Showing posts with label Barack Obama. Show all posts

Is the Presidential Mania of India's Narendra Modi Driving a Square Peg in Its Round Democratic System?

"It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be moulded until they clothe ideas and disguise." ― Joseph Goebbels

There is at least one Indian politician who is the Chief Minister of the state of Gujrath,Narendra Modi, who seem to firmly believe in the Nazi theory of propaganda even now.

Modi thinks that by insanely pushing his "Gujrath Model" of governance for development, he can make 1.3 billion Indians believe that he can govern them like a POTUS and deliver prosperity.
Modi thinks that by insanely pushing his "Gujrath Model"
of governance for development, he can make 1.3 billion
Indians believe that he can govern them like a POTUS 

At least that is what his Indo-US backers and millions of urban youth in India who try to emulate this expatriate Indian group of "business genius", want him and his party the BJP, which is desperate to regain power after two lost elections, to believe.

In reality, for American business, who count on these guys to steer key functions in billion dollar corporations and their lobby to win business in India through political connections, it is time for a reality check.

Judging from their comprehension of Indian history and recent political development and grasp of reality on the ground, those businesses which engage or trust them to deliver, don't seem to be standing on any solid ground.

What language Will the POTUS-I speak?

Anyone who speak of a POTUS style governance for India forgets that there is only ONE language the POTUS and the citizens of the US speak. In a country deeply divided by nearly 400 languages and dialects, steeped in as many different culture and traditions, what language the POTIS-I is going to speak to deliver governance.

India, at best, is like the European Union. If ever there was a president of Europe, it was Adolf Hitler. If seventy years after Hitler proved it to be impossible for anyone to unite and rule Europe, if it still remains impossible it is simply because no European country has given up its language, despite accepting a single currency and a European Parliament.

If economically advanced Europe can't do it, it is sheer fallacy to pretend third world India can accept anything like it , unless of course Narendra Modi intends to become an Adolf Hitler.

Only External Aggression Can Unify Indian States.

Three hundred years back India was a land mass of warring fiefdoms. Despite all pretences to be otherwise, it still is one where people kill each other over language, religion and essential resources like water, job opportunities rather than share them.

The British discovered that gun powder can make them fall in line and the English language can tie them together in to an obedient lot.

Though the single language also proved the medium of expression of national pride and hatred of foreign rulers, eventually driving the British away, it has not remained a binding force once the British left.
The misguided administrative restructuring of India in to linguistic states really ended any chance of India being ever united or be ruled under a president democratically.

Since then only a real or imaginary threat of external aggression is the only force which brought any sense of unity among the 1.3 billion people who still call them Indians.

Though the Indian National Congress started out as the unifying movement which dislodged the British rule, starting from the post Independence division of India, it has only disintegrated under the natural political and cultural diversity which really make up the Indian Sub Continent.

Where do Narendra Modi and His Backers Get This Funny Notion?

The post 2002 communal riots Gujrath has withdrawn from the national stream under shame and self defence and huddled behind Modi and the BJP, allowing Narendra Modi to perpetuate a "presidential" form of governance.
In reality, the ethnic cleansing and other form of oppression of minorities which ensued in the years following the infamous riots of 2002 which has made Modi and the BJP to destroy the democratic fabric and balance of the state and project a degree of development, which is thin on the social side.

Virtually, there is no one other than Narendra Modi who governs Gujrath, even though the Indian democratic system envisage a council of elected ministers headed by the Chief Minister to make decisions and take responsibility.

That suits very well a lot of Industrialists who have invested in Gujrath because they really need to talk to one politician to get things done, unlike the governments in many other states and at the centre in Delhi. But that hardly is the Indian Democracy and will only harm the Investors in the long run.

However, such blatant power grabbing approach of Modi has only brought criticism from his own party, which today stands split in the middle.
A self-centered leader who has shown that he cares two hoots for the party organisation and long-time party colleagues in his own state has suddenly become all powerful in the BJP's national scheme of things, whereas a selfless leader who toiled for many decades to build the party brick by brick is being cast aside as a useless relic," Kulkarni.

Narendra Modi, a Political and Cultural Pariah in His Own Country.

Ironically, for a politician with Presidential aspirations, no one really wants Modi in their states! He is banned from campaigning in Bihar, ridiculed as Rambo for claiming unrealistic rescue work in neighbouring Utrakhand, stopped from campaigning in Karnataka where his party lost miserably in a recent election and has sent the communists of Kerala bizerk over his visit to a Hindu religious venue.

