A credible personality as the Prime Minister!
Appoint Nandan Nilekani as the head of the Indian Planning Commission!
Appoint Narayanamurthy as Ambassador to the USA!
The G-20 meet in London marked the new US President Barack Obama emerging on the international stage and meeting with the world’s most powerful and in a way the most influential countries and their leaders. The meet also brought face to face for the first time the US and Russian presidents and also brought Obama face to face with the Chinese President Hu Jinto.
For us, Indians, the satisfaction is that Manmohan Singh travelled to London, just after his heart surgery and yet he took the trouble to be present and make India relevant in the world affairs.
How far the Indian Prime Minister impressed the international leaders is difficult to say.
The Indian media is so patchy and so pro-establishment that you don’t get the real feel about the event and the respective players, as you get from the British and the US media.
By all events, the Indian Prime Minister. Given his known proclivities, it must have been a tame affair.
For we know well that the Indian PM is not given to any clear articulations or any clear stand on any known issues.
India needs a leader who can play a more activist and a more credible world statesmanship role.
A charismatic leader for India is the need of the hour. Charismatic leader is not one just with an attractive personality in the physical attributes alone. Though such attributes do matter.
It is not just about mere image and dressing up. Charisma is a moral attribute, an inner strength of the personality of the leader, one who is born to lead, born with an innate sense of moral leadership.
Yes, in a democracy you don’t often have much choice but driven by certain not always ideal choices. But then, in an ironic and curious way, democracy is also the best form of choice, one who is elected by the people, elected by the Parliamentary party, one who is able to inspire and create that moral aura is the person best suited to lead great country like India.
Barack Obama himself is an example of this democratically elected President of the world’s greatest power.
So, India too can get inspired by this example.
Now, there is a curious set of cynical and highly incompetent combination of adverse circumstances prevailing in the Indian polity where we see a scramble for the top job! How ironical! Simply because Dr.Manmohan Singh has now come to symbolise the worst fears. He sets a bad example, an untenable position, he seems to realise that he doesn’t owe any debt to the great legacy of the Indian National Congress which was, in its long history, noted for its vibrant internal democracy. There were occasions when even the great Gandhi’s own candidates were defeated by the other veteran leaders!
So, let us, Indians wake up and do some internal inner searchings and let us all try to change the current moral deficit and do the needed corrections before it is too long.
The younger generation won’t certainly take these sorts of bad leadership at many levels, at the party and government levels, lying too long.
Let us also revamp the current practices of governance.
We have take on board, so to say, men and women of achievements, like, say Nandan Nilekani, N.R.Narayanamurthy, Kiron Mazumdar and Captain Gopinath, to advise the Planning Commission, to advise the Prime Minister in redrawing the policies and development strategies. Please throw out the retired bureaucrats wholesale and give governance a new impetus.
Send out men of achievements as ambassadors to the USA and UK so that India’s new strengths and achievements get recognised and noticed.
The West, the governments and the Western media are not friendly towards India, India’s new rising prowess. So, we need a more intelligent and informed lobbying and image building. See how the Chinese is conducting its propaganda. Indian media is being flooded with the Chinese propaganda material. Where is such counter propaganda in the Chinese press or in the Western press either?
India is in the midst of the once-in- five-year general elections to the Lok Sabha that would give a new government in Delhi.
Indian politics today has turned out to be a multi-level political fight from among the parties at the state level, among the regional parties that are so splintered into various castes and interest groups and also among the parties at the national level among the two major national parties, namely, the Congress and the BJP.
As the parties are too many, as many as something like 200 and over parties are in the election field and there are many more caste groups and others who might not be political parties in the genuine sense but they have the potential to split the votes at the many levels.
The coalition politics as practiced so far has also lost its rationale to the extent that any party, however small, is now aspiring to provide the Prime Ministerial candidate!
Dr.Manmohan Singh, the incumbent occupant of the Prime Ministerial chair has somewhat become a comic figure that no one takes him seriously. Not certainly, any of the Opposition parties. In fact, the major Opposition party, the BJP, has turned the anomalous position of the Prime Minister in the party and in the government, as a weak nominee by Sonia Gandhi, he was nominated precisely because he is a weak person and also not elected to the Lok Sabha nor he was elected even for the tokenism sake, by the Parliamentary party of the Congress nor by the coalition partners.
