The next attack on India from Pakistan

A Pakistan Taliban leader (Photo Courtesy: USA Today)

A Pakistan Taliban leader (Photo Courtesy: USA Today)

BY RSN SINGH

The attack on the Indian Consulate at Herat in Afghanistan just two days before the swearing-in of Narendra Modi and his cabinet on 26 May 2014, had the portend to cast a sinister shadow on the momentous event. The attack being the handiwork of Hafiz Saeed’s Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was corroborated by none other than the President of Afghanistan, Dr Hamid Karzai. Subsequently, it emerged that the plan was to kidnap the Indian Counselor.

The LeT has been teaming up with the Taliban in attacking Indian interests in Afghanistan.  It may be recalled that in August 2013, the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad was also attacked by suicide bombers, wherein the Counselor and the Consulate staff did not come in the harm’s way, but nine innocent people that included six children were killed. Such is the nature of Pak sponsored terror. This attack was in the wake of assumption of office by Nawaz Sharif on 05 June 2013.

Apart from the Pakistan Military’s nervousness over the uncertainty of evolving contours of Pakistan-Afghanistan-India strategic triangle due to the envisaged withdrawal of ISAF from Afghanistan, the terror attacks on Indian Consulates, therefore has also much been engendered by the internal institutional rivalry and dynamics within Pakistan. Like the recent attack in Herat, the targeting of Jalalabad Consulate by the ISI backed LeT was in a way a stark reminder to Nawaz Sharif about the strategic imperatives and priorities of Pakistan Military. This was also to disrupt any possible rapprochement between the then Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in the following month.

These acts of desperation by Pakistan’s military-intelligence complex can best be explained through the evolution of the three major jihadi outfits impinging on the strategy and security of Pakistan. The respective areas of influence and operations of these three jihadi organizations, i.e. Afghan-Taliban, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is given in the map below:

Terrorism in Pakistan

The Afgan-Taliban and TTP, it should be remembered have the same roots. Till very recently, the TTP considered Mullah Omar as its figurative and inspirational head. Both the Afghan-Taliban and the TTP have avowed to establish Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan an Islamic Emirate of Pakistan respectively. Both have avowed to implement Sharia Law in the respective territories. However, while the master and benefactor of Afghan-Taliban benefactor, i.e. the military-intelligence complex of Pakistan has no qualms about the politico-religious objectives of its protégé in Afghanistan, it is loath to brook the same agenda in Pakistan and is therefore locked in a fierce and intractable counter-insurgency war with TTP. It is this naked contradiction that the Pakistan’s military establishment is finding impossible to reconcile. Jihad and jihadi groups sponsored by Pakistan cannot have different religious impetuses, i.e. one for Afghanistan and the other for Pakistan; one for strategic reasons and the other for domestic considerations. The third protagonist in the jihadi dynamics within Pakistan is the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The LeT, as is comprehensively established, is the irregular arm of the Pakistan military, exclusively for use against India and Indian interests. At one time it did decide to become part of global jihad to target western interests but its designs were nipped in the bud by timely action by the American Intelligence. In this project, David Headley played the key role. He succeeded, but the price was 26/11, paid by India. It is reckoned that the LeT, in terms of the strength of personnel has reached two-third levels of the Pakistan Army.

The strategy of proxy war by Pakistan Military in Afghanistan and India via Afghan-Taliban and LeT respectively is now facing a formidable despoiler by way of TTP. The magnitude of the internal threat can be extrapolated from the fact that since 2007, nearly 60,000 civilians and 5,000 security personnel have been killed, attributable to the TTP alone. On the other hand, the casualties attributable to the Operation Enduring Freedom in last 14 years are approximately 70,000 civilians and 3,400 security personnel. The Pakistan military has been compelled to use fighter aircraft against the TTP.

Such is the threat from TTP that Pakistan Army Officers have removed their name plates from their gates at many cantonments. As per the Pakistani newspaper, Dawn, Retired Generals have been kidnapped for ransom, wherein assistance has been provided by seminaries within Islamabad. Only today, 31 May 2014, a PML (N) legislator Rana Jameel Hasan and an ISI Official were allegedly kidnapped by TTP in Punjab province, just 150 kms away from Lahore.

