Indian Politics by rtuFL8



   Indian Politics
   ACMUN VII Study Guide
   Chair: Matthew Rakhit
   Co-Chair: Connor Rakhit

                              Windows User
                             Appleby College
Dear Delegates

I am excited to be your chair this year for ACMUN. I’ve been an active part of the club for
the past 3 years. I have participated on WHO committee at other conferences. My first
conference ever was ACMUN in grade 8 I came from another school to participate in it and
won an outstanding delegate award. It is a great conference and has always been fun.
Furthermore I am Canadian but am very proud of my Greek and Indian heritage. I am
looking forward to another awesome ACMUN.


Matt Rakhit

Communist parties in India

In the early 19th century a new philosophy in political world emerged Marxism. Many
people in India were impressed by Marxist ideas and many communists from around the
world arrived in India to teach and preach the communist philosophy. After the
communist revolution, which occurred in Russia in 1917, many in India wished to cause
same kind of revolution in India against the British. Under inspiration from Moscow the
Communist Party of India (CPI) was established. Like other communist parties in the
world, this party's members also had strong relations with Moscow and its actions were
dictated by Moscow. This party did not support the freedom struggle, which was organized
by the Indian National Congress and saw it as a struggle organized by rich businessmen.

After India's independence, many Indian leaders blamed the Communist party as a
Russian agent and as a party acting according to orders from Moscow. In 1957 this
party won the state elections held in Keralla, in south India, and so gave the world a
precedent in which people democratically elected a communist regime.

In 1964 the Communist Party of India split into two parties. The new party added the word
Marxist to the party name and is called in short, CPM. The CPI, between these two parties
was considered as a Russian agent in India until the emergence of Prestroika in Russia. Of
these two parties the CPM is the stronger party. Their main strength was in West Bengal in
east India and in Keralla, south India.

Along with these two national level communist parties, there are also communist parties
who act only within one state. Such parties exist in West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala.
There are also some communist oriented violent local organizations who tried to fulfill the
communist ideology with violent methods. These groups attacked big landlords,
government representatives and government property. These groups are sometimes called
Maoist groups or Naxalite groups, because of the place named Naxalbari where first such
violent attempt took place.
National Parties

National parties are political parties which participate in different elections held all over
India. Some of the national parties have their origin even before India's independence.

The oldest national party in India is the Indian National Congress (INC). In was
established in 1885 as a pro-British Indian organization. Later on it became the main voice
of India's freedom struggle. After India's independence, the British passed the
administration of India to the leaders of the Indian National Congress.

Until 1966 the Congress was a stable party. In 1966 Indira Gandhi became the leader of the
Congress and Prime Minister of India. From this period the Congress lost its stability.
Some of the veteran members of the Congress did not accept her leadership and they tried
to dispose her. In 1969 the Congress split and her opponents established a new Congress
part. But still INC was the largest and ruling party of India.

Indira Gandhi's Congress lost the 1977 elections to the Janata Party. A few months after
the defeat, another split happened in the Congress party. The party of Indira Gandhi was
called Congress ( I ), the initial denoting of her name. During this period many more splits
and coalitions occurred within the different Congress parties. Some of these new party
members including its founders returned later on to the Congress ( I ) party and the party
was renamed Indian National Congress.

But there are others who left the INC at different periods and established parties outside
the fold of Congress and have a name Congress in their party name. Before the 1999
elections some senior members of the INC were forced to resign because they questioned
the leadership of Sonia Gandhi. These people have created the National Congress Party to
participate in 1999 elections.

The INC is in the Indian political arena prior to India's independence. There were other
parties, which were established after independence, and, for some period, were challenging
the continuous rule of the Congress, some of them were almost vanished from the political

The first political party which, was seen as challenging the Congress continuous rule was
Swatantra Party. It was established in 1959 and was supported by some big businessmen. It
opposed the socialism policy of the Congress It had members in the Lok Sabha until 1977.
Another party, which challenged the Congress party but later on almost vanished from the
political arena, was Janata Party. Janata Party was the first political party in India to
establish a non-Congress government when it won the 1977 elections.

