Pune: Nothing is black and white when it comes to politics and governance, said senior journalist Uday Mahurkar, right at the beginning of a session ‘Political Landscape: Boon or Bane’ at the Pune International Literary Festival, on Saturday morning.
On the current political scenario in the country, Mahurkar said that a lot needed to be achieved in terms of electoral reforms and that consistency among various political parties is the need of the hour. The session was attended by BJP representative and author Tuhin Sinha, Indian National Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi and Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe and moderated by journalist Rishi Suri.
Beginning with the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh, Sinha, while condemning the murder, expressed disappointment at the ‘farcical and play acted’ reaction of the opposition.
“This is the problem. You can never take an opposing opinion,” Chaturvedi instantly replied.
She said that there was a need for intellectual and fact-based conversations today. “This is largely disappearing below the deafening voices of TV anchors. The bigger person - which is the ruling party - needs to address this issue and encourage communication between differing opinions,” she said, citing the example of the recent intense discussion that took place between Union Minister Arun Jaitley and MP
P Chidambaram over the GST. “That is the kind of discussion we need today,” she added.
Gorhe, too agreed, saying that the last three years had, however, seen a lot of transformation. “One is the decrease in depoliticisation of the middle class. Today, people with no political background are coming to the fore in politics, which is a positive sign. But there is a point of frustration for the Shiv Sena which is the interference in people’s food habits. We do not support that,” she elaborated.
Speaking of the politicisation of our people, Mahurkar said that it was inevitable. “People can’t remain isolated from politics,” he said, to which Chaturvedi added that politicisation was okay and being vocal about it too was good as long as people followed self-censorship, especially when it came to social media.
Over consensus among parties, Sinha said that it was time for political parties to strengthen the middle voices in their respective parties and shut the radical ones. “That would lead to better coordination among parties and strengthening of democracy,” he