Wednesday, 15 August 2012

On Rahul Gandhi, Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev

 Anyone who reads this piece will wonder why have I clubbed them together, what is common between them.The answer is: all three are national assets but are being misused by interested parties. It is a pity that their lack of maturity or excessive enthusiasm for certain causes or insatiable desire to be in the limelight is allowing them to be misused.

First about Rahul Gandhi. This young man of 42 years has many natural advantages. Being born in the first family has given him stature above others. He has also inherited in his genes a fervent spirit of nationalism, patriotism, democracy and secularism. In the last five years or more, he has toured the country extensively and acquired grass roots experience of problems of the country. But he lacks adequate administrative experience and political acumen. Governing a large and complex country like India is not easy. Those who are advocating that he should be given the responsibility of Prime Ministership in 2014, if possible even earlier, are doing so for selfish reasons. The right course would be to make him a Minister in the central cabinet in 2014, if the UPA wins elections. He has years on his side. He should assume the top most responsibility at the appropriate time.

Anna Hazare is a dedicated social worker. He has proved his sincerity and capibility at the village level. His desire to improve the moral fibre of the nation is unquestionable. But his strategies are wrong. Again, he has been wrongly advised by those who want to ride his bandwagon  and make personal political gain.

Baba Ramdev has served the nation splendidly in the field of Yoga. The reputation that he gained as a result has whetted his appetite to be more popular to exercise indirect power over people and politicians. Since the major opposition parties today are devoid of credible agenda and are ridden with leadership crisis, they have tried to latch on to Baba Ramdev. This gave him a false sense of importance and indispensibility at the present political juncture and led him to stage a comeback at Ramlila maidan. He would be wasting his credibility as a Yoga guru if he persists in these misadventures and that would be a loss to the nation.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

India's Presidential Election

Pranab Mukherjee's choice as UPA's candidate for the position of India's President is very welcome. Sonia Gandhi needs to be congratulated for it. Let us look at the positives:

1. He is among the most knowledgeable, competent, articulate and experienced political leaders in the
2. He is free from blemishes of which most political leaders today are accused.
3. He has an all India stature by virtue of his long and non-controversial service to the coumtry in various capacities.
4. He is nationalist, secular, non-caste-ist and non-parochial.
5. He carries an appeal beyond merely his own party.

It is a shame that some political leaders in the country, even though elected to positions of power, have yet to learn that national interest is above personal interest or party interest. They are ready to do incalculable damage to political stability and image of the country in order to promote personal interest. Foremost amongst them is Mamta Banerjee. She has yet to outgrow her training and habits as a street level rabble-rouser.

A senior and experienced leader like Mulayam Singh Yadav who has done well in UP also needs to be more cautious about his make-shift alliances and utterances. He and his son have a future in politics and must not seem to be opportunistic and irresponsible.

It is surprising that a highly respected legal mind and a senior and intelligent leader like Ram Jethmalani should throw his hat in the ring without even his party's approval or consultation.

 It is not fair on the part of some regional parties to pressurise A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to contest the election. He has said it many times that would be available only if there is no contest. He must maintain his dignity and stature by sticking to that poisition.

A contest is normal in a democracy. Let there be contest between candidates put up by recognised political parties. For the position of the president, caste and tribal considerations should be set aside. P.A. Sangma is a man of stature and experience. He should contest on his merits if a credible party puts him as a candidate.

Let democracy win. Let national interest win.