Janata Party was established before the 1977 elections. The person responsible for the
formation of Janata Party was Jayaprakash Narayan, called in short JP. JP was a freedom
fighter and a social activist. Many in India respected him and saw in him a moral figure.
In the early 1970s the reign of Indira Gandhi began to show signs of corruption and
dictatorship and there was a general feeling that liberal democracy is coming to an end. JP
openly attacked Indira Gandhi's policy and asked other leaders to express their views
about the dangers. Between 1975-77 emergency rule was declared. During this period many
of Gandhi's political rivals were arrested and put behind the bars. Censorship was
enforced on Indian press. The justice system was restricted and turned into 'puppet show'
of the government. The people also suffered a lot from this emergency rule. Under the birth
control policy many people were forced to have sterilization. Even so Indira Gandhi was
sure that the Indian people would support her because her general intention was to make
India a better place and so she declared elections in 1977.

To prevent her victory different political parties organized as one party. This party was
called Janata Party. The main factions of this party were, Congress (O), Lok Dal, Jan
Sangh, and other parties. This party won the 1977 elections and Morarji Desai became the
Prime Minister of India. But this party as it was formed did not survive for a long time.
This party which was actually a group of factions with one desire to defeat Indira Gandhi
did not find anything common among its members after they defeated Gandhi. As long as
JP was alive, the different factions still stayed together. But after his death in 1978 a clear
split occurred in the Janata Party between Morarji Desai's supporters and Charan Singh's
supporters. In 1979 Morarji Desai resigned as Prime Minister and other members tried to
replace Prime Minister. During this period Jagjivan Ram, an untouchable according to
strict Hindu society, was very near to become a Prime Minister. But finally Charan Singh
of the Lok Dal faction was proclaimed the new Prime Minister. A few weeks after Charan
Singh became the Prime Minister, because of the instability in the coalition, the president
declared on new elections.

In 1980 new national elections took place in which Indira Gandhi's Congress again won the
elections. Later on after these elections, different factions of the Janata Party broke up
from the Janata Party and established their own parties. Among these parties were Jan
Sangh which later on was renamed Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Janata Party continues to
survive, but is very small. In the 1996 elections it did not win any seat in the national
elections and in the 1998 elections it won only one seat.

Another political party which, was actually a political bloc of different factions and
managed to form a government was Janata Dal. This party was established because of the
claim that there was corruption in the Congress government. In 1984 Rajiv Gandhi formed
the Congress government. The finance minister of his government was VP Singh. VP Singh
found out that a Swedish company, Bofors, was bribing some senior members of the
Congress. Singh tried to investigate this affair. Gandhi moved him from the office and
made him Defense Minister, but Singh resigned from the government and started a new
party called Janata Dal. This party was made up of former Janata Party, Lok Dal and
some INC members. In the 1989 elections this party came second after INC but it managed
to establish a coalition government with other parties. This coalition was called National
Front. This front also broke up after two years.
Between 1996 and 2004 the largest party was the Bhartiya Janata Party. The BJP began its
political career after India's independence with only three members in the first elections
held in 1952. The BJP is a Hindu nationalist party, which draws its inspiration
from Hinduism. This party sees in India a Hindu state and it emphasizes Hindu pride and
Hindu past of India.

