. The alternative — life in prison — would only mean spending taxpayer money to keep them confined, fed and provide healthcare services to them. Victims and their families deserve justice; often they can only get closure when the perpetrator is put to death.

EXAMPLES OF CENTRE-LEFT and CENTRE-RIGHT

  1. India: Indian National Congress and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).
  2. UK: Labour Party and Conservative Party.
  3. France: Socialist Party and National Front.
  4. USA: Democratic Party and Republican Party.
  5. Australia: Australian Labour Party (ALP) and Liberal Party.
  6. Pakistan: Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and Jamaat-e-Islami.
  7. Germany: Die Linke and Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).
  8. Canada: Liberal Party and Conservative Party.
  9. Poland: Civic Platform and Prawo-i-Sprawiedliwość (PiS).
  10. Netherlands: Socialist Party and Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV).

 

INDIAN CONTEXT

The BJP would thus be called centre-right in their ideology, while the Congress would be called centre-left. At the extremes will be the Shiv Sena/AIMIM (on Right) and the CPI(M)/AAP (on Left).

After Narendra Modi’s victory in 2014, it has become convenient to lump the BJP and the Sangh parivar as right-wing forces, when the reality is that their views reflect a wide variety of positions on political, social and economic issues. Also, the Congress is not totally to the left of the BJP on many issues.

In India, the “right-wing” Bharatiya Janata Party has market-friendly economic thinkers like Arun Shourie and Subramanian Swamy and yet it also has Lal Krishan Advani, who is suspicious of the entire American financial model. In between, stands Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is not allergic to capitalism or the free market but is also reluctant to abandon the country’s public sector units.

The same might be said of the “left-wing” Indian National Congress. Some of its members like Shashi Tharoor and Capt.Amarinder Singh might have much more in common with Arun Shourie than their own leaders of yesteryear who advocated control of the commanding heights of the national economy.

CHANGING IDEOLOGIES

People don’t remain on the same side throughout. When he was younger, Stalin fought on the side of the revolutionaries since he wanted to change & get the power. However, as soon as he got the power he became the establishment against which others had to fight; changing his ideology from Right to Left. In some sense, almost all leftists transform into a totalitarian establishment. No one wants to give up power, while everyone wants to take power.

In Indian context, it was India’s “liberal” Prime Minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru who introduced curbs on free speech and a “conservative” thinker like Vinayak Savarkar who argued against untouchability and the caste system. Dr. BR Ambedkar was a strong votary of capitalism and free markets, but most of the parties which now worship Ambedkar would be reckoned to be broadly to the left of the political universe. The Congress party itself advocated a mixed economy, building a middle path between state and private capitalism. The BJP, in its earlier avatar as the Jana Sangh, had stronger positions against state interventions than in its current incarnation.

CONCLUSION

These are the basics of that one needs to know about Left and Right politics. In a healthy society, both left and right ideas are needed. It’s a lot more complicated than this, and the definitions are dependent on era, party, leader and country. But the core tenets of the ideologies remain more or less the same.

Advertisements

A Befitting Reply to Pakistan

“Indian Army practices restraint. The day we lose our patience, we will answer Pakistan in their words, in their territory.”

-Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India (1998-2004)

After Parliament attack in 2001

 

The nation was boiling with anger after four heavily armed terrorists attacked the army camp on 18 September 2016 near the town of Uri in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. 19 soldiers were martyred, belonging to 10 Dogra and 6 Bihar Regiments, in this attack. What was more frustrating was that the soldiers were attacked in their sleep. Proofs regarding Pakistan’s involvement, submitted in the international community were once again refuted by them. Indians were now done condemning such cowardly attacks. The nation’s patience had run out due to Pakistan’s inaction in curbing the activities of terrorist organisations. It was a time for giving response to our neighbor; a response which could tell them as to why the Indian Army is amongst the strongest in the world. The Army Chief said that the reply will be given, but the army will reserve the right to respond “at the time and place of our own choosing”. And as Indian Army always remain true on its word, the response did not take a long-time to be given; and 11 days after this attack, Indian Army took revenge in their way.