Despite all this here is some one and millions with him who believe he is the Obama of India.

Will, Narendra Modi who harbours unrealistic political ambitions to become the Prime Minister of India by hook or crook, the Hindu religious outfit RSS which props him up with an aim to grab the power in New Delhi to control and rule India on their Hindutwa agenda, the Industrialists who have found in Modi an easy and profitable access to India's untapped resources, an Indo American lobby which just want their man to rule India as well as a generation of youngsters to whom life had been nothing but a breeze thanks to the struggle of their parents, ever get in to their heads the fallacy of their ambitions?

The problem is in their enthusiasm for the grant idea, they forget the realities of the Indian Politics and why their dream of a Presidential style governance of India will never be a reality.

Article first published in CNN-IBN Blogs

Why Won’t the Indians Accept Rahul Gandhi as Their Own Obama?

I think he (Rahul) is one of the most talented, able and insightful of the younger generation of politicians worldwide, but how he ends up in your politics again, that's for you, for him and for his party to decide. But I think he has got first class mind and great commitment to India.

That opinion of Tony Blair, given during a visit to Delhi in 2008 as an ex Prime Minister of the U.K, turned out to be as much intuitive as it was prophetic.

Four years on, Rahul Gandhi has proved his worth as a political leader in his own right and not just as the son of Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress Party. He has been favoured as a leader who can take the party to win the next election and foisted by a majority of the Party leaders to the position of the Vice President.

His insightful mind and commitment to his country could be glimpsed from the pathos of his acceptance speech which the Indian media has ascribed as the "Obama moment" of the party. His speech, revealing his personal anguish and hinting a lack of avarice for power, which he could have grabbed anytime he wanted, is seen as a rare one in the Indian politics.

Despite this, why is India, especially its youth, judging from the chatter on the social web and the Indian media, so sceptical and suspicious of the young Gandhi?

Karma - the Indian perception of life.
The reason, perhaps, lies in the Indian perception of life which writes off fellow human beings and their achievements and failures as the reward for the rights and wrongs of past births, something they call Karma. Indians have scant respect, admiration or gratitude for stuff others do in this life and don't care why people behave or act in the way they do.
The tragedy of India is the hollowness of its youth. If only they could stop to think for a moment and look in to the psyche of Rahul Gandhi, who rarely smiles and appears more melancholic than angry, if only they try to look deep in to the make up of his personality, perhaps they could see like Tony Blair did, the making of a great future leader.

Rahul Gandhi - Indian or Italian?
Rahul Gandhi, still a bachelor at forty three, is a young Indian much different from any average youth of modern India. In fact there are many things "Obamasque" about him which a majority of the Indian population fail to grasp. For a start, like Barack Obama, Rahul Gandhi is born with an identity crisis, being born to a Caucasian mother and an Asian father.
A mixed parentage is rare in modern India after the departure of the British. While Rahul Gandhi is an Indian for millions of Indians, for political mileage, he is often depicted as an Italian prince, out to lootIndia's poor. As Obama had discovered, finding an identity must have been truly an excruciating experience for the young Gandhi, with never ending arguments with himself.

Being born in to terror and brutal violence is not for everyone.
"I was taught to play badminton by 2 security guards. Then one day, they killed my grandmother and took away the balance from my life."
A few years later the young Gandhi lost his father in a suicide terror attack and had to live under commando protection ever since. How many of India's young can even imagine growing up like that and still being sane?
Yet Rahul Gandhi had no choice but live through it and endure being ridiculed as an "Amul Baby" by his political opponents.

Coping with the high and low of absolute power
Coping with gaining and losing power is a nightmare for most people. It is almost impossible to imagine having to grow up in the lap of a family which has only tryst with absolute power and tragic death for decades. Knowing one day it may be your turn and live with the thought is nerve wracking enough to drive anyone really insane.

There is no pressure like the pressure of political legacy.
One might say Rahul could have escaped from it all, perhaps by leaving the country. Not an option if you had to bear the immense political legacy of the Nehru family, especially if you had accusation about your late father to disprove and meaningless political murders with no villains to avenge.