The attack on the popular TV anchor Hamid Mir of Geo TV allegedly by the ISI in April this year has in effect intimidated most of the TV channels in Pakistan. These channels stand so scared that they are compelled not to invite those who speak the language of moderation. Leaders of religious groups are having a field day on most channels as they continue to spew venom against India and Narendra Modi. It may also be mentioned that the Geo TV, which has more than 60 percent of market in Pakistan is being accused of being anti-Pakistan by the military-intelligence establishment. Nawaz Sharif is being touted as the major patron of the channel.

Whether out of compulsion or exigencies of politics, the ruling party PML (N) in run-up to the elections in 2013 was seen to be cozying up with the jihadi leaders like Hafiz Saeed. In June 2013, Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of Punjab, announced grant-in-aid of Rs. 61.35 million for the parent organization of LeT, i.e. Jamaat-ud-Dawah (Markaz-e-Taiba) at Muridke. Another allocation of Rs. 350 million was made for the same organization for a knowledge park at Muridke and various other (development?) initiatives across Punjab.

The elections in 2013 in Pakistan were no less affected by intimidation of jihadis. Some candidates belonging to political outfits like the Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) could not venture to even campaign in their constituencies. The overall message emanating from Pakistan is that no business, strategic or political is now possible without the factoring and indulgence of the jihadi organizations. The fear of take-over of Pakistan by jihadis of Pashtun extraction is palpable in the country and can be discerned from writings of erudite columnists in Pakistan, a diminishing but plucky tribe which soldiers on against all odds.

Nawaz Sharif, having realized the hopelessness of the situation has been making efforts to reach out to the TTP, thus enraging the military-intelligence complex in Pakistan. The Pakistan Military views the TTP a creation of forces inimical to Pakistan.

It is in this vitiated environment that Nawaz Sharif visited India. What the invitation by Narendra Modi to Nawaz Sharif did in effect was to hold a mirror to Pakistan for the world to see. The reflection displayed the ugly fissures between the military, the polity and the jihadi tanzims within Pakistan.

The attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat was a message intended for Narendra Modi, Nawaz Sharif and Hamid Karzai by the Pakistan Military. For long Pakistan has been trying to manipulate the politics of Afghanistan through its proxies. 26/11 and hence, it has been trying to do the same in India in collaboration with some Indian politicians. One such attempt was bomb blasts to assassinate Modi during his Patna rally in October 2013.

If the TTP continues to gain further ascendance, the strategic manoeuvre space of Pakistan Military with regard to Afghanistan and India will accordingly shrink. A desperate Pakistan then would stage some spectacular misadventure against India to prevent the dissolution of the country or its takeover by the jihadis. This scenario in all likelihood will play out in the near future.

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

India’s election discourse disappoints: Confessions of a Voter

Indian PoliticsBY NIDHI SHENDURNIKAR TERE

As I got my finger inked on April 30th in what was termed as the greatest celebration of democracy, there was an urge to reflect on the nature of political discourse amidst mind-boggling campaigning on for months together. As a voter, one is left completely disillusioned with the kind of discourse that dominated India’s general elections. Two defining characteristics were – the overdose of a ‘secular vs communal’ frame and the highly irresponsible and outrageous statements dished by political contenders across party lines. Is this what people of the world’s largest democracy should expect from their political class? If this were to continue (and it is more than likely) where is our democratic discourse headed to?

An analysis of the media discourse during the elections points towards an over-emphasis on the secular vs communal debate. Media and political pundits decried the communal nature of the campaign and even expressed unwarranted fears towards takeover by a communal political agenda. Media especially indulged in much fear mongering especially over the ‘Idea of India’ which was supposedly under threat. This has persisted in the post-election scenario as well with liberal sceptics mourning the thumping majority won by the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) expressing doubts over the unprecedented and clear mandate given by the people of India. It is this ‘secular vs communal’ dichotomy that eventually became the pulse of the election, leaving no space for a fresh electoral pitch.