The Indian Army planned a Surgical Strike inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) on 12.30am on 28-29 September. The strike went on for 4 hours and after 8 hours, the nation was informed about it by the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh at 12pm. While this reply infused pride among soldiers and citizens, Pakistan was shocked and taken aback. The Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef first accepted the strike, then condemned it and finally refused it (probably because of Army’s pressure). On a precautionary basis, villages along the Radcliffe Line were evacuated and the Army was ordered to stay on high alert. All the political parties have supported the government’s move.

The Commandos attacked the areas of Bhimbar, Tatapaani, Lipa and Kel at the same time, while the Army started firing along the LOC to divert the attention of Pakistan Army and terrorists. The Commandos were initially dropped by helicopters, in 5 teams (each with 20-25 commandos), who were wearing night-vision cameras for operation monitoring. Drones were used for video recording to be kept as a proof. Around 2.30am, after covering a swampy path of 2-3km consisting of landmines and rocks on foot, they reached the target area. The Commandos were equipped with back-up to help them securely reach the target spot. They had Tavor and M4 guns, Grenades, Smoke Grenades and Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL). These weapons are light and compact but are capable of heavy firing. The Commandos killed 38 terrorists, 9 soldiers from Pakistan Army, destroyed 7 militant training camps and returned to their camps after 2 hours at 4.30am.

Analysis:

  1. The strike was a well-planned mission. Sources report, that the strategy was being planned by the PM Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag in the PMO War-room, right after the Uri attacks. Intelligence details were collected, and analysis was done as to how Pakistan can retaliate to surgical strike. The process took 10 days to be planned.
  2. Though most people demand Indus Water Treaty to be scrapped, it is not an easy task. It is brokered by World Bank, so immediate scrapping is not possible for it may invite international ire. Moreover, building dams and reservoirs on the River Indus will take a minimum of 2-3 years, and thus is not a quick response.
  3. Nawaz Shareef is caught in a fix. If he does not retaliate, not only will he be overthrown by a military coup, but he would also face wrath of radicals and extremists. If he retaliates, it will start a full-scale war with India. Since, both India and Pakistan are Nuclear-powered nations, the UN and the US will pressurize Pakistan not to go with this option.
  4. India’s image of being a soft state has been broken. No one, not even Indian citizens expected the Army to cross LOC. This has given a clear message to the World; that besides diplomatic talks, India also has a military option open ahead of him.
  5. Surgical Operations have happened in past, but they have never been told to Indian citizens or the World. Through a press conference by the DGMO, India has told Pakistan, not to test its patience further. The World has been made aware of India’s military strength which was always considered a passive force.
  6. The Army is always aware of terror activities across the border. The attack is a part of its long-term strategy. Giving a free-hand to Army to take decisions has boosted the morale of soldiers.
  7. The strike has pacified the citizens, who always felt helpless when they saw soldiers being martyred. The need for a strong political leadership had always been wished by the citizens and PM Modi has responded affirmatively to it.

Way Ahead:

  1. India can reconsider its Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status and scrapping of Ceasefire terms along LOC.
  2. Civil war may break-out in Pakistan. Baloch activists are already demanding independence from Pakistan. Apart from their operations getting a boost, Sindh and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) may also demand freedom.

The global isolation of Pakistan has gained momentum now. Indian Army is aware of the fact that they are fighting against a Nuclear-powered nation, thus their preparation is also done on the same lines. Pakistan can no more threaten India with Nuclear attacks. While the Army is ready on the military front, the Government has to remain prepared on the diplomatic front. Never in its history has Pakistan been cornered on all three levels: Strategic, Diplomatic and Military. With SAARC summit being boycotted by all the member nations due to Pakistan, and India getting global support on this surgical strike, we may hope that Pakistan will learn a lesson to put a full-stop on its home grown terror.

CM Kejriwal wanted Delhi Police, PM Modi gave him CBI

CBI raids Delhi Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar’s office -> CM Kejriwal blames PM Modi for political vendetta -> CBI gives facts for carrying out raid -> CM Kejriwal abuses PM.

