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Why not make Rahul PM now?

There are any number of problems to be solved, any number of new initiatives to be taken. On balance, it is a job for a young team led by a 41-year-old and not for a bunch of septuagenarians

Yes, the Congress should make Rahul Gandhi the prime minister as soon as possible. I am not Digvijay Singh writing under a false name; I am a concerned citizen applying his mind to a question that every Indian should be asking himself.

We have to accept it: Rahul Gandhi will become prime minister, now, or in the next few years. Why not now?

Some senior party members shushed Digvijay into temporary silence, but the whole of the Congress Party, from Pranab Mukherjee to the woman who sweeps the floor in the Akbar Road headquarters, wants Rahul Gandhi to occupy the seat in the South Block office of the prime minister.

He has the pedigree and his mother and his family desperately want the dynasty to rule again. Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi--with this ancestry, any man deserves a chance to rule, whether he makes a beggar's breakfast of the job or not.

He is young and has the physical and mental energy needed to be a dynamic prime minister who will solve India's most pressing problems and take initiatives that will make life easier for all of us, industrialist or upper division clerk.

Take the economic problems; inflation, for instance. Till now, the government has been sticking to stale, decades-old solutions touted by the Reserve Bank of raising the repo and reverse repo rates "n" times in "n-1" weeks. Rahul could do something imaginative to sharply increase supply, like his grandmother did.

In 1974, inflation was running at 36% per annum. In one unbelievable nationwide swoop, she arrested tens of thousands of smugglers and within weeks prices started dipping. (That the swoop on smugglers provided the grand rehearsal for the overnight arrest of thousands of opposition party members in 1975 is neither here nor there.)

Take infrastructure. The ports are clogged and imports and exports are moving at a trickle. Rahul could do for the ports what AtalBehari Vajpayee did for the national highways. The Golden Qaudrilateral and its offshoots are a pleasure on which to drive, trucks move much faster, diesel is saved and goods reach consuming centres much more quickly.

The stock markets, mutual funds, financial institution, SEBI and even the RBI need a bit of a shake-up. There are a large number of suggestions and plans from any numbers of experts--not least of them the founder-editors of Moneylife. Rahul could look at all of them and bring in reforms that will make our financial system stronger than ever.

Rahul has been spending a lot of time among the poor in Uttar Pradesh. He talks to them, eats with them and sleeps in Dalit houses when on tour. If this experience has not taught him many lessons about making life better for the poor, nothing will.

So, there are any number of problems to be solved, any number of new initiatives to be taken. On balance, it is a job for a young team led by a 41-year-old and not for a bunch of septuagenarians.

This UPA government has another two-odd years before it faces the electorate. What better time to apprentice a young, fourth-generation scion?

The bigger question is: Will Rahul Gandhi be a success as prime minister, or will he bury the Congress so deep that the party will not be able to lift its head for decades?

Since he is the fourth in the dynasty, it all depends on what he has inherited from his father, grand-mother and great-grandfather. Jawaharlal was great, Indira was brilliant, but flawed (she was the fount of corruption in India) and Rajiv was dumb and flawed. So, which one does Rahul take after?

It all comes down to genetic dice, doesn't it? You or me, or Sonia, or Rahul can roll the dice. If the number that comes up is 10, he will be like Jawaharlal; if the number is six, he will be like Indira; if the number is two, he will be like Rajiv. Whatever the number, we the people have to accept the roll of the dice, the result of the gamble.

If Rahul fails, there's always Priyanka.

Let me leave you with a Tamil proverb which translates as: "Whether the king rules or the beggar, the people's lot will not change". Best of luck, India.

(R Vijayraghavan has been a professional journalist for more than four decades, specialising in finance, business and politics. He conceived and helped to launch Business Line, the financial daily of The Hindu group. He can be contacted at [email protected].)




5 years ago

I pray God to help India by betowing a balanced judgement to remove UPA II in all the five states where elections are due. Narasimha Rao breathed fresh life into Indian Economy while Atulji brought innovative administrative reforms. But UPA II won by slogans and never by actions. The present day Gandhis are not even perfect duplicates of the original. Sonia is desperate to win. 2G spectrum cases are gaining momentum and Tihar is getting ready to receive her and her son-in-law.

