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

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Post-party Politics

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Ideally speaking, the political parties are expected to start their wider and intense interaction with the values based on the need and urgency to aid people’s thinking on the following questions. What should the people become rather than what they want to get? Do they want to become more tolerant towards each other irrespective of their social backgrounds? Do they want to become reasonable to each other through sustained mutual understanding? Do they want to become unconditional secularists and egalitarian? And finally, do they want to become the harbingers of peace and harmony? Against the background of these fundamental questions, one would earnestly expect the political parties to approach voters by invoking the normative significance of the Indian Constitution, which has already provided adequate grounds to answer these questions in the affirmative. One would, in fact, may make a brave suggestion that these questions should occupy a prominent place in the election manifestos of political parties. It would be instructive, if not interesting, to attempt a content analysis of the manifestos so as to find out whether the manifestos have taken a normative load of these questions. The manifestos offer promises to materially benefit the voters rather than helping them develop self-identity based on the larger moral vision and wider social horizon.

However, the normative function of the political parties has received a further setback. The managerial turn of electoral politics, to some extent, seems to have overshadowed the ideal role in which the political parties were supposed to find their self-definition or legitimacy. Arguably, some of the leading political parties search for their relevance in terms of capturing political power, relying more on strategies, calculation or electoral arithmetic rather than focusing on the more substantive constitution of parties themselves as well as people. Some of the political parties, who are driven by pure motivation of capturing political power, have outsourced the task of managing electoral campaigns to agencies which claim to exist over and above the party affiliation. They claim to be politically and ideologically neutral.

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Updated On : 22nd May, 2021

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