The weak and strong Prime Minister debate raises many critical issues!
The elections are in full swing. There is a fierce debate between the two contenders for the top jobs. L.K.Advani, the Opposition leader and Dr.Singh, the current holder of the high office are debating who is a strong Prime Minister. Advani is insistent and persistent in his attacks. He knows the weakness of the Prime Minister Singh. Singh has many credibility problems. First, he was not directly elected as the leader. He is a Prime Minister at the bidding of Sonia Gandhi. This, everybody knows. But now, at the time when the Congress led coalition itself is pulling in oppositive directions, Advani chose his vulnerable target.
In election and war, any means is justified..
Dr.Singh is very cagey when it comes to facing the realities of politics. After the TV news channels joined the debate and lined up veteran journalists and others, Dr.Singh chose a private news channel to talk and directly face the viewers and answer Advani’s questionings. I don’t think Dr.Singh managed to survive this relentless barrage of attacks by Advani.
But the major issue that would trouble the conscience of the nation is: is India itself a strong country? Is India led by a competent leader?
Is India taken seriously in the world forums?
Mr.Karan Thapar, in his popular feature, Devil’s Advocate and with Inder Malhotra and Chandan Mitra participating said that the Indian Prime Minister address the US President Barack Obama as “Sir”!This, according to the panelists is a shame for India’s prestige. This, Dr.Singh did, before when he met George Bush too.
And the PM lacks credibility. He is not seen as a morally upright person, his keeping a rent receipt to prove his citizenship residence in Assam is a fake. This, the Indian Prime Minister, a learned man, a supposed to be an honest man, shouldn’t do.
So, the Congress is batting on a thin wicket.
Not only that. India is not even talking out on many critical international issues.
India, now, tagged with China in international affairs.
Unfortunately, the record of Dr.Singh’s government in international affairs is very thin too.
The latest series of international meets, from the G-20 meets and later, even now in many of the forums, we don’t hear any Indian contribution that is mentioned or commented upon by the international media. But on the other hand, we see so many articles and even planted propaganda, even in the Indian media, in The Hindu, lately we see the Chinese development news and even anti-Dalai Lama propaganda is on the rise.
The Chinese Ambassador is received at The Hindu office and feted! Something unheard of in any other country!
Now, is China rising and the USA declining? We don’t see the debate in the Indian media. While we see the debate by vested interests, by the Western propagandists, very likely well-paid propagandists are planted in all the newspapers. The Hindu, again, carries routinely such propagandist writings.
India doesn’t have a very active press corps. We see the more popular and populist cheap, tabloid type newspapers that don’t care about such questions like the India’s image in international media. Rather, we Indians are very satisfied in reproducing the foreign inspired articles that are patently anti-Indian in tone but we don’t care to reproduce them, day in and day out.
Now, what about the debate over China vs. USA? China vs. India?
There is as we are informed by the foreign writers a new book by five nationalistic authors, named, Unhappy China. The book argues, it seems that China has no choice but to become a superpower! Fine! Let them become one! That seemed to be my instant answer!
But can China replace the USA as the superpower? In the near future? Or, in the foreseeable future?
Very unlikely. Here are my reasons, briefly, though we need to argue the matter in much more detailed manner.
First, the USA as it is, even in the midst of the worst financial crisis in the last80 years after the Great Depression, is still the most powerful nation. Not just in economic and military terms but also as a nation, as a society of advanced liberal values.
USA is a liberal and open democracy with all its faults. Let us remember. Let us not forget this basic truth.USA is also the most open economy, the very home of private sector capitalism, if you want to use such a phrase. Yet, it is the most powerful economy, market economy, free-market economy and the very fact it is a free-market economy it had to endure the financial speculations and also the current crisis and only by adopting the policies of recovery, the USA and the rest of the world is likely to recover ,not by any other means.
China, first and foremost, is a Communist state and a dictatorship, a single party controlled dictatorship where any of the signs of liberal society, free press or freedom of expression or any other such mark of an advanced society is absent.
This is the most critical aspect of the Chinese society and politics.
Now, on the other hand, India is the world’s largest, biggest democracy. A democracy, unlike any other democracy, not even the oldest democracies can come near Indian achievement, a wonder of the world.
India is a very open society; its electoral process is another wonder. Even the US electoral process is not as clean and as open and as trust worthy and transparent.
Let us then remember, dear Indians, that we are the most advanced liberal democracy on the planet!
So, we, Indians must seek to get our values right. Get our vision right.
I don’t mind who is the Prime Minister. Of course Dr.Singh has devalued the office of the Prime Minister. Sonia Gandhi is no less guilty. She had contributed no less for making India a devalued nation in the eyes of the world. She has chosen wrong persons for the great offices.
She has also destroyed the Indian National Congress by her lack of grasp, lack of understanding. She is too small person for too big a calling.
In spire of all these short-comings, I am confident that India can stand up to the great challenges of the day.
In the international affairs, India must play a more active role. A more visible role.
This is my submission. I invite concerned citizens to respond.
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