|Marriages of convenience are never easy. The distressed BJP is quickly realising this as the imperious Jayalalitha hounds it relentlessly. And so we are back to a political cover story again as India's new Government lurches into a new crisis, barely four weeks after its baptism by the fires of coalition. There is a sense of deja vu here, as we watch a paralysed Government struggling to hang on to its majority -- and its morals. At the centre of the political whirlpool is Jayalalitha, a woman who barely conceals the fact that her personal agenda -- becoming chief minister of Tamil Nadu again and squashing the corruption cases against her -- is her sole reason for being a part of the BJP-led Government. Our story examines how far the aiadmk's beloved leader will go in squeezing the Government. There is much about this story that is entertaining, much that is serious. The entertainment is in the bizarre drama playing itself out. But behind it all is the deadly serious issue of India's political future. How far will a party that promised India a stable government go in placating Jayalalitha? No one can fully answer that question, but we do analyse the compulsions that drive the brinkmanship of both Jayalalitha and the BJP. |
Meanwhile, murky politics is the farthest thing on the minds of a desperate people. After India Today exposed starvation-driven suicides in Bundelkhand, a startled Uttar Pradesh Government sent in a fact-finding team. Following a preliminary tour, which incredibly didn't cover the most wretched areas, the Government announced an inquiry committee. This is the kind of government behaviour which probably let Bundelkhand slide to its pathetic state in the first place. A government that survives by brinkmanship will never know of life, and death, on the brink.