Archive for January, 2006


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

January 30, 2006

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.


Saurav’s return, Rahul’s Turn.

January 21, 2006

Several years ago, when Rahul Dravid was not a regular member of the one day cricket team, the then Captain, Saurav Ganguly had told him that if he wanted to keep his place in the side, he would have to keep wickets. Dravid did and gradually became an established one day player as well.

After Saurav Ganguly’s return, in the current Indo-pak series, since Rahul Dravid himself opened in the first test, it seems that Saurav was taken as a third bowler rather than as a specialist batsman because if that had been the case, Saurav would himself have opened. However, Saurav is hardly a test class bowler and could not unfortunately could not play the additional role as well as Dravid did for wicketkeeping. He was therefore dropped from the second test as the player he has direct competition with as a batsman, Yuvraj singh is a far better fielder than he is.

One feels sorry for Saurav Ganguly. Being such a good and successful test captain for so many years and then being suddenly dropped from the playing eleven. Today, a famous former captain has said that he could have been spared this humiliation and told to retire gracefully. That would have been obviously better for all concerned. If he still comes back consistently after all this, it would be the mother of all comebacks and he would probably deserve a gold medal for mental fitness.

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