The second looks a better conclusion. There is hardly any reason to feel elated about the scrapping of the ordinance for in the chaos that followed since Rahul Gandhi's para-trooping act at a press conference on September 27, the purpose was lost and the question of 'who takes the credit' became the central point. This is not a healthy sign for a political system that calls itself a democracy. An individual can not dwarf the collective in a popular democracy.
Victory of a 'guided democracy'?
The opposition against the ordinance from within was a well-crafted move and the fragile stature of the Indian prime minister felicitated the plan to a great advantage. The result could have been different had there been an incumbent with a voice. In fact, the situation would not have emerged at all had there been some sensible operation at the top. Rahul Gandhi rose on the ashes of Manmohan Singh after the latter decided to bury himself.
Opposing the ordinance was a win-win game for Rahul Gandhi
The politics over the ordinance was a win-win formula for Rahul Gandhi and his supporters, just like the food bill was for Sonia Gandhi and the Congress in general. By opposing the ordinance publicly, Rahul Gandhi ensured that his morality will pay off as a election currency and the people will not forgive anybody who spoke against him.
Will India endorse selective opinions of an elite individual?
But for the close followers of democracy, it was not a rosy conclusion. Had the opposition to the ordinance come from the prime minister or the political parties at the initial stage, it would have been a encouraging sign for Indian democracy. But if an individual with a surname of 'Gandhi' raises an abrupt opposition and that too at the eleventh hour, then the conviction takes some time to materialise.
If Gandhi did a great favour to the nation by opposing the sinister ordinance, he also did a great disservice by not openly backing the demand of the Lokpal Bill or not opposing the highly debated food bill. He might have his own judgments on these issues like any other common man but if the Indian state starts to accept his selective opinions and functions accordingly, then a serious question will be raised on the credibility of the Indian electorate.
Gandhi negated the negative, but can he do a big positive?
The opposition to the controversial ordinance is also just one side of the story. If the Congress vice-president dislikes compromises in politics, will he push the government to bring a bill to drive out all tainted politicians from the Parliament? By opposing the ordinance, Rahul Gandhi negated the negative to make it a positive, Can he reach the same result by taking one big positive step of stopping all tainted politicians from entering politics in this country? A difficult bet any day and Gandhi himself knows it better than anybody else.
If on an another occasion when the pressure of election isn't there and the same individual pushes the authorities to take a step that doesn't suit our moral standards, what will we do?
A soft reminder of 1975
October 2013 reminds one about June 1975 when the much-vaunted democracy in India was hijacked by an ambitious individual. It led to the darkest phase in the history of the Indian democracy and even if what happened on October 2, 2013, might not match the magnitude of the Emergency, the spirit of the game was the same and that is: prevalence of the elite individual over the popular democracy.
It will be interesting to see what route the Congress takes while dealing with tainted politicians from here on. For, it needs both allies and the family for its survival. For the hyperactive media, the purpose of the entire exercise has been lost. It's just happy with the means.