Half the people have told me that the recent crisis in the Janata Dal has been good for the party and shown the world how democratic it is. And the other half have told me that it is bad for the party and the government has lost its image for ever. Since I am a little confused, I asked the veteran political correspondent about it.
The veteran political correspondent was siting at the press club bar. I ordered two gin and tonics and pakoras and asked him: “Has the recent crisis in the Janata Dal been good for it or bad?”
The distinguished political analyst drank his gin and tonic, ate his pakoras, then said: “It has exhibited to the people the inner-party democratic culture within the government, differences have been brought out into the open and thrashed out in full view of the press and Doordarshan.”
“Then it is good,” I said, ordering two whisky and sodas and salted peanuts.
“No, it is bad,” said the political correspondent, drinking the whisky-soda and finishing his salted peanuts. “It has indicated the instability within the government and exposed the tip of the iceberg of the national crisis.”
“Then it is bad,” I said, ordering tow rum and Thums Ups and cheeselings.
“No, it is good,” said the distingushed analyst, drinking his rum and Thums Up and eating his cheeselings. “That dissent has been voiced and registered and that the party has taken cognisance of it and based its rapprochement on it, proves that the party members have taken upon themsleves the role of public accountability.”
“Then it is good,” I said, ordering two vodkas poured on ice and cucumber sticks.
“No, it is bad,” the weteran political commentator said, drinking his neat vodka amd finishing his cucumber. “The government is getting bogged down in non-issues and is too pre-occupied with its own survival to have time to tackle major issues that are threatening the integrity of the country.”
“Then it is bad,” I said, ordering two chilled beers and the press club’s mixture.
“No, it is good,” said the distinguished political correspondent, gulping down his beer and consuming the mixture. “The crisis had shown that there are enough people in this government, including the prime minister, who are ready to resign on purely moral and issue grounds, rather than take compromises with their conscience and the electorate’s mandate.”
So I ordered two Golconda Red Ruby wines and a bunch of seedless grapers and told him: “This is the last item on the menu, you better tell me once anf for all whether it is good or bad.”