ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rise of Pessimistic Politics


It is quite alarming to observe that certain kinds of pessimistic tendencies are on the rise, particularly in the institutional context of Indian politics. These tendencies manifest at procedural as well as substantive levels. At the procedural level, flouting and bending well-established procedures—for example, by choosing odd hours for administering oath for office—certainly constitute as the violation of constitutional norms. At the more substantive level, these tendencies become evident, particularly in some of the legislators’ move of crossing over to the party in power or parties likely to be in power. This has been increasingly evident in the recent political developments that occurred in Maharashtra. The other manifestation through which these tendencies erupt is the politics of caprice, treachery, and secrecy. Thus, these tendencies seek to attack the constitutional norms and tend to free the legislator from moral constraints. Put differently, the individual legislators feel less constrained by the normative restrictions that are given by the Constitution and endorsed by the courts from time to time. The recent ruling by the Supreme Court on the government formation in Maharashtra is a case in point.

It is true that uncertain political situations, such as a fragmented electoral verdict, do provide the background conditions for such tendencies to take hold of the political life of institutions, political parties, and individual leaders. But, it is also true that such tendencies are backed by an objective need for parties and leaders to retain and remain in power. The recent political developments in Maharashtra once again brought this forth.

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Updated On : 4th Dec, 2019
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