For those thinking whether it was politically motivated move or not, and those who are going Gaga over this raid on 15 December,

Here are the facts I gathered:

1. Raid has been conducted on Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar and not on Kejriwal, in accordance to cases from 2002 to 2014.

2. CBI had him on its radar since quite a long time. During UPA govt when Ranjit Sinha was the director of CBI, he had made plans for carrying out a raid. But Sinha himself was accused in Coal-gate, so raid could not be carried out.

3. Kumar is accused for abusing his official position, by “favoring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments”.

4. Even reputed organization like Transparency International India filed complaint against Kumar but Kejriwal choose not to act.

5. What is more ironic is that allegation against Kumar was made by a former bureaucrat, Ashish Joshi, secretary of Delhi Dialogue Commission on 15 June in Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) made by Kejriwal himself to check corruption.

6. Serious allegations against him are in Education and IT Department where he created bogus companies to get tenders. Whichever department he was transferred in, got this indirect benefits.

7. Education minister in Shiela Dixit Cabinet, Arvinder Singh Lovely also wanted him removed.

8. In the past one and a half year, CBI has recorded 3000 phone calls and got evidence from 15 IAS officers of his batch and 35 officials of Delhi government.

9. CBI will take help from its IT experts because Kumar is not cooperating in getting his e-mails checked, which have evidence against him.

10. A question which even I was thinking, that if the files are in different Departments, why his office of PS to CM is searched. CBI says that they had intelligence inputs that Kumar had hidden all those files, which had details and evidence against him, are now in his PS office.

11. CBI had planned to carry out the raid few months back, but at that time there was a cold war between Delhi CM and LG Najeeb Jung. When CBI asked for a permission from Home Ministry, to carry out a raid, it was Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s instruction:Raid to be carried out, ONLY if CBI has legitimate evidence“.

12. CBI has plans to carry out raid in 14 places, including his home and office. Apart from him, there are 6 more people who will be investigated in this case. They are:

AK Duggal: Ex-MD, Intelligent Communication Systems India Limited

GK Nanda: Ex-MD, Intelligent Communication Systems India Limited

RS Kaushik: Intelligent Communication Systems India Limited

Sandeep Kumar: Director, M/s Endeavour Systems Private Limited

Dinesh Kumar Gupta: Director, M/s Endeavour Systems Private Limited

The timeline of the events are:

10 May 2002 – 10 February 2005:

Rajendra Kumar worked as director in Education Department. During this time, he created two companies- Caltoonz and Edudel MIS in Timarpur, and Ashok Kumar was made its incharge. He then set up a company named Endeavour Systems Private Limited with Sandeep Kumar and Dinesh Kumar Gupta as its Directors. Ashok Kumar, from DASS cadre, resigned from government service in 2009.

2007:

Kumar becomes IT Secretary in Delhi government. He managed to get his company, Endeavours Private Limited empanelled with a PSU, (Intelligent Communication Systems India Ltd) so it could be awarded work without tenders. Work up to Rs 50 crore was done through this company.

Kumar became secretary in Transport & Health departments and then VAT Commissioner.

2009-2014:

His companies entered the field of Energy, Real Estate and Coaching, with Ashok Kumar as its common director. Most of the companies are registered at the same address and have common directors (most of them are Rajendra Kumar’s relatives).

If allegations are found to be true, punishments and penalties in corruption charges will be levied against Ministers and officials in Shiela Dixit govt.

Now, the question arises is why Mr. Kejriwal is scared of CBI enquiry. When CBI raided Patanjali Yogpeeth, Swami Ramdev never raised a question, saying that he has nothing to hide. And that was when UPA was at the centre. If he is honest as he claims, what has he to hide?

Ford Foundation Files?

In evening, Mr. Kejriwal came out infront of Media exclaiming, he is not scared of the PM and he justified using the language because of his rural origins; that he was born and grown up in village. Which village teaches him words like “psychopath”? PM Modi is also from rural background and so are many ministers. Does the language he used, worthy of an IIT-ian and an IRS officer?

