Mr. Future Prime Minister

As of August 28, 2011


While the entire nation was gripped to the Lokpal lock-jam for the past 13 days with all eyes glued to Anna Hazare, MMS and CSM triplet (Chidu, Sibal and Mukherjee), I was looking for the comments from that one person who is seen as the future of India, not just by the Congress party but also by the people of India (at least the ones who voted in that survey). While he did make a brief and purposely strong presence at the end, what he came out with was something which was not only unexpected but also uncalled for and not the need of the hour or priority.

However, when I see people going blindly insane behind him to embrace him as the future PM of the country, I understand that this is the same age old judgment inability of the Indians that has brought India to where it is now. While we love bashing our politicians, we forget that these people haven’t come from Mars or Jupiter. These are the MPs that have been elected by us. And let’s not forget that this government has been here for more than 7 years now and was re-elected by the same set of people who made it victorious in 2004. While making mistake is completely human, repeating it or not rectifying it is not. As I go through the self-made CV of this guy, who is said to be the future prime minister of the largest democracy of India, it looks like hiring a 23 year old fresh MBA grad for the position of company CEO.

While his so-called “game changing” idea did not receive much attention or any takers, it confirmed that he was far away from the ground realities of the current situation and the priorities therein. His speech looked more like an image building exercise which evidently backfired. While the “game changing” idea was largely mistimed, he failed to provide rationale behind that thought, which even evokes a doubt whether the idea was original or was coming from some Nehru-Gandhi bootlicker. On the contrary, it was the other young Gandhi who scored the home run with his assertive, yet articulate, and well controlled speech. However, needless to say that even he is not someone who can be contemplated for the top post, even if NDA comes back to power.

WhileIndiamight want to imitate theUSby bringing in a young person, to the top position, it should not forget that it is not the priority. While young age is definitely an added advantage, it should not be a criterion. Looking into what the so-called future PM has done in the past, he is millions of miles away from the likes of Nehru, LB Shastri, Vajpayee or Manmohan Singh. The only history that speaks in his favor is the example of Rajiv Gandhi, who was just four years old in politics when elected for the top post. While his father went on to become one of the most respected PMs of India, exceptions do not amount to generalization.

His focus, so far, has largely revolved around reviving the IYC (Indian Youth Congress), NSUI (National Students Union of India) and Congress’ prospects in the UP, a state that accounts for largest number of seats in LS. However, there is very little he has done on a national front that can make him a possible candidate for the top post. His promise to eliminate family, patronage and money from Youth Congress has hardly seen the light as he failed in delivering to what he said, according to the recent reports from Indian Express and India Today. While he has projected himself as a strong advocate for a landmark “Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill” and asked the PM to introduce it in the current monsoon session, it is to be seen whether he walks to talk before the monsoon session ends on September 8. Being the “Prince” Gandhi, he should not face much problem in influencing the PM on the same. However, action is always a function of conviction. His refusal to take up any ministry in the 2009 UPA government is just another example of this.

However, people in India think via their hearts rather than heads, the reason why he is still a favorite in spite of no strong credentials. That is precisely, also the reason, why Gandhi family exists in politics. There are many root causes for the brain wash the Gandhis have done till date, which ranges from illiteracy and poverty to corruption and charisma. His position and presentation in the most contentious issue of the modernIndiaclearly suggests, it’s long time to go before he proves himself worthy of the revered post. It’s time Indians think straight and call a spade a spade.


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