The leader of the Opposition L.K.Advani has made it his election propaganda theme that the incumbent Prime Minister is the weakest person among all the Prime Ministers who had held office since Independence. This, in any other country, would have led to the Prime Minister or his party reacting and angry protests. But not in India. The Congress party by its silence only goes to reinforce the view that the party wants a weak Prime Minister so that even the less qualified Sonia Gandhi controls the affairs of the country from behind the scene.
Things have reached to such a pass that neither the party President nor the Prime Minister nor for that matter any of the high Constitutional office holders like the President or the Vice-President goes out, they don’t ravel in India nor they do abroad. The Indian Prime Minister ,even now in the latest visit to London was not even invited by the head of the UK, the Queen nor he was invited for any formal dinner or meeting by the British Prime Minister. All we have seen in India is that the PM appears on the door steps of 10, Downing Street, the official address of the UK Prime Minister and the two leaders pose for the camera and that is all.
The Prime Minister even otherwise, doesn’t seem to be showing any energy or interest of even interested in any protocol or convention when such matters like an important international summit meeting. The PM didn’t even show interest in explaining to his country men what is the Indian agenda for the London G-20 summit. While we have to note that other leaders, in this case both Mr.Barack Obama and Mr.Nicolas
Sarkozy have written articles in the leading international newspapers about what they hoped to achieve in the G-20 meeting. Our Prime Minister even for the form sake must have given out his own considered thoughts on such an important international gathering of the world powerful nations.
This the Indian Prime Minister didn’t do. Nor he has educated the Indian public about the importance of the G-20 meet through any press conference. The PM is neither a great debator, he had never shown interest in participating in Parliament nor he is willing to face the press nor he is capable of articulating his views on such an important topic like the international financial crisis and the meltdown and the need for new initiatives.
What is all the use of the Prime Minister for having served on various national and international bodies like the IMF, if he doesn’t have a particular point of view on which the world leaders might be interested to know?
This is a great pity.
India has a Prime Minister who is almost as good as a lame duck Prime Minister at this point of time, nor is he sure of leading the government soon after the elections nor he is taken seriously by his own country men and his party about his own prospects to continue in the post.
Also, we see a pathetic situation where the Indian Prime Minister who only just two months ago underwent a major second bypass surgery and who needs rest and recuperation and yet he jumps at the first opportunity to travel to London, all for the sake of a photo opportunity and that might help him to have some more mileage in his fight with his opponents, in particular, with the leader of the Opposition.
And we have to see that in the world of today, more so after the new President Obama has taken over the reigns of power at the White House, the USA is caught with a major economic recession.
As the world is constituted the USA needs the help of other countries, in particular, the USA is dependent upon the Chinese investments, next comes Japan and thus the USA is more dependent upon China than India when it comes to real crisis as the current meltdown.
China has invested heavily in the US treasury bonds and also now in a position to lend more and also lend to the IMF to augment its funds to lend to needy countries in tackling the current crisis.
Also, it is significant to note that the US President is giving more importance and he had met on the first day in London, the leaders of China and Russia and India comes only later and that too when India desperately needs US goodwill and help in a host of issues of lesser significance, as seen from the summit platform. India wants to talk to the new US President, given Singh’s past relationship with George Bush and his own gaffes(like telling the then US President: Indian people love you so much etc),it is a small consolation for the Indians to see their Prime Minister to repair his relations with the new incumbent at the White House. Pakistan, Nuclear deal and the rest of the issues are on a lower priority when we consider what would be weighing on the minds of the world leaders.
Indian Prime Minister must be ideally one who has an all India personality or at least an all India appeal, he must have stature and standing and he must have views that matter and that have some resonance and appeal to the wider sections of the people, the elites and the various interest groups.
Unfortunately, we are not able to stand up and applaud the Indian Prime Minister. He seems to me a tragic figure, lonely, without friends and followers and accompanied by only the low profile bureaucrats and the routine journalist contingent.
Is this all for a Prime Minister and his appeal to the world community?
I despair and feel dejected at the prospect of the Indian Prime Minister just coming back as he went out. Without noticed by his country men and he boarded the plane for what great purpose? And he is back as he went out, arrived without anybody getting excited by the whole exercise of departures and arrivals of the head of a government. His departures and arrivals are not done with a bang but a whimper!
Is this all to the Indian government and its claims to our attention? And that too in the midst of an important election that had already polarised the country into multiple splits of votes without the country getting any focus on any of the major issues, both domestic as well as on the foreign front?
Photo Courtesy : www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/nitawriter.wordpress.com