Surprising enough that even after six decades of independence, the election discourse continued to digress from people’s issues and turned out to be more regressive than ever before. To say that the nature of the current discourse was rhetorical and vitriolic would not amount to exaggeration. Unfortunately, aside all the big expectations of “acche din aane wale hain”; our political class actually reduced elections to a mere verbal duel where all you do is outwit the other until the next sound byte/TV appearance. With each passing day as the elections unfolded – a new allegation, a new set of outlandish statements and a new controversy emerged – enough to deflect attention from grave issues that the country faces. Certainly no election seems like one if the basic issues of ‘bijli’ (electricity), ‘sadak’ (roads), ‘paani’ (water) are not addressed. In fact, these promises continue to hang around every time; leaving the discourse insipid and utterly lacking in fresh ideas. Certainly, democracy can offer more than the usual promises and mudslinging politics. The election discourse this time around was not about people’s expectations; it was what the political class wanted to hear and speak. Although allegations, character assassination, slander are routinely a part of election debates; but the denigration of debate that this election witnessed leaves one amazed.

If democracy is about freedom and rights, then it has to equally embody ‘tolerance’ and ‘responsiveness’. By these yardsticks candidates have already failed the democratic test. Sample these statements made by prominent leaders/candidates:

“Critics of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi should be sent to Pakistan” – Giriraj Singh, Bhartiya Janta Party.

“Vote for the clock (NCP symbol) there (in Satara) and come back to vote for the clock here as well.” – NCP Chief Sharad Pawar asking his party workers to take advantage of the multi-phase polling in the state by voting twice.

“Muslims, not Hindus, won Kargil for India” – Azam Khan of the Samajwadi party.

“BJP engages in zeher ki kheti” – Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

“I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country…. But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him,” – Mani Shankar Aiyar, Congress leader.

While these and many other such statements are reflective of an erosion of political debate, they are also indicative of the hyperbole that Indian politicians indulge in. So we have rounds of taking a dig at each other resulting into a new vocabulary for Indian politics – ‘Jijaji model’ (referring to Robert Vadra), ‘Chai wala’ and ‘Butcher’ (referring to Narendra Modi), ‘Helicopter Democracy’ (as coined by Arvind Kejriwal) to name a few (India’s Politicians Trash-Talk Their Rivals, The Wall Street Journal – April 29). While there have been terms such as ‘khooni panja’ and ‘maut ka saudagar’ used in earlier electoral references, the ‘tamasha’ was more evident this time with particular emphasis on “who said what to whom”. Such a jarring campaign did not allow voters to be reflective about the quality of the democratic discourse as there was a possibility of getting carried away by the hype and hoopla generated by political gimmickry and PR machinery at full play.

While there are the positives about voter awareness campaigns, surge in voter percentages and increased political participation, where is the articulation on policy matters; conspicuous by its absence in both political and media discourse? Surely, a vast country like India is bothered about issues beyond corruption and communalism. It is worried about unemployment, poverty, education, energy, health, technology, economy etc. While every political party claimed to talk of development and kept their policy visions restricted to manifestos, all we saw in the public domain were personalized attacks and a personality centric election discourse – quite opposed to being people centric. All this election offered us were ‘dichotomous choices’ – a discourse seeped into ‘binaries’ which signified that while “I do not care whether I am good, but the ‘other’ is bad”. This is an unhealthy trend in a democracy.

While there is no harm in debating “who will win” and “how” but isn’t it more important to deliberate what a win would mean for the future course of the country. Should we allow ourselves to be fooled by petty issues and still believe in the festive spirit of democracy? Are we out there to enjoy or rather hold our political representatives responsible for their utter insensitive speak? Since, the discourse stooped to abysmally low levels, how much faith could the already disillusioned voter keep? To one’s total amazement the Election Commission (the body responsible for conducting and monitoring India’s elections) stood mute with power only to reprimand, ban and the revoke the same ban on candidates who openly flouted every model code of conduct laid down by the EC. This does not send a serious message to candidates offending the sensibilities of voters by their irresponsible conduct.

For once, the illusion that the present elections were more about people than power has proved to be exactly that – an illusion, courtesy the election discourse! When candidates reek of non-accountability and brazenness even before elections, certainly the post-election scenario does not look hopeful. Whoever says that this was a watershed election for India (as the results do convey now), should have a look at the election discourse – for what it conveys is quite the opposite. Seems we have missed the bus again!

