Monday, 17 May 2010

If Nehru were today, could he become so GREAT? NO.

I consider Nehru THE greatest prime minister of India and it's because of him that today we are a thriving, optimistic, secular and a strong democracy, else we would have been another hindu Pakistan. We, probably, still would be an IT super power. But in that case IT would probably have meant "International Terrorism". By the way that's IT too. ;)
But if I imagine Nehru were to be ruling India today, in the same circumstances as, say, Dr. Manmohan Singh is or A B Vajpayee ruled, could he have taken such decisions as to take India towards further greatness. I would say no, and an emphatic NO. Whosoever is the prime minister of India today, would take the same weak decisions as are being taken. However strong that personality could be, however smart that could be or howsoever educated and wise that could be. Barring a few decisions here or there, everything else would be same. As in last 20 years, we have seen many PMs come and go but overall they took almost the same decisions.
Why I say so, obviously the circumstances decide or influence a person to the greatest extent as to how to act and what to decide. For today's politician or so to say for PM, their immediate concern is always the next general election or upcoming assembly election in some state or to keep alliance partner happy. And these situations are not rare but they are recurring, almost daily. So in such scenarios, the decision one will take for is to reap immediate reward, not the long term rewards. So even if our prime minister (whoever he is or whichever party he is from ) is well-intentioned, he can not take far-reaching decisions else he would be hounded out from the parliament to his grave by his colleagues only on the very same day.
But for Nehru, things were not the same, they were completely different. One he was educated, he knew what is wanted, he was prepared for this as he had probably been foreseeing himself in PM's chair for quite long, so he was all along planning for what to do. He also did not have those compulsions of upcoming elections as he had no serious opponents at all at that time. So he knew that as long as he was alive he was going to be PM. So in such situations he took decisions which were good for India in long-term, like establishing secular democracy, setting up heavy industries, setting up IITs, building dams, and many more.
Today also we want someone to take similar far-reaching decisions like, making primary education compulsory and qualitative, not on papers but in spirit, building world-class hard infrastructure in India, removing bureaucracy and corruption, improving public accountability, making India's foreign policy more suitable to India's stature, improving India's relations with it's SAARC neighbors, and so on. But we have no one to do that. Because none of these decisions are going to get immediate gains to any political party.
So let us not pray for a new Nehru to born but pray to circumstances to be amicable.

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