The Prime Minister is out of action for the time being. Even before that, there was a sort of race for the Prime Ministerial job! Now, after Dr.Singh went through a period of hospitalization and in the meantime, Mr.Pranab Mukerjee took over as the de facto Prime Minister there has developed new tensions within the Congress party itself over the next turn of events very likely even before the start of the general elections and very much after the elections results start coming.
It is the question of “numbers” that would decide the permutations and the combinations of the parties and their respective strengths and their respective mindsets to co-habit and desert the friends and the enemies.
We Indians, both politicians and the non-aligned independent minded elites and the masses are conditioned not to trust ourselves. Rather we are conditioned to trust the foreigners, more so the white men, that too first the Britons, next the Americans. This applies as much to the intellectuals as the common man. So, we seek to have approvals to what we believe to be the best interests of the Indian people. This is unfortunate and yet that is how we Indians seem to believe and behave.
Now, there is a new American President at the White House and how we would react and realign our radar. How India would be seen from the White House radar? Dr.Singh had us to trust his good judgment. So, we believed George Bush Now, Obama is in the saddle and how do we come to term with Obama’s view of the world that is the terrorism and peace in the world?
Whoever becomes the new Prime Minister after the elections, it would be not so easy to carry on business as usual.
Whatever the present stance of the Congress party, I am sure that the party has to think of a smooth transition after the elections. After all, there are new alignments in the political spectrum.
There are now visibly too many aspirants for the Prime Ministerial job.
It may not be out of to make some introspection and say what the Indian Prime Minister must be like if and when a new choice has to be made and when any new face comes to occupy the chair.
What the youth thinks? I just now saw a newspaper report published on the Republic Day. What the young men and women say about India’s future?
They all say they want to see an India that is free of corruption, care for environment and climate change, lots of dreams and even one young woman said she wanted to become the Prime Minister of the country!
So, there is a dream and a big aspiration everywhere in the younger generation.
But how is the current political environment?
There is too much ambition, too much greed and too much denial of opportunities for the youth.
Our Prime Minister, it was reported from his intensive care unit at the AIIMS, wanted to resume work too quickly The Prime Minister is known to put too long hours of work. Fine. So too Mr.Pranab Mukerjee is said to be putting in too long hours of work.
But then they are also holding too many portfolios! The Prime Minister is keeping too many Cabinet posts vacant. At the last count as many as seven or eight Cabinet posts! Even now, when the PM went to the hospital, he and Sonia Gandhi, the party president, deliberated and assigned responsibilities and yet the finance minister’s job was also added to Mr.Mukerjee’s responsibility. Foreign minister’s job itself is too demanding. I used to wonder how Mr.Mukerjee, given his age, has the energy to fly out so frequently. Also, how our Prime Minister is capable of taking on too many portfolios?
Who suffers? Not the two incumbent ministers! The country also suffers!
The President in her Republic Day speech stressed the governance in corporate India. Her Excellency must have thought of the state of governance in her government too!
Farmer’s suicides continue. Unluckily, in the President’s own state! So too the state of poverty, malnutrition of children etc.
The point is that there is too much unprincipled politics and this shows in the prevailing way we govern the country.
Political parties now feel they can align with any other and so capture power by all means. Ideology doesn’t matter. Beliefs
Beliefs don’t matter.
So, the next elections would see the current allies deserting the present relations. Sharad Pawar never hides his ambitions. That is his strength. So, he cultivates the CPI (M) as a possible post-election strategy! The CPI (M) and the CPI are now like orphans. They have no reliable allies. So, they gravitate from Mayawati to Jayalalitha to Telugu Desam to who knows, back to the Congress itself, through some backdoor policy. After all, the Left is known for its tricks and trickeries! Now, the Congress is left alone to co-habit with only the DMK which is also left alone. The SP in UP had gone on its own. Also, it had also made known its ambition to bid for the PM’s job.
In the BJP itself there is much unease after the war veteran, Bairon Singh Shekawat thrown in his hat. Narendra Modi’s the classic case of mobilizing the big business and poor man, he doesn’t realize yet that in politics, that too at the national level you need acceptance on a wider scale in terms of your image as a leader of some metal.
The communal issue would come in the way of a modern Indian state
The issue of the next Prime Minister would not be easy even within the Congress party. Clearly, seeing the outside world, we need a Prime Minister who is capable of suitably aligning with the USA under Barack Obama.
This wont is that easy for the incumbent Prime Minister.
We have made much of the management of the economy. Now, we can see that the next stage of the economic growth won’t come from the old assumptions.
Indian economy would grow depending on the world economic growth only. If at all we have to grow on our own steam that would come, in our view, from our own inherent strengths as I see it, from such sectors like IT and agriculture based trade growth, new innovative corporate initiatives and practices.
So, the way we nurture our human resources, how our grassroots development takes place.
It is my firm view that economic growth is not macro-economic growth only but how it touches the lives of the common people. It means growth of the SMEs, small businesses and small farmers and small entrepreneurs.
Take the IT sector. We haven’t deployed the IT to solve several of our critical governance issues. Our government as it is constituted and functioning is devoid of a democratic governance norms.
There are no serious thought, let alone any serious effort to reform our polity, no party reforms, no serious thought to decentralise power, no devolution of powers, I wonder whether our current leadership has any idea of the panchayat raj working nor any thought of the very economic model we are relying upon. I don’t like to blame any one individual.
As one who believe in a liberal democracy, as a liberal democrat, I believe that if we adopt democratic processes at every stage only we would have the motive power for genuine change. The word, change, had acquired a new force after Obama. But I wonder whether Sonia Gandhi has any thought about such fundamental questions. I can’t blame Dr.Singh. For he was just a nominee Prime Minister. It is time we elect the Prime Minister through a transparent and open manner, as far as possible.
So, whoever contests and wins the Prime Ministerial race, it would be in the interest of our polity and the people that the next Prime Minister must bring with him or her entire motive power of the aspirations of the youth of this country. There must be a broad-based ideological polarization in the polity. For this every party, every leader and nay, every individual, intellectuals and others must contribute. The “election’s or the selection”must be transparent as far as possible.
The Prime Minister’s job is a family inheritance or a family’s gift to somebody else. Prime Minister is a symbol of the aspirations of the people.
It is my firm belief that India after all these years of its Republic is to ensure an equal and an equitable social order and an economic order. So, the people’s expectations and their aspirations would be to see politics and the leaders with a greatdeal of skepticism.
So, whoever can offer the “audacity of hope” in the place of the present skepticism and corruption, he or she may deserve to take the mantle of the Prime Minister’s job!