Monday, January 30, 2006

Will the sun ever set/should the son rise; India's political empire/s?

About four five days ago, in response to Rahul Gandhi’s speech, a congress stalwart described him as a “youth icon” and “hope for the future”.Yesterday , in an interview, Priyanka Gandhi said that the congress party shall decide who will be the leader when asked whether or not her children shall join politics. It seems that the congress party suffers from India’s Olympic syndrome. Just as a billion strong population scampers for a bronze medal, a 100 year old political party cannot look beyond one family for leadership primarily because a largely emotional and a rural illiterate population thinks in terms of personalities rather than issues. It is really sad in an era of information revolution and mass communication. Mahatma Gandhi would have become popular five times faster today because of the kind of work he did among the people. Sunil Gavaskar’s son shifted to Bengal to prove himself. Amitabh Bachchan’s son had several flops before being pronounced the rising son. One wonders how such a judgement can be made in politics before words like “youth icon” can be used. There are heirs of state and local politicians with political ambitions. The former managing director of a multinational said recently that it is not unusual for the son of a great political leader to become a good leader himself but nature rarely distributes talent that way. Political legacy should not be held against them- Jyoitiraditya scindia and Omar Abdullah sound very articulate and intelligent but can they walk the talk and also ensure good implementation because that is where the catch lies when one considers Rajiv Gandhi’s words as prime minister that only 15% of the funds actually reach the poor. The issue is more of political accountability rather than dynastic politics. How does one determine whether or not a political heir is the rightful aspirant?. The issue is not “when the sun should fall” but should be of “Whether the son should rise”? All spheres of human endeavor require talent and politics should be no different considering the larger stakes involved.


Blogger CyberMenace said...

Very true, but another point worth noting is that young leaders are not given important portfolios. Its always the "wise" 65 and above and best chamcha of Gandhi family that gets a cabinet rank. Look at our current home minister. And the new tourism and culture minister Ambika Soni. She's the age of my great grandmother,and what would she do to boost tourism anyway?

Anyway..India is India .. :)

Thanks for visiting my blog

1/31/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger anu said...

i have noticed one more point regarding this all politics..i think sachin pilot rahul gandhi priyanka gandhi jyotiraditya schindhiya n a few more got good looks n if u c the crowd thz people is so vast than other sons of politicians like vasundhara raje,jaswant singh etc .though they got teir votes to win but still an aura thz ganhi guys n others posses is just differenmt frm others..looks quite weird ..but i feel it has sometihing to do with this politics and vote-pullin thing.

2/01/2006 01:38:00 AM  
Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

Because of the wide-spread disillusionment i guess majority of the people are suckers for political legacies, To date there have been various politicians who have come out and torn the country apart in various forms. The very few that shone are but benchmarks in the political picture in India. We can rant on about the state of affairs in our country but only when your personally stung by such insolence do you start to take notice, and you realise how we're all slipping in the never ending well of corruption. Who's to blame? well its us all.. we have long since stopped having any expectations from our so called "Political figures". Though, of recently we have seen a tremendous improvisation which is almost directly reflected on the subtle rise of atmosphere around the country as a whole. The new young blood, even though kins of the "legendary" families seem to give a little hope to the people simply because you identify more with them than some old, corrupt "political ace". How things will turn form here we never really know.. but atleast there's the great old indian hope in the form of young guns who're out there and give hope of taking things in their hands and changing the way the country is run. A slow but definitely steady development is on the rise. because after all we're a "Democracy" and democracy has its own vices!

Sorry if this is a little too long! but I love your topics! they're very in-tune with the current national grief!

2/01/2006 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger Hiren said...

No problems with long. Good to see that you feel so strongly about the issue. You have spoken of the rising youth but sustained success is achieved more with a blend of youth and expeirence. The short term solution lies with having more transparency and improving political accountability whether that is achieved by youth or somebody else.

2/01/2006 05:19:00 AM  
Blogger Vämp!rë said...

bhai do i kno u!!!

2/01/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Manish said...

hi hiren... thanx for droppin by my blog...
u write well.. in India ppl seem to b more concerned by dynasties rather than real problems and that is makin the situation of country worse... nepotism is everywhere n is makin the system inefficient...
I thus totally agree with u...
God bless u

2/01/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger wormtongue said...

