Saturday, May 11, 2013

Narendra Modi is only a temporary solution...

On 9th April we had a nice group discussion with Prof. Anand Kumar, member of the National Executive of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) at one of my friends apartment in New Haven. It was nice informal gathering over dinner with people of common interest, discussion was about topics which we all who gathered care about. Prof. Kumar nicely explained the purpose of APP and reason behind their party contesting the elections, he also discussed major political and social issues which are ignored in of current political set up and the way Indian politics works now a days. He also advised how NRIs who are not physically present in India but share deep bond and care about their country can contribute to this cause of reforming the system. 

He very correctly pointed out some of the problems which India and its people are facing today, like corruption at high level, jobless economic growth, lack of proper and affordable education opportunities, no proper plan for future energy needs of people, no water management, etc. The discussion on all these and many other related issues went for very long time, it's not easy to list all the points here and there is no single solution for all these issues but it was really nice experience. It was nice to see people belonging to different political ideologies coming together and having nice dialogue where they were willing to look beyond their own party lines or beliefs, seldom we see this happening in India, this doesn't guarantee any solution of problem but at least it's the sigh that people are willing to work towards finding some solution..

Apart from many other points which were discussed and debated during this discussion issue of phenomenal success of Mr. Narendra Modi as Gujarat's chief minister and his possible selection as BJP's prime ministerial candidate was also discussed. Mr. Modi already have huge fan following in India and abroad, specially among youth he is very popular and many believe that if he can deliver in Gujarat there should not be any problem for him to replicate same model of success in Delhi to transform whole India. No doubt some of his achievements as CM of Gujarat are spectacular and he deserves full credit and praise for that but India is not Gujarat, it is much more diverse and complicated than that. Gujarat is unique state where its people are culturally more inclined towards entrepreneurship than getting salaried job and in his state Mr. Modi had an absolute majority in assembly which helped him to run his government as per his own wish and style but in center the possibility of any single party getting absolute majority is very rare so I don't know how people expect Mr. Modi to function in same way without any absolute majority in hand, I am sure it is next to impossible task. This is just one of the problems which he have to face in center along with many others.  

If the whole system is broken and and entire institution needs a major rehaul then even if we bring some one who can drive the same system to do some good work is the only temporary situation, because whatever good effect or results that same rotten system might generate will be because of presence of that particular personality but not because the system itself has become any better. So it might work as long as that person is operating it but the time that person leaves or changes his/her attitude we will be back where we were. Such system will heavily depend on that particular person and doesn't guarantee the results. When the system it self is the problem then bringing expert technician who is only going to some how to tune the system so that it will create less problems is only a temporary situation. Having any leader who is indispensable is very dangerous for any country or institute, because then in absence of that leader the whole institute will collapse or start malfunctioning. This mainly happens because the system itself is not perfect but somehow someone manage to run it well but that doesn't mean everyone can and we need system which runs with much less problems on its own no matter who is operating it as long as operators have minimum skills required to handle it.

So according to me unless citizens of India (a very important component of this whole system which is equally corrupt and broken currently) revive their own attitude, not only they understand their rights but also their responsibilities, understand and think about all issues which are affecting them now or will affect them in near future it will be difficult to bring any desired change. Bringing Modi or any other charismatic leader who doesn't promise to change the system but try to run the present system as much efficiently possible is only a temporary solution we tested this trick before by selecting Rajiv Gandhi or V. P. Singh or even A. B. Vajpayee  but nothing worked to solve this problem, this system didn't allow them to do anything substantial but they were forced to fight for their own political survival. So the problem is not only the people who run this system but the whole system itself. There are many areas of concern like, the way money is collected by parties, the way election tickets are distributed, the way elections are fought, the way parties design their election manifesto, the way they play vote bank politics (based on caste, religion or any other issue which divides people), all this needs to change and I think that's where AAP needs to play major role, they need to change the way this game is played currently, they need to change the rules of game and force everyone to play fairly and once all teams are forced to bring all good and talented players in game then automatically system will start improving and will show desired results. Prof. Anand Kumar very nicely elaborated some of these points and I hope his party is really serious about the things which he mentioned, they might sound bit socialistic in their approach but the good part is he was willing to discuss and hear any alternative views, criticisms directed towards them and even told people to challenge their policies, debate them and point out any shortcoming which they might see which is a good sign and attitude according to me. I think next few years will be interesting in Indian politics and presence of AAP will have some influence in coming years. It's hard to predict how slow or fast that change will be but I am sure there will be some positive change, I am optimistic and willing to contribute in whatever way I can and I invite all of you to be part of this change, together we can.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic. 

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing)

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