(Nidhi Shendurnikar Tere is a Political Science doctoral candidate at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, and a research fellow of the University Grants Commission working on India-Pakistan Conflict Mediation and Role of Media. She is also a guest blogger with Canary Trap)

Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhaag can be shown the pink slip

BY SHAILESH RANADE

The appointment of Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhaag as the COAS (Desig) by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh three days before leaving 7, Race Course Road is Sonia Gandhi’s way of telling Narendra Modi to “get lost”. Sanjaya Baru has confirmed what Indians had dreaded all along – Manmohan Singh was PM only in title.

The current COAS has another 11 weeks to retire and that the country is not at war is another matter altogether. Given Manmohan’s track record in security matters, it would take him many days to even react if India were invaded.

Some myths regarding the selection of Military Chiefs need to be exploded right away.

MYTH ONE: Is there is succession plan? Yes there is. It is often decided by Chiefs when Officers are coming up for promotion to the Major General/Rear Admiral/Air Vice Marshal level. If the Chief of the Day doesn’t like an Officer’s face, he will definitely miss the first attempt to Flag Rank. Gen Bikram Singh is not the topper of his Course? What happened to the topper? If the concerned Officer has somehow got through the Promotion Board and made it to the 2 star level, he can easily be tripped at the Fleet/Corps Commander Level. Remember the case of Rear Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat. This Admiral was overlooked for Fleet Commander by the scheming CNS at that time, Admiral JG Nadkarni. A succession plan is subjective and made only to further personal rather than national interests.

MYTH TWO: Does seniority matter? No, it does not. The government has to choose from the top half a dozen three star level Officers. These Officers are generally senior or junior by a few months, sometimes by a few days. It is not that a great coup is taking place if supersession does occur. A lot was written by vested interests on the recent promotion of Admiral RK Dhowan. The fact is he was only one course junior (6 months) to Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha and was a topper throughout. Officers are getting written off at all levels. Some unfortunate ones even get caught between battles of two Senior Officers, much like the grass between two fighting elephants.

MYTH THREE: Does professionalism or merit matter? Yes, it does at all levels. The Services have a very stringent selection system. Apart from the odd aberration, an Officer takes about 33 years and 8 promotions to make it to a three star level. Since the pyramid incline now starts after Lt Col rank, promotions depend upon vacancies available. This means that to be assured of the next rank, an Officer has to be at the top or very near to the top. Therefore, it can be surmised that Officers at the 3 star levels are all professional and competent. The government may however take their performance at that level into account. Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha’s “Command” performance was dismal and therefore he was rightly superseded. He may have been a great fighter pilot but turned out to be a poor leader. Sometimes luck also plays a part. The current CNS was actually recommended to head the Western Naval Command (WNC) in place of Vice Admiral Sinha.

MYTH FOUR: Is the Chief a political appointment? Yes it is. There have been enough cases where the PM or the Defence Minister have intervened and got the “Boy” of their choice. Such cases include Gen AS Vaidya, ACM OP Mehra, Admiral Sushil Kumar etc. In fact, Admiral Sushil Kumar had not even commanded a front line warship as a Captain. One trick used by the politicians is to grant extensions so that the “Chain” is not broken. Beneficiaries include Gen GG Bewoor, Admiral JG Nadkarni etc. Vice Admiral S Jain too was given an extension but was unfortunately grounded by his own Chief of Staff. To put it simply, if the politicians did not matter, senior military Officers would not be courting them. Unfortunately, one factor has been overlooked in the recent military discussion on promotions.

MYTH FIVE: Does integrity matter? Yes it does. The Adarsh Scam was an eye opener. It was unimaginable that dozens of military crooks could be found in an area half the size of a football field. It was again incredulous that those identified included 3 Service Chiefs and numerous three star level C-in- Cs. Soon thereafter, was the Tatra Scam followed by another AgustaWestland Scam. While the Tatra Scam will probably be reopened and names revealed, two Air Chiefs have nearly got caught in the Agusta rotor wash. The CBI has a “look out notice” for one of them and the other has hurriedly been posted to distant Norway as ambassador, a position equivalent to an Air Vice Marshal. Nothing demeans a soldier and lowers his morale more than the thought of his Chief putting himself before his country. The soldier’s God has suddenly transformed into a lowly despicable and purchasable creature. What happened to the Chetwode Code? Will juniors blindly follow orders? Not anymore.