This party was established after India's independence, but its origin is also pre-
independence. In the 19th century a Hindu nationalist organization, Arya Samaj, was
established. The ideas of this organization influenced another Hindu organization
established later in British India, the Hindu Mahasabha. Hindu Mahasabha opposed the
secular Congress philosophy and wanted to establish a Hindu state in British India.
Another Hindu organization in British India was Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),
meaning national volunteers organization. One person who belonged in different stages of
his life to these two organizations assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. After his
assassination these two organizations were outlawed for some time. The leader of the
Hindu Mahasabha, Shyam Mookherji resigned from the party and established with the
members of RSS a new Hindu nationalist party, which was named Jana Sangh. This party
had moderate ideas than its former components. In its first two decades the party's major
holds were in north India's Hindi speaking regions, because this party supported turning
Hindi into the national language of India (see Official Language of India). In 1977 this
party was an important faction of the Janata Party. In the 1980s it broke from the Janata
Party and changed its name to Bhartiya Jana Sangh. Later on it renamed itself as Bhartiya
Janata Party.

There are also other national parties, which were established in India. The Bahujan Samaj
Party was established in the 1980s. But even though this party is a national party, its
represents only the oppressed classes of India. Samajwadi Party was established in 1992.
Two communist parties, Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist party of India-
Marxist (CPM) are also national parties. There are some parties who have national
agendas but participate only in certain regions of India and not all over India. For example
Forward Bloc (see also Subhas Chandra Bose) which participates in elections only in West
Bengal and neighboring Bihar.

India is a nation that is characterized as a "sovereign socialist secular democratic republic". Like
the United States, India has had a federal form of government since it adopted its constitution.
However, the central government in India has greater power in relation to its states, and its
central government is patterned after the British parliamentary system. The national government
has the power to dismiss state governments under specific constitutional clauses or in case no
majority party or coalition is able to form a government. The central government can also impose
direct federal rule known as presidents (or central rule). Locally, the Panchayati Raj system has
several administrative functions.

Social issues
The lack of homogeneity in the Indian population causes division between different sections of
the people based on religion, region, language, caste and race. This has led to the rise of political
parties with agendas catering to one or a mix of these groups.
Some parties openly profess their focus on a particular group; for example, the Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam's and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's focus on
theDravidian population, and the Shiv Sena's pro-Marathi agenda. Some other parties claim to be
universal in nature, but tend to draw support from particular sections of the population. For
example, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (translated as National People's Party) has a vote bank among
the Yadav and Muslim population of Bihar and the All India Trinamool Congress does not have
any significant support outside West Bengal.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, the party with the second largest number of MPs in the 15th Lok
Sabha, has an image of being pro-Hindu. Such support from particular sections of the population
affects the agenda and policies of such parties, and call into question their claims of being
universal representatives. The Congress may be viewed as the most secular party with a national
agenda; however, it also practices votebank politics to gain the support of minorities, especially
Muslims, through appeasement and pseudo-secularist strategies. Many political parties are
involved in caste-, religion- or language-based politics, which effects India's growth and
The narrow focus and votebank politics of most parties, even in the central government and
central legislature, sidelines national issues such as economic welfare and national security.
Moreover, internal security is also threatened as incidences of political parties instigating and
leading violence between two opposing groups of people is a frequent occurrence.
Economic issues
Economic issues like poverty, unemployment, development are main issues that influence
politics. Garibi hatao (eradicate poverty) has been a slogan of the Indian National Congress for a
long time. The well-known Bharatiya Janata Party is looked upon with grace as a political party
that is indeed encouraging to free market economy, businesses and others. The Communist Party
of India (Marxist) vehemently supports left-wing politics like land-for-all, right to work and has
strongly opposed to neo-liberal policies such as globalization, capitalism and privatization. The
economic policies of most other parties do not go much further than providing populist subsidies
and reservations. As a noteworthy case, the manifesto of the Samajwadi Party, the third largest
party in the 15th Lok Sabha, for the 2009 general elections promised to reduce the use of
computers upon being elected.
Law and order
Terrorism, Naxalism, religious violence and caste-related violence are important issues that
affect the political environment of the Indian nation. Stringent anti-terror legislation such
asTADA, POTA and MCOCA have received much political attention, both in favour and
Law and order issues such as action against organized crime are not issues that affect the
outcomes of elections. On the other hand, there is a criminal–politician nexus. Many elected
legislators have criminal cases against them. In July 2008, the Washington Times reported that
nearly a fourth of the 540 Indian Parliament members faced criminal charges, "including human
trafficking, immigration rackets, embezzlement, rape and even murder".

