India Uncut

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

The New Third Front

Around two decades ago, TCA Srinivasa-Raghavan predicted that "within a decade India’s GDP would be led by services and, therefore, it made sense for India to negotiate aggressively for the liberalisation of trade in services". India's commerce secretary at the time called him "a bloody fool". Well, Srinivasa-Raghavan turned out to have been right then, and he has another prediction to offer us now. He writes:
The prediction is this: in a decade or so from now, large sections of the Congress and the BJP will have come together under a common label. This will be the new Third Front.

The starting point is once again the educated middle class, which is growing faster now than it was in the 1980s. Therefore, sooner than you think, a new political formation will have to emerge to reflect the aspirations and needs of this group.

But where will it come from? Certainly not from the perpetually heaving bosoms of the Left and the caste-based parties, because that game is ending.

Also, there are only two political sources with an all-India provenance—the Congress and the BJP. Both have large numbers of politicians who come from the class mentioned above. And their numbers are increasing.

The reason why these people have joined one or the other party is not ideology. Most of them could have gone either way.

Read the full thing.

A thought: is the USA also due for a new political alignment? The Democratic Party has drifted towards the left and the Republicans have gone right, and those extremes determine many of the positions they take, as well as determine their presidential condidate in the primaries. There is a vast space in the center which is up for grabs, and many things that could catalyse such a movement. A John McCain independent run for presidency, for example, though McCain, arguably America's most popular politician, seems to be setting himself up for a run for the Republican candidacy. Big things tend to happen suddenly, and both in India and in the US, we have a political landscape which is arguably not representative of what the people want. We are democracies, and change is inevitable.
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