Sunday, April 5, 2009


Continued from......Young India!!.....Young Prime Minister for India??

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any...... Alice Walker

I did a lot of thinking after I had written the last post and came to one really illuminating thought. (Caution: I am a born optimist and generally look at life with a positive perspective). The thought that struck me was that we have not done too badly in our 61 + years of existence as an independent nation-state, considering our diversity - be it economic, ethnic, religious, linguistic, and any other possible way. This fact can be corroborated by just looking at other countries around the world, barring the developed countries which have a large lead over us due to historical reasons. We have achieved everything on our own, without plundering the wealth of any other nation or compromising on our ideals in any way, until now, and hopefully into the future too. We have celebrated diversity and accommodated every ancient thought and ideal, while continuing to progress into modernity.

India is an idea that represents the best that can be in this world. Yes, we have not been perfect but so has not any other nation in the modern world - developed, under developed or developing. We tend to judge ourselves very harshly... that is the way we are. Just think how we behave when our children do not excel? We expect our nation to be first, like we expect our children to be. We will be there, given a little more patience, involvement of the educated elite and time , I have no doubts about that. Lets see what we have done well.

At the macro level, we have created deep rooted institutions that have served, and are going to continue to serve, us well in the years to come. Except one dark period in the form of emergency in the 70s we have had a smooth handover of power from one government to another - comprising of one party in the initial years and now a coalition of parties. This is a sure sign that we have matured as a democracy and are experimenting with how to provide representation to every diverse member of our nation. The functioning of our government does seem archaic to us but then what else can one expect from such a diverse nation that is not willing to make a melting pot of people. We are like a flower garden, each flower beautiful in its own way in terms of smell, feel, colour, needs, etc. I have never seen such a blast to ones senses as in India anywhere else that I have travelled in the world. India is unique to the senses, and more importantly, to the soul. Having said that, let me dwell on our challenges - corruption, poverty, criminalisation of politics, disparity, infrastructure to help development - to name a few.

We had argued in the previous post that we need young, educated and the right kind of people to take an active part in politics and choose politics for common good as a career. However, considering the short term this is not feasible for this election. So, what is the best that we, including our GenNext, can do. Youth is totally out, but we have a large number of educated, committed, professional adults who have jumped into the electoral fray; some of them as members of political parties and some as independents. Notable amongst these are Capt Gopinath, Meera Sanyal, Krishna Byregowda, Shashi Tharoor, Mallika Sarabhai, are names that come to mind. I am sure there are many more - all these people are as expected fighting elections from urban constituencies - the constituencies that are where most of us educated people with the maximum grouse against our political system live. Can we help get these dedicated souls taking the plunge into active politics elected? Yes, we can. Let's analyse our current political situation.

This election is gowing to throw up very tantalising and challenging results, so it seems from all possible indications. I can visualise two major scenarios. One, none of the major national political party, i.e. Congress and BJP, get more than 150 seats and second, one of them gets over 200 seats. In the first case it would be very near impossible to get any new policy initiatives during the term of the next government, because the government would be hijacked by agendas that will have nothing to do with nation building per se, but with more of image building.

In case one of the major parties gets over 200 seats in the 546 seat Lok Sabha, then we have a chance of seeing progress on projects that have led to our recent growth rates. This scenario is the more desirable and feasible too. The major party would then be able to cobble a coalition and have a major say in deciding on national priorities. Looking at the present situation, I would be sticking my neck out to say that I have a gut feeling that the BJP would be able to come up with 200 + seats in the coming elections. I am neither a supporter of or against BJP, but am pro-India. Congress has put all its eggs in its own basket by deciding to go it alone in their national convention, and has ruined its own chances in the short term. What should the average urban educated do in such circumstances? One has to go for development and not against some issue or party. One has to try and make a national party gain over 200 seats in parliament (which seems tough this time) other wise there is more pain in store, with all regional parties colluding to make a joke of the office of Prime Minister (we have seen it at the state level in Karnataka and J&K), and the functioning of the government. No party with 200 + seats and running a coalition can take random and thoughtless decisions, that much is for sure. I would go with supporting a national party, than the regional ones in this election.

It would be worth our while to also ensure that the dedicated professionals who have taken a big risk in standing for elections, whether on their own or as members of a political party, are supported and brought into parliament. Every seat would count in the next Lok Sabha and also in forming the next coalition government. Having all these professionals would help in providing stability, and sense, to the next government because they all have only nation building on their agenda, having seen fame and money already, outside of parliament. In case any of them looses for want of enough votes then we only have ourselves to blame, and would then have no moral right to complain about governance.

The GenNext and all those having a stake in the future of the GenNext need to do whatever it takes, including educating lesser humans, about making a difference in the governance of the nation by voting, and voting intelligently, for the right people. In this election, each seat in parliament is going to matter and every seat occupied by the RIGHT person would make a difference to the direction our nation takes after elections. So, Please vote and make your vote count towards nation building. Election of these professionals would serve as a long term motivator for the GenNext also, to take up a career in politics for nation building, and then we would definitely be a YOUNG INDIA with a YOUNG PRIME MINISTER (Nothing below 40 though, under any circumstances).

We all have equal rights and responsibilities, and the power to make a difference. Don't give away your power by not voting, for the right candidate. Are we upto it?? This is my view, what do you think?? Jai Hind.