:) i really liked what you've written on the side aboue people being in the vocation most suited for their natural ability. ive had to face some very major issues during my time in engg college too...and after years of indecision and failures ive managed to somehow get past major hurdles :) and am on my way to complete it this year...and YES!! ive taken measures to ensure that once engg completes i do what I WANT TO DO.. :D cheers...

as for the whole gandhi issue... i sometimes wonder if its some kinda psychological remant of the old raja maharaja days. :| the way these capable ( assuming they are capable that is ) men and women run around ONE FAMILY for leading them when the family themselves dont show any interest in it... although it must be said.. that rahul is making a good effort to ensure he is accepted as a credible politician before taking the top post instead of just taking the easy route and letting the oldies at teh congress give it to him on a platter... interesting move....


2/01/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Athena said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/01/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Athena said...

Thanks for the visit! :)

Wish as a first step we would stop the comparison between a parent and the child. They should be taken as individuals, with independent set of merit and demerits.

Let them have some time to prove themselves despite/inspite of their parents' stature. :)

2/01/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger S.Karthikeyan said...

Hi Hiren.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.
When there are many aspirants for the post it's natural that they do not want the peers to succed, so the natual way is praise/wish the existing heirarcy continues. This is mutually beneficial to all the guys out there.

It's no wonder then one fine day not very far from now, we may see either priyanka or Rahul don the leaders role. Pity them for their ignorance.


2/01/2006 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger ada said...

hey hiren, thanks for your visit and you are indeed a profound writer, coolz =P

2/01/2006 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Very true.

2/02/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger illusion said...

i wholeheartedly agree with what u'v written. but this is india...and this is the way things are here. of course, one should not give up hope, but then the situation sometimes seems so bleak that one becomes hopeless.

thanks for visiting my blog. :)

2/03/2006 04:12:00 AM  
Blogger Pradeep said...

well congress is suffering from a monarchical culture, where loyalty to one family is more important than the talent. History is rife with examples that when this starts to happen to an establishment (kindom, institution, political party) etc the end of it just a forgone conclusion!!

2/03/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Hiren said...

The basic issue is one of political accountability. People in other fields have to prove themselves. Is running the nation so simple that there are no clear parameters on how to judge performance. I read somewhere that in Western countries, they even have the right to recall a candidate who is not performing well. In my view, this five year thing can make anybody go off to sleep.

2/03/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Vamsee said...

How can i be even qualified just coz my parents/grand parents slogged for a country...Why should such offsprings be even given any additional advantages? This political culture bothers me to the core!

2/06/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger @archie@ said...

heyy hiren....nice one ...though m not much into politics...but ur article did make me think ....
seems am gonna be a regular at ur blog mannn

2/08/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger vRad said...

Great Article. Really interesting. But it reminds me of something I heard on a George Carlin stand up show. Most stand up comedians tend to ridicule politicians, and Carlin, surprisingly, never said a word against them. And his tongue is amongst the most acidic as far as deriding people and calling them on their stupidities is concerned. He explained this saying that if politicians were indeed the scum of the world, why were all the bright, well-educated people who would do wonders to the country, not being voted in? Why was it that in a country which had so many great people, none of the politicians were ever good? Maybe, he said, the problem did not lie with the politicians, but with the people. Maybe it was the people who sucked, and the miserable politicians were just a reflection of this fact.

In the same vein, I think the Congress party's leadership woe's is a reflection of the inadequacy of the the average voter in the country. The 2004 elections were a prime example of this. Actually, what transpired after the elections showed Indians' complete lack of imagination as far as leaders were concerned. Even after the congress won, when Sonia Gandhi (in a brilliant political move that assured her kids reins to the country, and ensured that political power would remain with her without the responsibility of being PM) refused to become PM, there was a major hue and cry all over the nation. People could not digest the fact that they were not being led by a Gandhi.

Can you imagine any other country voting in a Prime Minister, who was not originally a citizen, does not speak their own language, and publicly claims that she does not want to be PM and is not capable either?

2/12/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Mowgli said...

i think humans like "noble" "royal" "aspirational" families ...

Nehru replaced the Maharaja and his family continues to bask.

And congress party ALWAYS mortgaged its intelligence to one man .. it was MG or Nehru or the scoin.

I am waiting for Rahul to become PM .. I am sure he cant handle it and will get himself killed like his dad. that shd end the dynastics ... lets see ... it will happen in our lifetimes!!

ps: i loved ur writing style.

2/19/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Deepti said...

It's the easy way in for a politician's son.. knows all the right people..knows whose palm to grease ..and more importantly has the dough to grease !! : ) But the obsession with the gandhi dynasty takes the cake!! Once long ago the same principle applied in businesses too.. only the sons of the owners would become ceos... but things have changed in that field hasn't it? With cutthroat competition people have learnt to let the young upstarts with brilliant brains to take the reins.. so can we not hope that in the future the same might happen wiht politics???

2/23/2006 04:06:00 AM  
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