If Manmohan Singh delivered to his political benefactor and mentor by way of CWG, Coal and 2G; Mr Antony did not lag behind. Never before in the history of India, the three services were targeted in the manner in which it was done during Mr Antony’s stewardship of the Ministry of Defence. Never in independent India had the arms lobby become so brazen and criminal that it dared to manipulate ‘chain of succession’ of service chiefs.

The greatest security for the Gandhis, one which will keep them on their perch, is that there is no life left in the rump to ask questions. Those who could have asked questions, like Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, have been kept outside the paddock. The simple principle of dynasties is: the crown prince must not have a challenger. The queen must never be upstaged. Even for the job of the President of India she could only settle for the lackluster Pratibha Patil.

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!

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.

To a large extent, social media has also contributed to polarizing opinions in the present political discourse. It is on social media that political battle-lines are being drawn with heated pro and against contentions, counter contentions and a daily dose of political passions and emotions. It is as if the electoral battle has now moved from the ‘realpolitik’ domain to the social media space.

The Gandhi family is in this battle with its back to the wall. A burst of energy at this late stage shows a sense of purpose, and deep anxiety. They are fighting for their sheer survival.

There is a tragedy in the making – both personal as well as national, on an epic scale. The grand old party has been declining in every recent election, but this time the First Family runs the risk of crashing. Some day, when the family takes stock, it will discover it has been ill served by the small circle it surrounded itself with. The clique played both side of the street.

While civilian supremacy over the armed forces is accepted in democracies the world over, and is an article of faith in the Indian military establishment, it refers to political and not bureaucratic control. It was the civil military disconnect which was largely responsible for slippages and deficiencies in India’s defence preparedness in 1962. Sadly, the situation has not improved much since then.