The notion of dynasty is actually nasty politics.
A dynasty is something in which sons are anointed or fathers are annihilated for power. The facts are starting from Rahul's grandmother Indira to Rahul; each Gandhi was foisted in to the position of the leader of the Congress party, in tragic circumstances or in the face of political decimation. Yet each of the Gandhi has been accused of dynastic ambition. That is also why majority of Indians can't grasp what Rahul meant when he said in his speech:
"Last night, everyone congratulated me. But my mother came to my room and she sat and cried. Because she understands that the power that so many see is poison. She can see it because she is not attached to it (power)"
All of these should explain why in country in which dynastic politics is the norm, with regional and local politicians practicing it without shame, Rahul Gandhi was seen as a reluctant leader, despite having been given the power on a platter. Chances are you may never see Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister of India even if he will win many more elections for his party.
For those who really admire Rahul Gandhi and for those millions who believe and clamor on the social web that everything about him is phony  an attempt to understand the makeup of his persona may be worthwhile.

Was the Newtown Speech the Most Difficult to Deliver For President Barack Obama?

One day, when Barack Obama will no more be the President of the U.S., someone will venture to make a movie on his life. It will be almost impossible to find an actor willing to enact the President's role because the performance of the future actor will be measured against that of the President himself, who in real life was forced to live through the toughest of theatrical moments, like when he addressed the Newton School gathering after the massacre.

No actor, however capable, can bring out the agony of the president, who has to suppress his internal turmoil and present a different face to the nation for the sake of the position he is holding. No director can pull off visualisation of a complex surge of emotions of a whole nation behind a tragic event like that happened in Newtown, which the President was subjected to over and above his own turmoil.
There are moments when a president has to deliver inspiring speeches to convey his vision or unify the country against adversity. Then there are occasions no one wishes to face in life, when the President is expected to address the nation, to say something, to console, assure and somehow alleviate the collective burden on the nation's psyche. The Newtown School speech in the aftermath of the massacre of twenty innocent children and six of their teachers was one such testing moment for President Obama.
Though several tragedies have occurred during his presidency where he had to deliver consoling and supporting messages to the nation, the Newtown tragedy, coming right after a very divisive election in which he won against all odds, must have been very different and difficult for the president.
It is hard to understand, why Barrack Obama is seen as the first "black" President by many Americans and even by leading media though he was born to a white Caucasian lady. Though for the rest of the world this is a non issue, it is the perception. However, this must have been the most difficult aspect for President Obama, who had to face and address a town whose population and the bereaved they came to mourn are almost entirely white.
No one can deny that such was the ferocity and divisiveness of the politics which only just ended in his re-election, which many in the nation still do not accept, at least have great difficulty to reconcile. No one can deny that the second amendment, which the President could do little about and something which his audience hold sacred had to do with the tragedy.
That, President Obama, as a very loving parent of two children couldn't hold his tears while announcing the tragedy that occurred at Newtown as a national tragedy, didn't somehow alleviate his dilemma. Where trust was at best fragile, it must have been very difficult to find the right words to express and communicate something meaningful both to the community and to the nation at large.
The Newtown tragedy has occurred in the Christmas season, when everyone has to rejoice and not bereave, has rendered the event poignant beyond imagination. Mundane call of Presidential duties in the face of the Fiscal Cliff which he has very little time to sort out before the nation fall off it and the nomination of his future secretary of state must have been adding immense pressure to his working life. Yet the President was duty bound to come to the bereaved, and address and console as the supreme commander.
President Obama did come to Newtown, and delivered the most difficult speech of his presidency with amazing grace. With measured words delivered in a way only Barack Obama, the great communicator can do he somehow spoke, conveying the consolation and support of the Nation he took to Newtown and asking for the Nation's support and resolve to enable him for meaningful and effective action.
Without referring to the Second Amendment or NRA he brought home the need for controlling the ownership and accessibility of dangerous weapons. Without admonishing, he brought home the need for better parenting and teaching and loving children. In as few words as possible he reminded Americans about family values they all need to return to.

You handled this horrific situation with such honest sympathy & grace. You have done our nation (and yourself) proud during one of our darkest moments. I am proud to call you My President.

For astute students of communication, President Osama's skills in oratory will be always be a benchmark. His speeches will be heard, watched analysed and imitated for decades and centuries to come. But for true meaning and sense of his speeches, future learners will have to delve deep in to the contextual history and events as well.

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