The Military Chief is a political appointment. The political leadership of the day should brush aside all arguments of seniority. Other than performance and integrity, emphasis should be on the Chief’s perspective plan for his force and hold him accountable. Commanders have been changed in the middle of a war. There can be no problems if it is done in peace. There was the curious case of  AP Venkateswaran. One day he was Foreign Secretary. Next day he was not. Rajiv Gandhi’s words, “soon you will be talking to a new foreign secretary”, did not cause any ripples, much less shake the bureaucratic world.

A Nation’s Military Chief is an important appointment. It is through him that the last resort is deployed to defend the nation’s interest. It is too serious to be left to an outgoing government that has been booted out of office. Manmohan Singh has set a dangerous precedent by disregarding the advice of the incoming political leadership. Even the President who is the nominal head of the Services has not been above board. If the new Prime Minister feels that Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhaag is not the Chief who would fit into his vision and plans for the military, a pink slip would definitely be in order.

Much like the “Middle Watch Keeper” who has the Captain’s trust, the new Army Chief must have the trust and confidence of his Prime Minister. The Prime Minister must sleep well, though Narendra Modi is the kind who will ensure that this nation’s watch keepers will always remain awake.

(Shailesh Ranade is a Guest Blogger with the Canary Trap. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

Moral undertones in Mandate 2014 – Time for some ‘moral’ politics?

Narendra Modi - Rahul Gandhi BY NIDHI SHENDURNIKAR TERE

The most prominent reinforcement about politics is that it is a dirty, corrupt, shrewd and notorious game of power. All possible negative connotations are attached to politics and rightly so. Thinking about politics, we obviously understand it to be negative and undesirable – all about selfish interests of those occupying power positions. Politics is something we are all taught to detest – not just politics practiced in the form of “5 yearly” elections, but politics at the workplace, in the family (yes the personal is political too!) or politics of any kind, anywhere. We do not identify ourselves as ‘political’ despite the fact that all of us strive for some kind of interests or goals to be achieved. We desire to be seen as ‘apolitical’, and thereby ‘moral’. Thus, you cannot be moral if you are into politics. The evident dichotomy between ‘politics’ and ‘morality’ is what makes politics a despicable object. Morality is not supposed to be a part of politics – because politics is a far cry from the moral, the good, the valuable, the just. In fact, what politics and morality represent are binaries; the two cannot co-exist, nor reconcile. That is why the ‘good’ are never into politics and those who are in politics can never be ‘good’.

Despite this glaring dichotomy, India’s Mandate 2014 has infused morality into the political discourse. While Machiavelli and Chanakya prescribed to realpolitik, our netas seem to be taking the moral high ground in this election campaign. So, is politics devoid of any kind of morality or does infusing morality into politics signify a highly ‘political’ act? The answer lies in the way morality has been invoked (or rather manipulated) in the election discourse of 2014. Each and every campaign has attempted to address the moral aspirations of people. Indians, anyhow have always lamented the lack of morality in politics (If only netas were honest and upright, where would we find someone like Gandhiji and Sardar Patel today? Or these netas have no morals to claim of – such statements are common parlance).

Take Rahul Gandhi for example. He seeks votes in the name of ‘sacrifice’ (moral undertone) by his ‘papa’ and ‘dadi’ for the sake of the country. The other plank employed for votes is a pro-poor one (borrowing from Indira Gandhi’s famous “Garibi hatao” pitch). So you should vote for Rahul because he is pro-poor, pro-women empowerment and hence moral. He forgets that his party lacks any kind of vision in terms of policy and governance and is riddled with accusations of scams. According to Rahul, an immoral, corrupt and divisive BJP led by Narendra Modi is a moral threat to the unity, integrity and progress of India. So a vote for Rahul should be propelled by one’s sense of morality (backed by the morality of brand Gandhi – so what if the brand itself is a falsely created one!!! In this context, the moral undertones of the Congress party’s election campaign are for all to notice – the use of children as the face of the campaign advertisements, with an appeal directed to safeguard the future of the country and a vote for the interests of the next generation – reeks of a heavy and unmissable moral appeal).

