Tuesday, March 22, 2011

IS RAHUL GANDHI FIT TO LEAD INDIA?

B.RAMAN

Is Rahul Gandhi fit to lead India and enable it to take its rightful place as an Asian power on par with China?

2. It is very difficult to give a comprehensive answer to this question because there is very little known about him and the Congress (I) has seen to it that his personality and stature do not become the subject of public scrutiny. Without any scrutiny and without any enumeration of his positive and negative qualities and track record as a political personality, his followers in the party want to impose him on the country as the next Prime Minister in the unlikely eventuality of the Congress (I) returning to power in the next parliamentary elections whenever they are held.

3.I consciously called him a political personality and not a political leader because his ability to exercise leadership over the country has not so far been tested. Even in his own party, in which he has been holding office as the General Secretary for some time now, he has not set the Jamuna on fire. If one has to prepare a comprehensive CV on him for dissemination through the Internet similar to the CVs on political leaders circulated in the US and other democracies before elections, one will have difficulty in completing the task because there is so little known about him except the flattery disseminated by the members of his party.

4. When we are told by his party members that he is fit to be the next Prime Minister of India, we have a right to know on what basis they have come to that conclusion. Leadership does not necessarily require high educational qualifications.K.Kamaraj, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who subsequently became the President of the Congress (I) and played a key role in post-Nehru transition, was hardly educated. And, yet, he turned out to be one of the successful leaders produced by India.

5. Let us, therefore, keep aside the question of Rahul Gandhi's educational qualifications which, in my view, are not important for this debate. My perceptions of Rahul Gandhi are marked by the following thoughts:


* A potential leader must have something more than good personal qualities. He must have an intellectual spark which does not necessarily come from his or her educational qualifications. Rahul Gandhi has not so far given evidence of such an intellectual spark.
* Till now, he has not demonstrated any leadership qualities by way of ideas and actions.
* His ability to understand and logically analyse the complex internal and external problems facing the country is yet to be proved.
* His views tend to be very simplistic and do not indicate wide reading and an ability to think deeply.
* A good leader of the future must excite the younger generation. Rahul doesn't---not even in his own party.

6.. Under such circumstances, the Congress (I) will be doing a tremendous diservice to itself and the country if its tries to have him imposed initially on the party and then on the country as the next Prime Minister of India. His track record till now---whether in respect of contribution to new ideas or new policies---has been mediocre. Apart from the fact that he has come from a highly privileged political family, which has made a tremendous contribition to the nation, he is yet to demonstrate any qualities which compel attention and could make us look upon him as a leader of the future.

7. It is important to have an objective and balanced debate on this subject devoid of rhetoric, abuses and ideological arguments so that we have a complete picture of him before our eyes on the basis of which we can decide whether he is fit to lead India in the difficult years to come.Congress (I) could contribute to this debate by opening a separate web site for him in which they could give all data about him relevant to this debate,

8. If the Congress (I) expects the people of this country to seriously consider him as a potential leader, he should not be treated as a sacred cow which has to be accepted by the people without any scrutiny. (23-3-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

12 comments:

Ashok said...

The best leader for India will most likely be Narendra Modi, relative to all the other players in the Indian political arena. I'm defining leadership here as one who has an ability to lead, and one who's actions inspire leadership in others. His tenacity, forthrightness, ability to stand his ground while being calm, cool and collected despite the media's hyper driven defamation campaign against him are all plus points going in his favor. His decision making has been empirically tested (the positive news coming from Gujurat's industrial and socioeconomic development stand testament to this). I just wonder whether the majority of India has the ability to judge and appreciate quality of character and quality of decision making given their overall record of voting in less than desirable or poor quality candidates at the regional level. I'll say this once again, all decisions have consequences. One needs to make decisions based on known variables, and a realistic expectation of good governance delivered by the best candidate for the job.

My Country My Views said...

Raman sir
I think congress blundered big time by promoting Rahul instead of Priyanka who probably would have been a better choice. Having said that i agree with Ashok that in todays Indian political scenario there is no one better than Narendra Modi to lead the country.

Sudhir said...

Dear Sir,

I wrote a detailed blog on Rahul's media coverage and his statements. No abuse, only facts. Will be glad if you could go through it.

http://serious--fun.blogspot.com/2011/01/eternal-opposition-leader-guide.html

Thanks,
Sudhir

Sudhir said...

Dear Sir,

I wrote a detailed blog on Rahul's media coverage and his statements. No abuse, only facts. Will be glad if you could go through it.

http://serious--fun.blogspot.com/2011/01/eternal-opposition-leader-guide.html

Thanks,
Sudhir

!!! said...

Always amused with this "Priyanka would have been better. Priyanka has a spark. Priyanka is smarter" campaign.

Where exactly has Priyanka demonstrated this. Resemblance to her grandmother doesnt qualify as spark or leadership quality or smartness. We know even lesser about Priyanka...

Let them come out in public and debate beyond prescripted forums - before anyone can judge..

till then - they are no different than any other celebrity kid.

!!! said...

Always amused with this "Priyanka would have been better. Priyanka has a spark. Priyanka is smarter" campaign.

Where exactly has Priyanka demonstrated this. Resemblance to her grandmother doesnt qualify as spark or leadership quality or smartness. We know even lesser about Priyanka...

Let them come out in public and debate beyond prescripted forums - before anyone can judge..

till then - they are no different than any other celebrity kid.

No Mist said...

why restrict ones attention to rahul alone. this analysis must be done for all the possible PM candidates (projected by their party, people, interested groups, vested interests, impartial-or-not-so-impartial think tanks, informed individuals or even self projected) .. there are scores of them. I am happy that you have brought this debate.

in the name of true service to nation, we must conduct this debate and look at all the aspects of any person ...

please carry on this analysis.

Sarang said...

If right minded youngsters like ourselves continue to simply complain from the comfort of their living rooms or foreign mansions, nincompoops like Rahul Gandhi will continue to milk the Indian democratic system.

If you have the guts to enter into politics and make a substantial contribution, then talk! Otherwise, suffer in peace....If you don't want to fight rape, enjoy it.

Are we a nation of cribbers or doers??!!!

manu said...

I think we the country needs to see him for a lot more time to even consider him for the honorable post....also he needs to prove himself worthy of the position..at this point he only deserve an "All the best"!!!

Just another guy said...

OMG! Barkha is going to get very angry reading this ...

Jayanthy said...

Rahul is yet to prove his mettle and he could not come out with anything that could radically change the country. Ruling the country for most of the years, Congress could not identify a leader of real merit.

padmanabhan rajesh said...

koi bhi ho gadhari lootmar nahin karna chahiye...hamare desh ya kaam karne vale logon ko pareshan nahin karna chahiye.. desh ke prati 100% pyar karne vala hona chahiye aur uper likha huva apne zindagi me follow karke proof kiya huva admi hi neta banne layak hoga..koi incubator se uglalne vala ande se neta kaise banega..gadhar jaldi ban jayega or desh ko choona laga dega...