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Post Mumbai Attacks, A Time To Act – Where Are The Leaders?

Posted by RB Kollannur on December 8, 2008


What happened in Mumbai was dreadful and the nation will unite on how to handle terror, but what about the second concern that every Indian has raised after the whole incident – the inability of the political class. Cribbing about politicians over coffee table is our favorite hobby, but have we done anything to change that? Every election we vote for the same politicians, for want of better leaders.

Why aren’t there better leaders?

If a Ratan Tata or a Narayana Murthy chose to enter politics, will they be able to make an impact? They are both leaders of national prominence, so given the disillusionment with the current set of politicians, it follows that they will have support at a national level. But, it is not the people who elect the government, but the Parliament. The voice of the people is limited to electing representatives and not the government. So, Tata or Narayana Murthy will have to find 500 odd people who will be electable as well. But then can we count on them to do the right thing? And how long will it take for them to make an impact at the national level. Ask Vajpayee or Advani how long they needed to build a national party.

What about an inspired group of Indian citizens who want to make a change? First they will have to establish their credentials, which in itself a long run process. But crucially, to provide any semblance of impact they will have to be part of the government and for that they will have to rely on the existing politicians whom they are trying to avoid. In essence, any new blood in the Indian political system will have to either join or perish leaving the people with no new choice.

Before asking for better leaders, we need a system which will allow them to contribute properly. Parliamentary democracy has run its course in India. If you are familiar with the product life cycle in marketing, parliamentary democracy is in the decline stage. It was in introduction after 1885, when it was a group of elitist British supported group. With Mahatma Gandhi it became nationalist and reached the growth stage. Post independence, it matured and now it declines.

What we need now is a Presidential democracy where the people can elect the government directly. The three bodies of democracy – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary should not be intertwined. We have an independent judiciary and now we need an independent executive. With a Presidential democracy, we will be able to vote for the Tatas and the Murthys should they come forward. Otherwise, we will be left with no option but to vote for the same old politicians.

Now, you may ask how we will change our constitution since we need the politicians to change it. We have accused them of politicians of playing votebank politics, when we ourselves are their biggest votebank. It is time for us to stand up united and be counted. India is looking for a solution for the future. Presidential democracy could be one.

There is a time to burn candles and cry, but what is needed of us now is to act. All I can ask is if you believe we can act and reform our political system, spread the word about Presidential democracy for India.

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6 Responses to “Post Mumbai Attacks, A Time To Act – Where Are The Leaders?”

  1. Kaustuv said

    i see you have gotten into a habit of blaming politicians indiscriminately for this fiasco, when the only party to blame is the upa govt who are too worried about their jihadi votebanks to be worried about the common man.

    you may have already noticed, but narendra modi’s gujarat is one of the safest places in india. the jihadis who stuck their were quickly nabbed. this inspite of the lack of cooperation of the central govt.

    shunning all politicians is not the answer. voting for the right ones is.

  2. Arby K said

    And the right ones are?

    I am just saying what everybody has been saying in the media. Ppl are just not happy with the politicians of any party.

  3. Arby K said

    And I am not shunning the politicians either. I just want a system that will give more power to the Indian citizenry in ascertaining who they want to elect.

  4. […] up with the current breed of politicians and the lack of options Arby says the Presidential form of government will let a Ratan Tata or Narayana Murthy enter […]

  5. B Shantanu said

    Arby: I am slowly coming around to the view that however impossible it may seem to be at present, this option for India needs to be presented as at lease one of the viable alternatives.

    I hope you have had the chance to read one of JP’s earlier papers on this topic (it should be on Loksatta’s archives somewhere).

    Thanks for raising public awareness on this.

  6. Arby K said

    @ Shantanu : Thanks for dropping by. I haven’t read the article yet, but I’ll definitely go through it. Still a long way from spreading awareness for it though. 🙂

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