As with any competition, the favorites are already emerging and unfortunately the picture isn’t very pretty. Basically, the choices before us range from proven ineptness, to proven anarchy, to proven disconnectedness.
I have decided to throw my two cents worth early and so here is my take on the choices we have.
Dr. Manmohan Singh. This one is easy really. Pray that he never returns. Over the past decade, no one human being has fallen so much in terms of the esteem he was held in. I remember having a discussion in 2004-5 about how India was lucky to have an economist as PM and a visionary as President. The resumes of Dr. Singh and Mr. Kalam made for wonderful reading. Then Dr. Singh took it up on himself to prove to us just how wrong we were. No single politician has tested the patience of a people as he has. The accusations against him are plenty and piling. Apart from the fact that he somehow felt it was okay to head the democratic government of the largest democracy in the world without once standing for election is simply inexplicable. Then you can add the fact that he has headed the most financially and morally corrupt government in the short history of this nation. Furthermore, there is his amazing ability to remain silent at the most crucial of moments. He has consistently shown that he doesn’t feel that the Indian people deserve any explanations for the callous and corrupt behavior of his ministers and party men. Honestly, if I never hear or see this man ever again, I can live with it.
Narendar Modi. The villain turned savior? The man who everybody had left for dead is back and this time he is on a mission. The very fact that Modi can be spoken of as a possible PM is all credit to Dr. Singh and the UPA government. The people may or may not be ready for a change, but they want one – any change will do right now. Hence, Modi. Now, Modi isn’t any better or any worse than any of the other politicians we have had. All of them are communal and will peddle anything that will sell, so will he. Let us take a look at the accusation. We are told that Modi oversaw one of the worst pogroms we have seen in the recent past. Now, let’s look at the other side. We are shown a state that is doing economically well and where things seem to be all hunky dory. We are told that Modi is an able administrator. We are told that he rules with an iron hand and nothing happens that he doesn’t authorize. Then we are told to forget Godhra because the courts haven’t found Modi guilty. But honestly, if you want me to believe that he is the one in control in Gujarat, a state he rules with an iron hand, but then you also want me to believe that what happened in Godhra did not happen with his tacit understanding. Tough! That said, the other side isn’t made of angels. Rajiv Gandhi, who would have become PM if it wasn’t for the unfortunate events in Sriperumbudur, was as dirty then as Modi is today.
Rahul Gandhi. This one is a total joke. People keep calling him the untried option. But is he really as untried as they are making him out to be? Or is it just a ploy to make him seem different from the rest of the inadequates we have available? In two state elections, he has proven that he cannot connect with the masses and doesn’t understand them. Then take his blundering moves within the Congress. First he tells people that merit and not family name will get seats, forgetting comfortably that he is the first one to be disqualified under that rule. Then there is the 5-page questionnaire that all ticket seekers should fill out. Next, what, tuitions offered to Congress hopefuls?
So this then is the three-ringed circus we are presented with. Let the fun begin.