Central and State Governments

The central government exercises its broad administrative powers in the name of the President,
whose duties are largely ceremonial. The president and vice president are elected indirectly for
5-year terms by a special electoral college. The vice president assumes the office of president in
case of the death or resignation of the incumbent president.
The constitution designates the governance of India under two branches, namely: the executive
branch and the legislative branch. Real national executive power is centered in the Council of
Ministers, led by the Prime Minister of India. The President appoints the Prime Minister, who is
designated by legislators of the political party or coalition commanding a parliamentary majority.
The President then appoints subordinate ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. In reality,
the President has no discretion on the question of whom to appoint as Prime Minister except
when no political party or coalition of parties gains a majority in the Lok Sabha. Once the Prime
Minister has been appointed, the President has no discretion on any other matter whatsoever,
including the appointment of ministers. But all Central Government decisions are nominally
taken in his/her name.
Legislative branch
The constitution designates the Parliament of India as the legislative branch to oversee the
operation of the government. India's bicameral parliament consists of the Rajya Sabha (Council
of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People or Council of Ministers). The constitution
designates the Parliament of India as the legislative branch to oversee the operation of the
government. India's bicameral parliament consists of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and
the Lok Sabha (House of the People or Council of Ministers).
State Government
States in India have their own elected governments, whereas Union Territories are governed by
an administrator appointed by the president. Some of the state legislatures are bicameral,
patterned after the two houses of the national parliament. The states' chief ministers are
responsible to the legislatures in the same way the prime minister is responsible to parliament.
Each state also has a presidentially appointed governor who may assume certain broad powers
when directed by the central government. The central government exerts greater control over the
union territories than over the States, although some territories have gained more power to
administer their own affairs. Local state governments in India have less autonomy compared to
their counterparts in the United States, Africa and Australia.
Judicial branch
India's independent judicial system began under the British, and its concepts and procedures
resemble those of Common Law countries. The constitution designates the Supreme Court, the
High Courts and the lower courts as the authority to resolve disputes among the people as well as
the disputes related to the people and the government. The constitution through its articles
relating to the judicial system provides a way to question the laws of the government, if the
common man finds the laws as unsuitable for any community in India.

India is the largest democracy in the world. India has the biggest number of people
with franchise rights and the largest number of political parties, which take part in election
campaign. In the 1996 national elections, almost 600 million people voted and an average of
26 candidates competed for each of the 543 territorial constituency seats.

There are different political issues in Indian politics. Some are national level and some
regional level. Some communities just demand more economical and social rights for their
communities. While others demand autonomy for their cultures within the Indian states.
Some demanded autonomous states within the Indian Union, while the others demanded to
be independent from India.


Potential Topics:

BJP accuses Congress of mass corruption, leading to citizens of the country to protest against
their government. This works in conjunction with discussing the Lokpal Bill, the anti-corruption
Bill in Parliament, which Anna Hazare has fasted many times for.
The 3G scam led to Congress’ Government’s mass failure of persecuting those that are keeping
tax payer’s money for themselves.
Also, the Commonwealth Games was a massive embarrassment to India, with child labour and
even more scandals regarding the exploitation of the Commonwealth Games construction and
maintenance funds within the ranks of the Organizers.

There was uproar in India's parliament on 17 March after a leaked cable from the whistle-
blowing Wikileaks website described how a senior Congress aide showed a US embassy official
"chests of cash" allegedly used to bribe MPs to support the government in a crucialvote of
confidence in 2008.

The vote was over a controversial deal between India and the US which paved the way for India
to massively expand its nuclear power capability. The government's left-wing allies withdrew
support, but Congress narrowly survived the vote. Opposition parties at the time accused the
government of offering cash for votes.

