Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tryst with the Dynasty

No one other than the royal family knows when the prince of Congress party is planning to take over from our most qualified yet “one of the” weakest prime ministers (I don’t think he is “the” weakest one we ever had because some horribly weak people have already been there and done it without even commanding the respect of a few dozen parliamentarians!). But, the good news would be that his takeover would bring in a lot of stability to our government after almost two decades, which for sure is not all that great at the moment. Even a few spineless clowns used to disrespect the prime minister in UPA-1. It’s better now in UPA-2, but it still has a lot of scope for improvement. It can never be perfect unless the person at the top has people’s backing. Unfortunately, Dr. Singh doesn’t have it as he came through the backdoor. As we discussed a few posts earlier, it is not his problem, but ours, for not being able to respect and back an extraordinarily decent leader like him.

When the baton is passed to the prince, it would be a mass leader again at the helm of affairs after a long gap. Advani wouldn’t be able to call him the weakest ever prime minister the country had. He may have to get creative to find out better reasons to criticize him. He may call him half Indian or half Italian. I am sure the prince is not planning to tie the knot until he occupies the much coveted office. I know the marriage before coronation would attract plenty of criticism and give huge room for Advanis and Modis to question his identity again. I sincerely hope that all the news that we hear about the Colombian girl are false. I don’t want to see the Advanis and Modis of next generation wasting their energy in invoking the foreign origin issue once again in our long history. We don’t want another Subramanian Swamy to waste all his intelligence in doing researches around the new foreign Gandhi’s background.

Anyways, when the change over happens, the prime minister would become the supreme authority of India again. All ministers would listen to him. Otherwise they know that they would be parceled in a Rajdhani Express to their home state to contest as an independent candidate in the next election. He wouldn’t have to check with someone more powerful about his every policy decision and take their approval despite being the most powerful constitutionally.

Having said that, would I feel great about having the prince as our king? No. Not at all! Why? When it was Vajpayee versus Sonia contest, I preferred Vajpayee over Sonia though as a party I prefer Congress over BJP. Even if it was Advani versus Sonia, I would have preferred Advani. When it is ideology based, I would go with Congress instead of BJP. But, when it is personality based, I somehow can’t stomach someone getting qualified based on the family in which s/he was born. It’s the most ridiculous thing in our politics. If you can qualify purely based on merit in addition to being the owner of the most powerful surname, you are most welcome. But, it just can’t be justified that someone who worked for the people from childhood is given second priority or no priority over someone who was just born for someone who was just born for someone who was just born for someone who really worked for the people in a government that was by the people, for the people and of the people.

It is all the more horrible when someone becomes all powerful in a country of billion people with her mere ability to choose the right spouse some forty years back. It’s painful for those who spent all their lives on roads and streets with their party flag in hand and huge aspirations in heart from their history-book days. Ideally, I would like to have people like Dr. Singh as the most powerful leader, loved by all the voters across the nation. But, I know it is far from possible. Even he could become whatever powerful he is today only by winning the trust of the family that is all powerful today in Indian politics.

So, considering the problems of practicality, until our voters start liking leaders based on their accomplishments instead of family background or we have a model that allows people themselves to choose their top most leader (I also want to write about the presidential model in near future), I would be okay with the prince becoming the king here for the below reasons.

1. He would bring back the power quotient to the seat, which would make the country stronger in the global arena. I wouldn’t call it a matter of dignity, as Mr. Advani does. It is just a matter of stability to be more precise and “dignified”.

2. Though he doesn’t come by merit, he has spent considerable amount of time understanding the undercurrents of politics. So, he wouldn’t be as novice as his father was while getting pushed into the scene. He just has to ensure that he doesn’t repeat the same mistakes that his father did. I am confident that he would do better.

3. Though this would sound like a support statement for dynasty thing, I also believe that if one’s family has been in public life for so many generations, s/he would surely have a good knowledge and hold over public domain. I am not supporting any promotion purely based on the surname, but I am just trying to find out a reason to be optimistic knowing that no one could stop that from happening.

I just can’t conclude my stand with a simple “yes” or “no” on this. If I have to say in a single statement whether I like him becoming the prime minister of this country, it would go like this – “I want the people of this county to start identifying their leaders from their billion people instead of choosing them from the same family over and over again, but until that maturity comes I am okay with someone like Rahul Gandhi becoming our prime minister instead of any other corrupt rogue from regional politics!” Such a long “single statement”!? :)

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