The calculations of those in party politics are a class by themselves. Be it a flood that sweeps away an entire region, citizenship law that will ostracise a section of population, or a natural diaster that will physically and economically shatter the general population, their eyes will always be on the profit and loss projections for themselves from the blowing wind. And to pocket the gains, that they have no qualms about wearing the garb of saviour or killer. How things will be dealt with when matters come to their hands, was well illustrated during the floods that devastated Kerala the last two years. Since the ruling party during the time was the left Communist-led left front, which the BJP views as an internal threat, the central government of BJP was closing its ears to the screams of flood-hit Kerala, which was evident in the matter of flood relief fund. No only did the Centre hold its purse strings tight towards the need, it also blocked external sources of relief citing technicalities. On the other side, the flood-relief fund raised instanty from an enthusiastically generous public, is still shrouded in controversy as for its source and utilisation channels.
Another farcical episode by party politicians occurred around the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests. The central government, given to racist vindictiveness, wielded the CAA as a handy tool to expel its adversaries. But this time the victims' side, that quickly read into the motive of racists, woke up fast - contrary to pecedent - and came forward on its own for resistance and survival, when again the scourge of power politics appeared with its nefarious interventions. Muslims, who recognized that the reason for their alienation from socio-political spheres in the past had been their falling a prey to the empty words of political parties, were coming out in search of their own locus standi this time round. And thus, Shaheen Bagh and other similar squares that came up in different parts of the country were a manifestation of this realisation. What the protesters did was to not bank on sponsors in the garb of saviours, but to be in the forefront and then seek the participation of well-meaning quarters. And the politicians across the left, right and centre who were caught between the soft and hardcore avatars of Hindutva racism, and at a loss on who to choose between them, were seen taking stances at state and national levels weighing their own gain and loss in the deal, instead of seriously taking on the move to sideline a people of the country. Such was the utilitarian position taken by Arvind Kejriwal both before and after the Delhi assembly election and by Kerala's left front with an eye on upcoming polls in the state. In spite of the fascist camp preparing to incite a riot out of the anti-CAA protests, most parties on either side of the left-right divide have been either sitting quiet or letting go of the fake propaganda of fascists, all based on political profit-loss calculations. It is not that they don't read the absurdity and hazard in the force and vigour that should be used to take on fascism, being spent for temporary political gains, but the animus against the foe makes them purblind to even its own friends.
More recently, when the pandemic of Covid-19 is here with its threats, politicians are not able to set aside this grudge and bitterness. Leaders and people's representatives who should take the lead in facing the situation in unison, break themselves into two, treasury and opposition, and present a sordid spectacle of vying to extract the timber when the house is burning. The altercations between the two sides over the last few days on the defensive measures against Covid-19, would make any beholder wonder whether their minds have become so small as to think merely of winning political brownie points, rather than tiding over the crisis that is already here. And both sides seem to be in a war of words through stooges in the social media. That breed of virus is spreading at a speed beating the Covid virus. As Kerala Health Minister put it, on a subject for which there is no model or precedent available anywhere in the world, the natural course for any political party is to accept that handling the pandemic is fraught with risks and thus to help the defensive preparedbess towards a successful tiding over of the crisis. The virus of political polemics that sets people in mutual strife mode, is in fact as fatal as the corona virus that endangers people's lives. The health of the land and the people can be recovered only by putting in isolation those bitten by the two bugs – the physical and the mental.