Suresh BV Bharadwaj

5 years ago

Have the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party ceased to be the patriotic Indian Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist citizens of the Indian Aryan-Dravidian-Mongolian-Australoid India of Indian Hindu-Sikh-Jain-Buddhist Maharaj Ranjit Singh, Bhagat Singh, Guru Govind Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai, Sukdev, Chandrashekhar Azad, Mangal Pande, Lakshmi Sehgal, Jhansi Lakshmibai, Sangolli Rayanna, Kitturu Chennamma, Kanneshwara Rama, Alluri Sitarama Raju, Kerala Marthanda Kulashekhar Alwar Verma, Veera Pandya Katta Bomman, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Tantya Topi, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Aurobindoa Ghose, Mrunalini Ghose Bose, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Tengalai Rajagopala Chari, Subramanya Bharati, Peshwa Nana Saheb, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Senapati Bapat, Kanchi H S Doreswami, Sarojini Naidu, Shyam Prasad Mukherji, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Nanaji Deshmukh, Durga Indrani Priyadarshini Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi, Nambi-Nambudari Bhagawata Adwaita Sanatani Acharya Shankara, Nambi-Nambudari Bhagawata Vishishta Adwaita Sanatani Acharya Lakshmana Ramanuja, Nambi-Nambudari Bhagawata Shuddha Adwaita Sanatani Acharya Vallabha, Nambi-Nambudari Bhagawata Vishishta Adwaita Sanatani Acharya Ramanand, Nambi-Nambudari Bhagawata Vibhinna Advaita Achryas Rupa Goswami-Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shakti Vishishta Advaita Shaiva Panchacharyas, Maya Advaita Acharya Gautama Buddha, Kaivalya Advaita Acharya Adi Deva, Guptas, Pandyas, Cheras, Cholas, Rashtrakutas, Kadambas, Hoysalas, Nambi-Nambudari Sanatani Shatavahanas, Vijay Nagaras, Mauryas, Vardhanas, Suryavamshi Gajapatis, Archer Beda Acharya Valmiki, Besta Fisherman Acharya Vyasa, Suryavamshi Ayodya Sri Ramachandra, Chandravamshi Bhishma-Kauravas-Pandavas, and Chandravamshi Yaduvamshi Sri Krishna-Balaramas. Why is BJP trying to defame an Indian Hindu-Sikh-Jain-Buddhist Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and trying to install a European Italian Roman Catholic Christian Cum Iranian Parsee Muslim foreigner Raul Vinci Rahul Sonia Antonia Maino Firoz Gandhi Vinci as the Prime Minister of India? This is a traitorous act and must be opposed by all the patriotic Indian Aryan-Dravidian-Mongolian-Australoid Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain citizens of the Indian Aryan-Dravidian-Mongolian-Australoid Indian Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain India. We cannot and we will not let the foreigner and the modern European Christian Iranian Muslim Robert Clive i.e., Raul Rahul Firoz Sonia Antonia Maino Gandhi Vinci to subdue the Independent India and help Europe to re-colonize and enslave India and the Indian Aryan-Dravidian-Mongolian-Australoid Indian Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain citizens of the Indian Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain India. The Independent India of the Indian Aryan-Dravidian-Mongolian-Australoid Indian Hindu-Sikh-Buddhist-Jain India will remain the proud, independent, and sovereign Indian-Sikh-Buddhist-Jain India. Jai Bharat! Jai India! Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan! Jai Bharata Mata! Vande Mataram! Jai Hind! Jai Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain India! Jai Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain Bharat!

nagesh kini

6 years ago

I'm no Rahul fan, nor am going to bat for him.
The present team of sycophants led by the likes PC whom Digvijay Singh calls "intellectually arrogant", Kapil Sibal of the Sibal Society leading the team of GOM to meet a Sadhu Baba at the airport and bad mouth him later are all leading the upto now clean PM up the garden path and sending the nation into a mess.
It is time the the old order changeth by the old foggies giving way to the new. Much as I disliked Indira's Emergency ways, she just disciplined a drifting nature. I had predicted her return after the old guys lead by Morarji/Jagjivan fought for the office.
Keep aside the Dynastic Issue - Kashmir has Omar Abdullah. NCP has Supriya Sule, Reds have Brinda Karat, DMK has the siblings.
Anyway the Rahul with the gen-next brigade is a better bet than the head less BJP with the corrupt Karnataka baggage! Others are mere kichdi like the one man independent Madu Koda government.



