Needs to be raised high!
Prime Minister out of hospital and still recuperating!

Yet unwilling to delegate authority to his colleagues!
Eight or nine Cabinet positions kept vacant!

No deputy Prime Minister nor independent Finance Minister!
What is happening in India? To the Indian democracy?

To India’s image abroad?

Sending out routine officials as ambassadors to major countries is a step in moving backward. Fighting shy to engage with the new US President Barack Obama is a telling instance.

The UN President Barack Obama has been a refreshing experience in international arena and the very outlook for the international scenario is full of hopes and optimism.

In this context and also in the on-going economic crisis and recession, India must be seen playing its due role. Once India was a big player on the international scene. Not anymore.

After Manmohan Singh came along, there is a perceptible dip in the image of India abroad.

Except that he signed the Indo-US nuclear deal, there is nothing more now. Even the nuclear deal is now no news considering the economic recession has taken a heavy toll on the nuclear programmes, not just in the USA, even in France and other nations.

The signing of agreements by India with Russia and now with France and the visiting delegations from the US nuclear industry are all in cold storage considering the economic recession had dried up any invest proposals there were touted before. So, there is practically no action on their Indian front on some of the crucial economic and diplomatic fronts. Indian diplomacy is as good as being nothing more than mere whispers.

Poor man, the Foreign Minister Mr.Mukerjee.

He is unnecessarily being burdened and even punished by over-burden. He is saddled with the very crucial Finance Ministerial portfolio he handled some 25 years ago.

Is this political wisdom? On the part of the Prime Minister or Sonia Gandhi?

The country is being denied the very many opportunities that are open to talents, both seniors and the juniors in the government and outside.

When the British press came along with the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, they went to Amethis, Rahul Gandhi’s constituency. The Brits were curious to find out how the young Gandhi views the world. The British press asked Rahul Gandhi pointed questions on Afghanistan, Iraq and other hot spots. The young Gandhi couldn’t answer questions from the inquisitive British pressmen.

That was big news in the British media. Not here. Here we have a very cowardly press.

The British Foreign Secretary, Miliband, now confesses he did mistakes in India where he talked very rudely and treatedly also rudely the very senior leaders like the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, the Whiteman wa shalf their age and yet he behaved as if he was their master!

So, I feel that India must send out even Rahul Gandhi and men of his age to some assignments to foreign countries as our ambassadors. So that they would bring back their experience for the benefit of India.

Even as it is, there is a need to give ministerial berths to senior leaders like Digvijay Singh and Veerappa Moily and other senior leader’s Cabinet posts. They will give the right leadership to the officials. Now, officials dominate the policy drawing and policy implementation. In fact, there is not much of a policy. No new and innovative policies for many ministries.

Even as it is that one person cant master many portfolios, one has to have time to think and learn. This ailing Prime Minister and insecure Party president are not willing to give to others.

A great pity injeed. To that extent Indian polity suffers and also India’s image suffers abroad.
Send out public figures as ambassadors. India must send out public figures as ambassadors to the UK and USA and other big countries!

Just now I read that the Indian government had sent out two officials as ambassadors to the USA and Pakistan. Even to other big countries like Russia or China or high profile countries like France and Germany we don’t know who India’s ambassadors are.

All this is in a pattern under Dr.Manmohan Singh.

Mr.L.K.Advani may be right or wrong when he said that Dr.Singh is the weakest Prime Minister India has had. But certainly, under Dr.Singh India’s image abroad is not at all high. Somehow, the Prime Minister true to his image has downgraded a number of otherwise high profile assignments in the service of India. Under Pandit Nehru, we used to have high profile ambassadors to big countries. To the USA we have had men like G.L.Mehta, to UK of course we have had V.K.Krishna Menon, to Russia Dr.S.Radhakrishnan and to China, the historian, K.M.Panikkar.

Even under Morarji Desai, we had Nani Palkhivala to the USA.

