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

A+| A| A-

The Banality of Defection Politics


In the recent years, political defection of different kinds and the resultant deviation from norms such as loyalty is not saleable, pluralism is to be considered worthy of respect, and politics that endorses improvement in the spheres of non-coercion or increasing but reasonable degrees of freedom have led to the melancholic expression, we were wrong in supporting, prompting, and protecting these defectors. Such expressions seem to have been particularly reverberating among the members of the Congress in Madhya Pradesh (MP), Karnataka, Goa, and, more recently, among the members of the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. This raises the most fundamental questionsis the act of defection becoming a new norm for practising politics in India? Why are the norms listed above being regularly undermined? And by whom?

One could offer at least two illustrations which could help us in indicating that the act of defection seems to be acquiring to itself either systemic legitimacy or peoples approval. First, those political parties which seemingly are the beneficiary of defection would defend acts of defection on the grounds that it is vindicated by the fresh electoral mandate that the technically disqualified candidates would receive from the voters. Although the parties at the receiving end of defectors would seek an ethical exoneration, such claims, however, are far from being indubitable. Thus, it would not be unfair to raise the following question: Is the re-election of the defectors possible without the rigging of the voters minds? The answer is no. The votersat least an effective number of themallow their minds to be rigged by the decision to elect the defectors who jump from one party to another indiscriminately without any regard and respect for the mandate that they got from the voters with a different, perhaps even a progressive, orientation. The case of such a rigging of moral minds was evident in the case of MP and Karnataka where the defectors were elected to a different party with a different ideological orientation.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.