In Reply to nagesh kini 6 years ago

Mr.NK are you a heartless person. Perhaps you have not watched the TV for the last 48 hrs. Yeddy did go out once the indictment became official. Dixit still stays. BJP is the only other national party remaining as a hope for the middle class. Rember Atulji's quadrilateral project is yet to be completed. All infrastructure projects remain pending in the UPA II's ineffective controle. Besides Raghul has not won a single state for his party. You are saying BJP is headless. MMS is not an elected PM but only a selected PM. Please do the nation a favour by not misleading the members with sponsored opinions.

Nagesh Kini

In Reply to RNandakumar 5 years ago

Nandkumarji - I'm not misleading nor is my opinion sponsored as alleged by you.
I began by saying that I'm no Rahul fan.
Atalji did good work, what happened to their "Shining India"?
BJP is still groping in the dark for a credible leader with a national image.
Narendrabhai, the CEO of Gujarat, is good for Apro Gujarat!
Narendra joins the other two Ns Nitish from Bihar and Naveen from Odisha in the race.
By the way my name also begins with an N. I'm miles away from politics.
Comments I will offer.

Satyadev Verma

6 years ago

A well seasoned journalist writing like this ! Smells of a huge gratification !
So best choice is Rahul. Then,Priyanka,Vadhra.
If,for any reason Rahul does not become father !
Then who ! Any pet from Gandhi family !
Height is inspite of congress being oldest party it does not have a single capable person beyond Gandhi family to become our PM. Shame & Pity !

Shibaji Dash

6 years ago

Has anyone written a book on Rahul Gandhi? If yes, the name of the Author and the publisher

Pradeep Hattangadi

6 years ago

Everyone keeps harping about pedigree and genes of Jawaharlal Nehru. Could someone let me know where did these genes flow into J Nehru is it from the British or some ruler that he became our prime minister?
What the country needs is a politician with an inclination to change things just pedigree won't help. I shudder to think that there is no single politician worth his salt to meet that criteria. One nearest is Mr. Modi of Gujarat, but let alone congress will his own partymen allow him to take up the responsibility

S H Subrahmanian

6 years ago

The trouble is Singh’s reputation as the Great Economic Reformer is bogus. As a senior official present at the meetings recalls, when he was asked by PM P V Narasimha Rao in 1992 to produce a “revolutionary” budget, Manmohan offered a draft that was “budget as usual”. An infuriated Rao threw down the document and curtly ordered him to do what was asked of him; namely, configure a scheme to dismantle the licence-permit raj and connect the Indian economic system to the globalising economy. Rao’s initiative worked, and Singh acquired the halo.

It is revealing that in his seven-year stewardship of the nation, Singh has not progressed the country beyond the 1992 liberalisation threshold. Promises apart, there have been no second stage economic reforms, no revision of labour laws, no new land acquisition norms, no easing of the bureaucratised functioning of the state to enable business and industry to really take-off and produce wealth for the country (as has happened in China), no nothing.

Manmohan Singh does best when he is given orders that he can implement, but there’s no Narasimha Rao to provide guidance and take political responsibility, only a fractious National Advisory Council running interference, speaking at will, in different tongues, and advancing disparate mainly statistical agendas under the aegis of Sonia, who has nothing to offer Singh by way of policy direction or content.


pawan narang

In Reply to S H Subrahmanian 6 years ago

the rahul gandhi have no experience of poltics .he has tomake good relationship with general public to give justice to the people of jammu who migranted from kashmir valley . he has to make interest of relationship with those person who wants justice from last 20 years they are wating for justice has he contacted to any kashmiri migrant pm order to give flats to genuine but everywhere everybody wants bribe so the real person not get justice pm has no time to visit individual he can make a system of darbar where everybody invited question and answer session will disscuss then rahul will make progress if he visit jammu again and again so that he can understand the problem face by the people of jammu


6 years ago

Dear sir

Open eyes and mind-you can have much much better person in INDIA than Gandhi family.Pl come up.I do not agree with your views at all.


