Friday, May 29, 2009

Gandhi and Elections

I was surprised by the election results – surprised more because this is the first time that I had not been following the day to day update on Indian politics during the run-up to the elections. I had formed opinions and judgements from the quick-bites I got from Indian newspapers during my lunch time (on-the-desk-lunches).

Now on introspection I would like to believe that I am pleasantly surprised. India badly needed a ‘stable government’ more than the need of a ‘good government’ as I do not think any party seemed to have promised good governance. I knew the markets would react more strongly not to the news of which party wins the elections, but to the news of how decisive would the win be. And I am happy that it is a clear and decisive mandate which resulted in strong stock exchange performance.

Everybody seems to be giving credit to this decisive win of Congress in India to Mr. Rahul Gandhi and his campaign. I do not doubt that he has been instrumental in the election campaigning, all I am trying to question is – does he really have the merits or the suffix ‘Gandhi’ in his name gives him an advantage?

I know most of you would go for the answer – both. And guess that is the best answer to this question. You cannot take away the edge he gets for being a Gandhi clan, and at the same time he could get the maximum mileage out of this advantage because he is clever and knows how to exploit it.

I feel happy whenever I see a youth getting into politics, at least somebody is bold enough to dirty their hands and clear up the mess instead of being a spectator who only passes comments on the anomalies. I am glad that they will bring in new ideas on board; they will pave the way to a new India. But a question still lingers in my mind – is it only a bubble of over-enthusiasm that will burst just like the current economic situation, or is it a sustained willingness to make a change and contribute which will see them face challenges with strong heads on their shoulders?

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