Who is leading India? Guiding India?
Some loud thinking and some hard questions!
The New Year opens up with the Prime Minister announcing, seemingly voluntarily, as he would be leaving his high office after the 2014 general elections. Is it a happy news or sad news? For many sad news indeed. For the common man, the general public and the vast mass of people, in a democracy of India’s size and reach, with its geographical and international location, the resignation of a Prime Minister of India is not an ordinary event.
And this happens at a time and point of history when this is also unprecedented. Till the last Prime Minister, from Pandit Nehru to Indian Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi and others, all Prime Ministers had come and gone with no genuine guidance or conventions.
Though we say we follow the British conventions, we haven’t followed so far either the conventions of the No.10 Downing Street or the House of Commons.
Of course, ironically, even the most learned person like Dr.Singh who could take some legitimate pride in the fact that he had had vast British university and job experienced to claim that he had followed some of the British practices. But alas! Sadly he didn’t do any of the things, nor he ever said or indicated that he would follow some best practices. No, no, never ever!
If at all he just did the opposite! From start to finish, right now till he announced his leaving the office he followed any useful conventions. Conventions so that the others who would now follow would stand to benefit.
Sadly, he leaves office at a time when there are newer forces, newer uncertainties too over what would happen if new challenges arise. Very likely, it is widely perceived there will be very real dangers too.
Now, the man is about to leave let us not further indulge in any negative criticism. Our intention here is not that. Our intention is to forewarn what Sonia Gandhi must now not be doing! With due respect and regard for what she had done so far for giving India some political stability and some order, she had really done some fundamental damages to the basic structure of our Constitution, Constitutional practices and conventions and also to the party and the government as it had evolved over the years of her leadership.
First she chose the PM without following the conventions. The Central Parliamentary Board must choose, the Party Legislative wing must elect a leader etc.
At least for sake of form let us, please follow these practices.
Second, the PM was not ever elected as a member of the Lok Sabha. Not just that.
The learned and morally sensitive man, Dr.Singh also should not have opted to get elected or really nominated term after term to the Rajya Sabha and that too not from his home state.
Though he might claim he didn’t violate any laws, he certainly violated and laid down a very serious bad precedent for the next persons. Who can ensure the next men or women might not misuse the precedent.
Everyone must speak out. The lonely battle those who waged against the misuse of the Rajya Sabha must stand up and get their protests registered. At least those who are competent, the Constitutional experts and legal fraternity and others, the media men and women and intellectuals must see that the misuses of high offices don’t follow the pattern so far followed.
And now as for the other under able developments, Mrs.Sonia Gandhi also must realise that India is a very large country, geographically and also in terms of its history and traditions. She should also realise that it is extremely dangerous to take the Indian people, not just voters, for granted.
The respected lady must also realise that she can’t own the party as her family fiefdom, right?
Also, she has to realise that India is a democracy and there are so many aspirations of the people, voters, democracy lovers, why even, first rate patriots and many others who done many sacrifices for freedom and also in Independent India.
The civil society movements have also grown.
There are various, very many freedoms and rights, from fundamental rights to other social and economic rights, for which people are agitating. Sonia Gandhi must fall in line. She must respect democratic sentiments of the people.
This means in point of fact that she too must decide when she would make way for a new president of the Indian National Congress. We, the people, are all devoted to the Congress ideals and goals. Please read the history of the Indian National Congress. Please let us also participate as equal citizens of the country, as equal members of the Congress and nationalist endeavours.
So, the 2014 elections is not the end of everything. Mr.Modi might come as PM or not. So too other new comers. Please realise that managing the economy is not a joke. It is widely perceived that the PM an acknowledged economic expert couldn’t really make much difference.
On every indicator, the PM is shown as falling behind where Atul Behari Vajpayee government left India. If any, the situation is bad. Every economic indicator shows the PM had failed.
Not only that. The PM is leaving and leaving behind a country that seems rudderless. Who leads India now? Who guides India now?
So, let our countrymen and women realise that India is not an orphaned nation. It has the very vital springs of the common people in full display. We, the people, would stand united and believe in our nation’s destiny.
The Congress movement had a very well articulated ideology, ideology of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru. As of today we are also having very realistic articulations of our democracy, freedoms and secularism.
We are a modern nation; we have a very good articulated place in the international community. India is looked upon by all countries, in the West, Western Europe, Middle East, in the South East Asia; the outside world looked upon India as a stable democracy. Even today we see popular uprisings, from Egypt to Turkey to Thailand to Cambodia popular demands mid-term for change. This is happening in democracies! But not in India.
This shows that people are mature in India. We know how to conducted elections and change governments. This is the greatest heritage, our democratic heritage.
So, let us, to quote Rousseau, strengthen our “Social Contract”, let us revive our “General Will” and let us be a united democratic nation. Jai Hind.