Saanpnaath or Naagnaath

Justice Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.

Since the morning TV channels and the internet have been showing and analyzing the election results to the 4 state assemblies ( West Bengal, Assam, Tamilnadu, and Kerala ) and 1 Union Territory ( Puducherry ).

The major emphasis was on the West Bengal elections, where the BJP had brought in many of its heavyweights for election campaigning. Despite that, Mamata Banerjee’s TMC is leading in 215 of the 294 seats, while the BJP only in 76 (which is still a huge increase from the 3 seats it had got in 2016 ). In the 2016 elections, TMC got 211 seats, so its strength remains almost the same.

In Tamilnadu, out of the 234 seats, DMK leads in 152 seats, while the ADMK only in 81. This is a dramatic reversal from the result of the 2016 elections in which ADMK won 136 seats, while the DMK won only 89.

In Assam, of the 126 seats, BJP is leading in 76 seats, and Congress in 49. In the 2016 elections, BJP with its allies won 86 seats, and Congress 26.

In Kerala, out of the 140 seats, LDF is leading in 93 seats, while UDF in 43. In the 2016 elections, LDF won 91 seats, and the UDF got 47. Thus the position is broadly unchanged.

Various people have given their analyses and comments on these results, and I would like to venture my own.

In my opinion elections in India and their results are wholly irrelevant. This is because the test of every political system and political activity is one, and only one: does it raise the standard of living of the masses? Does it give them better lives?

Once we keep this firmly in mind it immediately becomes clear that the elections and their results are wholly irrelevant, for they will not result in any substantial improvement in the lives of our masses. Whoever comes to power, abject poverty, huge unemployment, appalling level of child malnourishment, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs, fuel, etc, widespread farmers distress, rampant corruption, etc will continue as before. All that will change is the rulers, ‘Saanpnaaths’ will be replaced by ‘Naagnaaths’.

Do our politicians have any genuine love for the people? Despite the spreading corona pandemic, our politicians held huge election rallies for campaigning in the recent elections to the state assemblies, unmindful of social distancing and other safeguards. This has totally exposed them. They are least interested in the people’s welfare, and all they care for is winning in elections, for power and pelf. And for that they polarise society on caste and/or communal lines, since Indian politics runs largely on the basis of caste and communal vote banks.

Casteism and communalism are feudal forces that must be destroyed if India is to make the great historical transformation from a semi-feudal to a highly industrialized country, but parliamentary democracy further entrenches them. Hence it has to be replaced by an alternative system under which India rapidly progresses. I have explained this in the following article :

See also my following article

In my opinion, the solutions to India’s massive problems do not lie within the system but outside it. Elections will not bring about any substantial change in the lives of our people. For that, a mighty historical people’s struggle, led by modern-minded leaders, and stretching over a long period ( maybe 15-20 years ), is required, as explained here :