The point is that even in other such big jobs like, say, the chairman of the Planning Commission, we used to have public figures, C.Subramaniam, under Janata Dal, Ramakrishna Hegde. Only public figures can articulate and become the public face of their office and their responsibiltiies. Not faceless officials. Now, there are too many such faceless officials crowding the South bloc corridors!

All news from Delhi is about postings and transfers! Is this a big deal? What is great about the new bureaucrats at RAW or IB or CBI? Why write reams of columns in edit-pages and waste the public attention.

Unless you have great men, great minds in high offices, how can you generate great thoughts and ideas? Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi must give some attention to what I am saying here. We invite reader’s reactions to what we have suggested here. Let us all have open minds. Let us all debate how we can raise the image of India abroad.

Somehow, under Singh and Sonia Gandhi we have had the sorry spectacle now that most high profile and even ceremonial public offices are held by very poor public figures. They don’t measure up to the public expectations. The public don’t feel inspired. Public confidence in the holders of such high profile public offices is at an all-time low.

All these thoughts don’t reflect of course any personal deficiencies of particular individuals.

The point we want to convey is that a great democratic country like India, with vast divergencies, and a great tradition of leaders like Gandhiji and Nehruji must be very careful in the selection of persons to occupy such public offices.

What is unpardonable is that Sonia Gandhi seems to have an aversion for highly talented persons. Otherwise, why she even doesn’t think right to fill up even the Cabinet offices of crucial ministries., as many as some eight and more such posts that is left to remain vacant. At a time when Mr.Pranab Mukerjee and other ministers are burdened with additional charges. What is the wisdom behind such decisions?

And also resorting to giving ministerial jobs to those who held high Constitutional posts, like CEC and Supreme Court Chief Justice?

Now, as for the ambassadors, it is very important that we send out not faceless officials as a matter of routine postings. We need to send to the USA and UK and other major countries highly respected public figures, individuals in their own rights some achievers, preferably outside the government machine and also individuals who can articulate India’s manifold achievements. In history, arts, in Constitutional matters and even in such fields like public service, NGO work and other social service sectors.

Outsiders must know the highly talented Indian individuals, even entrepreneurs are preferred.

Such assignments are in the nature of things are often short-term assignments and therefore it would be easy and also preferable to cast the net wide and far and must be able to locate a galaxy of talents to be shown to the outside world. Even artists and intellectuals can make a lot of difference.

Somehow, the government and Sonia Gandhi must give some thought to this suggestion.

Also, why Sonia Gandhi is shy and reluctant to give opportunities to her own party colleagues, some of whom are former Chief Ministers and also senior leaders as Cabinet Ministers?

They would fill the slots excellently. A Finance Minister, a broadcasting and information minister must be a high visible figure. So that his or her speeches and articulations would have great impact.

Even our national academies of literature, arts and music must have such high profile figures and they too can be given some crucial diplomatic postings.

Media persons too must be promoted to represent India on crucial occasions.

To keep the persons, be it state level seniors in the same states, not even giving them such assignment like Governors is a sort of sadism only and we have to learn to become more generous and forthcoming.

Senior Congress leaders must be given assignments like working presidents of the Congress party even at the Centre. One for the Southern region, one for the North, one fort the West and one for the East.

Even otherwise, the Congress party is devoid of any talented persons at the top. Why Sonia Gandhi should be so obsessed with her own narrow coterie and other nominated persons around her. Let her show her magnanimity and call for these seniors who are all languishing and feel so frustrated.

That is one reason she is forced to resort to suspension and at the same time forced to revoke her suspension as election approaches.

This is too bad and invites only ridicule and only exposes the limitations of the people surrounding her.

This also doesn’t lead to clean and a transparent sort of politics but only to political intrigues and manipulation behind the scenes by those who have bested interests to serve.

This is no clean politics or an ideologically committed politics.

It is a pity that Dr.Singh has led to the current downfall of the great many public offices.

All this is said with no ulterior motive whatever. Only India’s image abroad matters. Let us make India a great country.

The UN reforms and very many changes under Barack Omaba are going to shape the world events. Let India plays its due role in such historic times.

Let Indians realise that we are a great nation. Indians deserve better types of leaders too!

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