On the other hand, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has been projected and his image built as a moral saviour of sorts for Indian politics. Modi has repeatedly attacked the Congress on the basis of their immorality in public life (namely corruption) and a mute Prime Minister remote controlled by a lady of Italian origin (how immoral to be governed by a lady of foreign origin – who still cannot speak proper Hindi!!!). He is also seen claiming a moral copyright over the Gujarat model of development (in his interviews he repeatedly emphasizes on “Mera Gujarat”, he also addresses fellow Indians as “Mere sava sau crore Bharatvasi”). He claims to morally redeem the electorate from the tyranny of the ‘family’ (Maa and Beta) (Acche din aane wale hain” – This tagline of the BJP’s campaign speaks for the moral redemption that it aims to achieve or at least has promised it will achieve for the people of this country). Congress, however questions these moral claims and calls Modi a ‘feku’ (i.e. someone who exaggerates too much) and even questions his ability to take care of the country when he deserted his own wife (another moral undertone – in tune with the women empowerment theme). The Congress campaign portrayed Modi as a demon; instilling fear among the minority community with its prediction about riots, communal violence and a second partition if Modi gains power (supposedly moral because the unity of the country is at stake and only the Congress can save it from communal forces). To counter this, Modi uses the Maa-Beta jibe to reiterate the moral degradation that Congress has imposed upon the country. So, while ‘maa’ Sonia is only bothered about ‘beta’ Rahul and would happily sacrifice the country for him, Modi claims that he is here to work for the country minus the extra baggage of family responsibilities.

The third player in this game (if at all it is considered as a contender) – the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) cannot survive without claiming moral superiority. The punch line for the AAP’s campaign is – We are the best, the rest are bad/immoral. AAP has successfully projected itself as the torchbearer of morality based politics and this has attracted young first-time voters to the party who have pinned their moral hopes on it. Without the morality plank being invoked (both in Delhi and now), the AAP campaign would lose its sheen. The pitch on which AAP has based its campaign is that people are fed up of the two morally corrupt and bankrupt parties and AAP offers a way in which morality and goodness can be brought back to Indian politics. The last player in this game, the so called third front with as many leaders as fronts, claims moral high-ground by portraying itself as the only non-Congress (non-corrupt), non-BJP (secular) option available to people at this point of time. Disregarding the infighting and divisive claims to leadership the third front presents itself as a moral and credible option to an electorate disillusioned with mainstream politics.

All said and done, this has left the junta perpetually and morally confused as to who is the best ‘moral’ choice available to them, with each claiming moral superiority over the ‘other’. Are such moral claims of any use when it is quite a brazen practice to abandon morality after elections and resort to a full play of power politics? Why then deceive people by making unnecessary and exaggerated moral claims? Moral one-upmanship will definitely be abandoned once the claim to power is manifested on May 16. The moral undertones employed in this campaign come out as utterly farcical because morality is a relative concept and there is no yardstick for judging the same. Also every definition of morality is dependent on that of the ‘other’. There are no independent claims to ‘morality’. For instance mudslinging, character assignation and digging into each other’s personal life for the benefit of political gains is surely not moral. So, while moral claims do appear to be good on the surface, all they do is divert attention from people’s issues that an election discourse is supposed to address.

We are certainly not going to see a return of morality into politics, not anytime in the near future … till then we can wonder as to where did all the moral overdose come from; how and where did morality disappear from the political discourse/action of the day? Or was it never meant for politics? I remain morally and politically disillusioned by all accounts as Indian politics hits an all-time ‘moral’ low!

(Nidhi Shendurnikar Tere is a Political Science doctoral candidate at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, and a research fellow of the University Grants Commission working on India-Pakistan Conflict Mediation and Role of Media. She is also a guest blogger with Canary Trap)