The Congress party and all of those named in the cable deny the allegations.

The leak came just days after a new report by consultancy KPMG said that corruption threatened
India's growth. It said that it wasn't simply the daily diet of petty bribes that hold back the
economy, but the huge scams where billions of dollars are allegedly siphoned off by government
and industry.

In July, two people - an aide of a politician and a political activist - were arrested in connection
with the scandal. The Supreme Court criticized the police for carrying out a "shoddy probe".

A senior MP, Amar Singh, was also questioned after he was accused of offering to bribe
opposition MPs to abstain from the vote. He denies the allegation.

Telecommunication Scandal

In February, Telecommunications Minister Andimuthu Raja was arrested and accused of selling
mobile phone frequency licenses for a fraction of their value, in what some analysts are
calling India's biggest ever scandal.

His colleague in the southern DMK party, MP Kanimozhi, was arrested in connection with the
scandal in May and is in jail. She is the daughter of M Karunanidhi, one of India's most powerful
regional politicians and an important ally of the Congress-led federal government.

In July, the scandal claimed a third politician - India's Textile Minister Dayanidhi
Maran resigned following allegations that he coerced the founder of the mobile phone firm
Aircel to sell off his stake to a firm favoured by the minister. He denies the allegation.

Auditors estimate the alleged mis-selling of the licenses cost the exchequer nearly $40bn
(£24.5bn) in lost revenue. Mr. Raja is accused of issuing the frequency licenses on a "first-come,
first-served" basis instead of auctioning them.

He denies all the charges.

The net of police investigators has been cast wide and they have questioned business leaders,
TV bosses and political figures in connection with the alleged scam.

In February the government was forced to cave in to opposition demands to hold a cross-party
probe into the telecoms scandal.

In March, a former aide of Mr. Raja, who owned a real estate company, committed.
Commonwealth games scandal

The 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi were beset by more than poor organization: police
arrested various Games officials for alleged financial irregularities.

The build-up to the event was overshadowed by revelations of sleaze, incompetence and
missed construction deadlines.

And in January, yet another Congress party head rolled when Suresh Kalmadi, the Games
organizing committee chief, was removed from this post.

He has been under investigation over claims of corruption and denies any wrongdoing.

In August, a report by India's state auditor tabled in parliament said preparations for the
Games were deeply flawed, riddled with favoritism and vastly over budget.

It said there were serious irregularities with bidding and contracts, and that the seven years
organizers had to prepare were wasted.

The games cost $4.1bn (£2.5bn) instead of the $270m (£166m) first estimated, while revenue
was only $38m (£23m).

The government said parliament would reflect on the report and "decide what needs to be done".

BJP (namely Namenda Modi, governor of Gujarat) is accused of doing little to nothing in
preventing Hindu extremists from committing atrocities on the Gujarati Muslim Community.
This was followed by “The Godhra Train Burning” by Muslim Extremists which killed around
70 Hindu pilgrims. Following this paragraph is a link of very convincing evidence, which would
seriously harm the political group’s reputation. The BJP can still refute Congress’ accusation
with the 1984 Sikh riots, which occurred during Congress’ Indira Gandhi’s reign during India’s
State of Emergency, which suspended democracy for a temporary time. Still, Narendra Modi’s
superior governing skills have put Gujarat on the world map. Gujarat has one of the best
economical systems in India.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party) is one of the two major political parties in
India. Established in 1980, it is India’s second largest party in the sense of seats held in
parliament. The party was started by being an advocate for Hindu nationalism and conservative
social policies. It believes in a free market policy and a strong national defense. Their current
leader is Nitin Gadkari. Just before he was appointed the party was accused of demolishing
mosques, this was done by mostly leaders of the party.

The Indian National Congress party is the other major political party in India. They were the
ones who started the independence movement away from Britain. Led by mostly the Ghandi
family, it has never truly been opposed up until recently. They were able to gain a majority
government by becoming allies with the United Progressive Alliance.

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