Happy Birthday Minister!

It is a very Indian tradition to expect lot of gifts on your birthday, not just from family but friends or anyone invited to the party. Nothing wrong with that. Unless of course you take it too far and demand a gift from everyone who has heard your name. If you also happen to be the chief minister of the largest state in India, you are in for a big wind-fall. Now imagine if you were the Prime Minister of India!

I shudder at the thought of a Prime Minister or actually even a leader who pays more income tax that the country’s leading industrialist without having a legal source of income. it blows my mind to hear of erecting statues of herself around the city and raiding an elephant for the birthday celebration. The only comparison I can draw is to Steven Colbert, and that guy is a comedian, this lady is serious. Such narcissistic actions would be ridiculed by even high-school kids. And here we have a country of 1.3 billion thinking of her as the Prime Minister, are you kidding me ?

I have never quite understood how you can have a charge-sheet running into multiple pages but still ask citizens to vote for you, to be their leader. Is there not a more capable person to lead the country someone who cannot justify her financial assets except by saying that these are gifts from the people she worked for? I wonder why APJ Abul Kalam is not a billionaire, he has done more for India that probably the whole sitting parliament put together.

That kind of brings me to, what has she done for the country, what qualifications does she bring to the table that she should lead 1.3 billion smart Indians? She has played her politics well, she has successfully divided the state and the country on the basis of caste and religion. She has picked candidates who can play the caste card and get the right votes, she has picked issues that are sensitive to some segment of people and flared them till they were popular enough to get her votes. She has played the administrative system like a toy. In MBA language this is called Market Segmentation, in statistical textbooks its referred to as clustering and in old British Colonial Politics, its called Divide and Rule.

Its been just over 60 years years of independence and have we already forgotten the lessons learnt?

Someday we will have to standup as a nation and ask our leaders the hard questions and expect serious answers. Someday candidates will have to offer these answers before their name even appears on the ballot. Is it too much to ask for a leader who you can look up to? Yes, its a democracy, not everyone will agree on one person or one agenda. But can we as a country agree on what we don’t want? Can we agree that corruption is not acceptable? Can we agree that you have to lead the country, not just 1 religion or 1 caste? Can we agree that we as Indians, one of the fastest growing countries in the world, want a leader who has a vision to take us forward?

Here are my 2 questions:

1) What qualifies you to lead a nation where kids are taught of ‘unity in diversity’ in school, when all your political career you have only worked to exploit the diversity to your political benefit? What have you done that benefits the country as a whole, and not a certain segment of people?

2) A prime-minister has more to worry about that developmental schemes for the poor. What experience do you have in external affairs, finance, industrial development and affairs outside your state?    

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