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What does India want, a mazboot sarkar or majboor sarkar?
"Whom would you vote?" A friend asked me, "A mazboot sarkar or a majboor sarkar?

Frankly speaking, this is not an easy answer. In democracy neither absolute 'mazboot sarkar' is good nor an extremely 'majboor sarkar'. The former tends to be autocratic and the latter tends to be anarchic.

Indira Gandhi's government in 1971 was nearly autocratic because it had power not only at the Centre but also in most of the states. In 1975 it enforced emergency. On the other hand the extreme 'majboor sarkars' have been seen in previous coalition eras particularly during Charan Singh, VP Singh, Devegowda, Gujral and even Chandrashekhar governments. Absolute chaos was there when every coalition partners wanted their pound of flesh. Even influential politicians of the leading party played politics of selfish interest at the cost of national interest. Time was so pathetic that Chandrasekhar government had to take loan against nation's gold.

Then there were eras when neither it was an absolute mazboot government nor extremely majboor government. For example consider PV Narasimha Rao's minority government. I think that was a watershed era when the liberal economy entered in to India. Then, Vajpayee's coalition government conducted nuclear tests, defeated Pakistan in Kargil war and the government did lot of development. Then, the UPA-I coalition government under Manmohan Singh under which the country really progressed, well maintaining continuity from Vajpayee government's development agenda.

But in UPA-II, although the Congress party became stronger by increasing its tally but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh became weak because of interference from the Congress top boss. When the PM becomes weak despite a stable coalition the end result is policy paralysis that affects even the common man.

An autocratic government at times works better than a democratic one depending upon statesmanship of the autocrat. On the other hand, a weak nation-head might be no major issue if the systems are well placed. For example, America's progress never depends upon how strong or weak its President is because there are established systems that work as checks and balances.

Now considering Indian politics and it's democracy, the question of 'mazboot sarkar' and 'majboor sarkar' terms came in because Mayawati claimed that a 'majboor sarkar' would be better for India indirectly accusing Narendra Modi's government as dictatorial.

If we deduct political motive from Mayawati's statement, I think the meaning should be that a central government should also be sensible towards state's demands. Strong government's like Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi governments never cared about the aspirations of states and rather suppressed the states' interests as per their whims and because most states were also governed by the Congress, thus states behaved as if the subordinates of the centre.

Things changed when regional satraps emerged and the Congress was marginalised in many states. Thus the regional leaders started demanding for their states and due to coalition compulsions they were also successful. The TDP, AIDMK, DMK, TMC. SP, BSP, BJD, etc., were able to compel the union government to agree on their term.

However, during this period there were a lot of corruptions which even the PM couldn't control because the Central government would have collapsed if any coalition partners had withdrawn support.

Now the question is whether the Narendra Modi government which is a 'mazboot government' too is autocratic / dictatorial? Before discussing the matter let us understand what the 2014 general election mandate was. I would say that the 2014 mandate was a rare mandate. The NDA won the election with the leading party, the BJP getting simple majority. It meant that NDA's partners couldn't blackmail the BJP. Then there were regional satraps like the AIADMK, TMC, BJD, TRS, etc., got huge mandate in their respective states nearly sweeping the Parliament election yet were in no position to exert any pressure on the Central government. Thus, it was really a unique mandate.

How Narendra Modi faired? Well, his government accommodated the NDA partners well despite having simple majority yet didn't allow them to heckle the government.

The Shiv Sena is annoyed because the BJP is not ready to fulfil their illogical demands such as giving CM posts to its leaders or giving more important ministries in both the Centre and the state. The SAD is unhappy because it wanted more ministerial berths. The TDP exited because its demand for special status to the state was not honoured despite special financial packages being provided.

But then, in overall, no state can complain that it has been discriminated against. Whether a BJP ruled state or non-BJP ruled state, the Central government not only provided more funds but also poured in many developmental projects with Odisha, Bihar and Northeast especially being benefited. In fact, Bengal could have also benefited but due to Mamata Banerjee's ridiculous animosity, the state lost joint projects, although central projects were equally there.

On the other hand, the Modi government made certain rules like no one should be minister if one crosses 75 years of age. It didn't allow improper demands despite pressures from even within. Modi clearly said that it wouldn't bring ordinance unless the court has given the verdict. That's the dare by Modi despite pressures from within. It took bold decisions like surgical strike and demonetization. It has tried lot of other bold decisions which were in fact scuttled by the Rajya Sabha due to majority of the opposition.

In nutshell, I would say that the Narendra Modi government is a strong government but not dictatorial. Rather, it can be dubbed as a bold government which doesn't hesitate to take bold actions irrespective of the consequences but very sensible to regional and provisional aspirations. This might be due to his tenure as a Chief Minister that helped him in realising what state's ambitions are.

Mayawati's wish of a majboor government is such that the Central government has to buckle under pressure from regional parties. This is exactly what happened during coalition governments except PVNR and Vajpayee government.

In conclusion, I would say that the ideal government for a large democracy like India should be as per mandate of 2014. If that's not happening, then also the mandate should be in such a way that neither the Central government can be autocratic nor the Central government so weak as to be vulnerable under pressure from regional parties. As at the moment there are strong regional parties headed by strong regional satraps, I would wish Narendra Modi to return as PM with a simple majority because he's also a strong mass leader coming from the ground level. 

What would happen if there's a hung parliament? I am afraid irrespective of who's the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi), the nation would pay dearly. Now it's up to you to decide what you want. A mazboot sarkar or a 'majboor sarkar'.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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