We are talking of only of the next elections!
Not anything of any big deal growth agenda?
See Barack Obama’s second inaugural speech. Obama has outlined a vision. A vision for all-round growth, universal healthcare, big spending and also promoting global stability and global peace.
Fighting climate change challenge etc.
We are basically a talking nation, it seems.
US President Barack Obama has been now in his second term. See his agenda. There is something to write home about what the American President has outlined as his second term agenda. The American society and politics is such that there is a wide polarisation of society there.
There are racial issues, there are violence issues.
See the gun control measures that a country like America needs to enforce and yet the President or his initiatives that often don’t work to the satisfaction of all sections.
There is the rightwing Republican Party. They are as prejudiced as any about the
President’s some of the more progressive policies in healthcare and equal opportunities for the minorities and employment generation initiatives.
America is the world’s biggest power, economically, politically and militarily. We have make concessions for that. So, world peace and war challenges give America a distinct advantage and the rest of the world must make concessions for that unique power and leadership.
Yet Obama for the first time has talked of taking on the climate change issue. An issue on which the Americans are seen as a highly irresponsible nation which denied the climate change for the simple reason that it was in conflict with the business and industry lobbies.
So too the other “irrational” issue of science teaching in such matter like Darwinian Theory of evolution.
Yet, we see here is a President who wants to reach out to a wider audience, why even to a world audience, as he should given the fact that after all the USA is the world’s most powerful nation and also a great economy and military power. There are issues of global security and global stability. So, everyone, why every country, big and small, is concerned about what the USA does and what the USA thinks about the big issues of the day.
So, China comes in and also other nations like Iran which is embarked on nuclear bomb-making and as such it concerns the rest of the world.
Where does Indian come in all these deliberations?
Alas, we are not a nation led by able leaders.
We are caught up with small issues, in fact petty issues of elections, and the elevation of a dynastic heir in the face of so many gross distortions of truth.
As one pointed out recently, quoting the famed Russian author and thinker, Alexander Solzhenitsyn “one word of truth outweighs the whole world”.
This, we have to remind ourselves as heirs to the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi!
Is there any such big vision before India today?
Are our leaders talk the truth or truths in their day to day posturing, be it political reforms or economic reforms?
Even China is talking of reforms and also taking on issues of great concern like pollution and environmental degradation.
In India we neither talk of political reforms or economic reforms in a more fundamental manner.
Where is the economic vision?
Where is the participation of the larger sections of people?
Even the middle class in India is now on a disillusioned path.
The fight against corruption saw the educated and motivated urban middle class had taken to the streets.
Te Anna Hazare movement galvanized people to come out and question the government’s true intentions on fighting corruption.
Is there one word from the top leaders, even from the newly nominated Rahul Gandhi as the vice-president of the Congress party, his intention to take on the corruption issue, is there any promise to enact laws like Lokpal and Lokayukta for the country, for the new generation, for the youth to take the leaders’ words seriously?
Is the new social unrest platform now part of the political agenda?
The Justice J.S.Verma panel report must give the new set of leaders, both in the Congress and also in the newly elected Rajnath Singh-led BJP a new priority in the agenda for the next general elections.
There must be some bold and clearer vision before the next elections become the hot issue in the coming days and months.
But when it comes to social issues there are similar issues to what we face in India.
The one difference is articulation. The US President is able to articulate his vision and his priorities clearly.
The Nobel Prize winning economist and popular columnist, PaulKrugman has commentated there is the demographic and the cultural wind at the backs of the democratic backers in the current scenario.
As such, for long America, since the times of former president Harry Truman, universal healthcare was a long-time goal. This, right now, under Obama it seems an achievable goal. Of course, it is not an easy measure in America where health insurance is a highly dividing issue. Who pays for the insurance premium?
The rich don’t ant to pay tax for the poor protection! This is America!
Not so in India where politicians make any number of promises knowing well they, the promises needn’t be kept and broken during the next elections!
Another big issue in the USA is inequality.
What Obama has said in his second inauguration speech is very much relevant for the Indian audience too.
There must be truth and dedication and much more, there must be genuine desire to ensure there is opportunity for everyone.
Democracy in India must be conducted in a more open and more truthful manner.
India has a big challenge. The challenge comprises many parts: no less economic and so too no less political credibility.
This will be tested in the next general elections.
Who will make it to be Prime Minister’s post is just a minor issue.
What matters is how the Indian people decide the outcome of the next elections.
India has changed.
It might not tolerate a narrow, dynastic succession alone.
There are many challenges. Many parties, many capable leaders and so too the next generation, the voting population too much more astute and much more open-minded to decide what is good for the country and for the Indian people as a united voice of the second most big nation, with a billion and odd people on the planet.