In case many of you don’t know, the Delhi state Lokayukt (under Jan Lokpal Bill tabled by Aam Aadmi Party a month ago) can investigate the Prime Minister and his cabinet. A state official monitoring a Central government head is shocking and hilarious at the same time. Why did he have no compulsions when he proceeded with that bill?

And the worst part is that the opposition parties are willing to make uproar in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament against this issue. Congress has decided to create a ruckus again, as they believe that the Central government is controlling the CBI (totally forgetting that the Hon. Supreme Court termed CBI as caged parrot under UPA rule) and Mamta Banerjee led TMC has full support too.

There are laws that need attention, that need to be passed; but as again, Kejriwal’s dramatics has given yet another weapon to the opposition who have no consideration for wasting the precious time of Indian Parliament.

News Source: DB Corp Limited, The Indian Express, DNA India

Inducing terror among Christians: Blame Game on PM Modi

Church in Mangalore attacked, will Modi answer?” shouted an anchor on a popular news channel. “As a Christian, suddenly I’m a stranger in my own country” cried a retired IPS officer who was Mumbai Police Commissioner, DGP Gujarat and DGP Punjab, named Julio Ribeiro, putting the blame on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, without a proof of any accusation that he leveled up on the elected representative of about 1.25 billion Indians.

And these are mere introductory instances. In the past 3 months or so, for every attack involving a minority is concerned, the onus is shifted straight to the Prime Minister. Earlier, it seemed to me that the Media had become a powerful weapon when it came to fighting critical problems in our country. But I, along with many others were left disappointed when we found that media is “selectively” raising issues, which directly affect Christian community, to defame the government under the leadership of Narendra Modi.

In the past month that went by, the Modi government was able to do many new things, which were “conveniently” ignored by media.

Here is what happened in the past week (15-21 March 2015):

  1. In the budget session, Lok Sabha saw 121% productivity (highest in over a decade)
  2. Cabinet approved Black Money bill that proposes 10 years jail, 300% penalty.
  3. Narendra Modi (an Indian leader) comes top in global survey of leaders, Xi Jinping second.
  4. Government cancelled licenses of 1,142 NGOs for not filing their taxes.
  5. Wholesale inflation drops to -2.06% in February 2015
  6. FDI doubles  to $4.48 billion in January, highest in 29 months
  7. Mining bills clear in Rajya Sabha, no more Coal-gates.
  8. Cabinet gives nod to repeal over 700 archaic laws.

Many of you might not even know about this, because all you read this week was, how churches are attacked, and “PM Modi is responsible for it”. For the churches attacked in Delhi, they were vandalized by drunkards and the crib that was charred happened due to short circuit. But without investigating or even looking up for the details, social media and journalists painted a communal picture of Narendra Modi. How, even the suit that he wore on Republic Day was prized Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 10 Lakhs. The highly unfortunate rape of an elderly nun in Kolkata was politicized and the Archbishop gave it a communal angle, clearing Mamta Banerjee’s name and blaming the central government of Modi for it (for people who don’t know, law and order is a state government responsibility). Not only him, but Hindu outfits were blamed too. However, no one apologized after Muslim men from Bangladesh were arrested in Mumbai. The truth behind the case of broken glass of Mangalore church came out to be a work of anti-social elements (as said by minister), while that in Panvel was a case of personal enmity. But again Modi and his cabinet were blamed for it. While the man is busy on his development agenda, it makes me wonder, why venom is spewed against him.

I may agree that the policies made by the Modi government might be wrong. There might be flaws in the formation, implementation and execution of the blueprints. And for them, his government should be criticised. But he should not be condemned for the crimes his government has not committed. The unnecessary insecurity that has been created among minorities (Christians being the latest ones) will deepen the divide among various religious sections in the society. Media should realize that if the Indian Constitution gives them the Right of Freedom of Expression, it also imposes a duty on them to broadcast truth and should avoid indulging in rumor-mongering. Media is an adhesive that joins the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary with the people of the nation. It is the fourth pillar of democracy and the responsibility that comes with this power needs to be comprehended.