Thursday, April 30, 2009

2 stars of Indian Politics in their own rights

We are 15-16 days away from a new Parliament term & maybe a new Prime Minister as well. While there are a hundred aspirants to the throne, including the 2 that i am going to write about, only a handful have the credentials to get there. Of the folks who don't make the cut with me - 
  • Deva Gowda (fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on ME!)
  • Jayalalitha (nope amma, your good English skills & mediocre Hindi skills don't hide your narrow thought process)
  • Mayawati (She is Jayalalitha Ver 0.0.1)
  • Prakash Karat (No, Thanks. I don't want to live in the 19th century!)
  • Sonia Gandhi (too much baggage Ma'am - You fled to Italy during the 1971 Indo-Pak War & your procastination in getting Indian Citizenship till your Cabinet Minister husband are 2 reasons why you should never be India's PM & not your foreign birth!)
  • Sharad Pawar (What, he wants both ICC Presidency as well India's PM post!)
  • PA Sangma (what! If your abilities as Lok Sabha Speaker are any good measure, the country will be in chaos during your term!)

On to the 2 gentlemen that i wanted to highlight today. Not because, they are my choice for Prime Minister but because they have skills in certain areas that are much needed. No one could predict that Laloo Yadav will revolutionize Indian Railways. I believe that the same will happen if these 2 folks get anywhere close to the PM Chair. 

Drum rolls, for Person 1 - Narendra Modi ...

Let me make the case for Modi. Have anyone see the way Gujarat has jumped up the charts in economy & Human Development Index in spite of the continued marginalization of the Muslims. Do you see how respected Industry leaders sing his praises? Do you see the amazing amount of passion in him to lead his state? Do you see the dwindling rural-urban divide in Gujarat where rural development has been given as much importance as urban growth? Sentiments & party membership aside, does India have any leader who has Modi's "Ready-in-2-minutes-PM" candidature?

Now, for the negatives - his non-apology for post-Godhra riots. I have 2 issues with Modi on this attitude - Marginalization of minorities always leads to radicalization of society and is the first step for downfall of any civilization. For the last 7 years, Muslims have been using 2002 riots as the excuse for nearly every terrorist attack in India. Modi's attitude towards Muslims needs radical shift. While Modi will never fall in love with Muslims, at the very least he needs to show genuine concern for Muslim & other minorities. Else, he is no different than the narrow-minded Mayawati to me. The second issue with Modi on the Godhra incident is that his non-apology has made folks focus on post-Godhra riots and there has been next-to-zero empathy for the victims of the train attacks. Had Modi succeded in avoiding post-Godhra riots, the focus over the last 7 years would have been on the radicalization of Muslims and their inability to join the mainstream. That could have bought shame to right-wing Muslims thereby reducing their numbers. Modi, you did a major dis-service to the nation by not taking action post-Godhra attacks. 

The second person that i want to highlight is Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Laugh all you want, but i would take MSY anyday above some of the other leaders in view. His anti-English & anti-computer stance are meaningless populism measures that he himself will abandon post 2009 elections. I recall a Shekar Gupta story on the Sukhoi-30 defense deal. Mulayam worked together with Vajapayee, Jaswant Singh & finished a deal that was started by PV Narasimha Rao & Manmohan Singh. Reason? The deal was good for India. That's the bottom-line. Politics was left outside the door when it came to our strategic interest. Second example, Mulayam Singh was the key reason why the Indo-US Nuclear deal was signed. The UPA goverment was in shambles after the Left Front abandoned them & when APJ Abdul Kalam called Mulayam Singh for a meeting & provided his support for the deal, Mulayam agreed to prop the UPA government. In effect, the anti-US SP provided support to the nuclear deal rather than the pro-US BJP.While some can contend that Mulayam's support was opportunistic (and it might well be the case!), we should acknowledge the fact that Mulayam put India's interest before his own interest. And by the way, Mulayam was all for giving APJ Abdul Kalam a second term as President. In fact, Mulayam was one of the early proponents for Abdul Kalam as India's President in the first place in 2002.

The case against Mulayam has been well documented. His pro-Muslim lean along with anti-Hindu stance is the mirror image of Modi's stance. 

The nation will be well-served if we had a 50:50 mix of Modi & Mulayam.

1 comment:

Prakash Patel said...

Mulayam and Hajpayee were and are close friends.
Mulayam and his SP supporting MMS govt. for U.S. Nuclear deal was the greatest patriotic act. This single action will cost him is minority base support and I am afraid his political career.

As for Modi Vilified by media for deaths in Gujarat during Godhra riots, does anyone bother to insist, that before becoming the CM of the state the man never had an experience of running an even a village panchayat, let alone a corporator, MLA or any clerical/executive job.
Guilty of inaction, yes.

Overall your blog was a very astute observation.