6 years ago

The answer to the current problems is remove Congress and make NARENDRA MODI the PM. He will also tackle terrorism and Pakistan issue with a strong hand. He is transparent and ensures this his minsiters become efficient.

No more puppets to run the country.

Nagesh KiniFCA

6 years ago

I'm inclined to agree entirely with Vijayraghavan. It is time our oldies, now formally recognized as 'super-senior citizens' should voluntarily step out, if not forcibly kicked out. I'd say even 70+ ought to go.
I was in New Delhi at the height of the Emergency years and the Janata Party birth where again the old men Morarji, Jagjivan,Charan , Bahuguna, squabbled while clowns like Raj Narain with Swami Babas clowns set up a government that was doomed for failure ( read All the Janata Men by Janardan Thakur, Vikas1978 for details).
We desperately needed a danda raj and the Iron Lady wielded it most effectively. Only Sanjay proved to be a spoilt sport. Some order was in fact restored.
Can any one identify a single capable leader to take over under the present scenario - Pranobda has made his intention of stepping into the Rashtrapati Bhavan next year, has put his son in politics, PC is termed 'intellectually arrogant' by his own partymen and the Shivganga election petition is haunting him, Anthony is too soft,Pawar out of reckoning.
The gen-next from within the Congress has perforce to fall upon Rahul, the TINA factor playing, notwithstanding the dynastic rule issue. At least he has a pedegree of the Nehru-Gandhi. All the Janata veterans or even the successive VP Singh hotch-potch couldn't deliver. BJP's Shining India lost badly.
The names of the next bright stars beginning with N - Nitish, Narendra and Naveen are speculated to be the alternative. Even my name begins with a N but I firmly believe that politics is the last resort of a scroundrel and it not my cup of tea!

pawan narang

6 years ago

rahul gandhi can not become the prime mnister of india because he has no experience he dose not know people of india are not getting justice even from the last 20 years they are beging for justice ,justice delay is justice denied . i think when people get justice he wii become pm of india . he has to give social service to public otherwise public will slap on his face . the govt. of india is not providing justice to general public even their deptt. throw greviances to the dustbin .
every department want corruption from mnister level to peon level when people are thirst for justice even they are not giving postive response to prime mnister man mohan singh . no body listen the letters of parlimentment of india ,not the president of india neither national human rights of india so when he wants to jump in strong poltics he will fail people only want justice from any body he will give social service to greviancess to public thereafter he has to think for prime mnister [email protected]


6 years ago

Mr.vijayaraghavan better look into his financial side of specialisation as he seems to have forgotton to pay attention for a decade in politics. Modi deserves his position of number one choice in the recent survey conducted for the post of PM because of his exeplarary contribution to his states development as well as his party's politics. Look at his political acumen as evidenced by his election campaign in the state elections of recent years. UP, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamilnadu. In Kerala cong almost lost the election due to his campaign and had to do some last minute fire-fighting to save the campaign. His mother's anxiety to save the billions in his name in Swiss Bank perhaps is only reason for his being in Indian Politics. We are all suffering because we had not appreciated the work done by the best PM ever Atulji. Let us all make amends for that mistake by electing Modi as PM.


Ashish Singh Pathania

In Reply to RNandakumar 6 years ago

If Narendra Modi is projected as a Prime Minister of INDIA, I will blindly give vote to any of BJP candidat.

Pankaaj Maalde

6 years ago

It is better writer should join congress and campaign across India. The problem started from the day when Jawaharlal Nehru became first PM instead of Vallabhbhai Patel. The route cause of all the problem is congress and Gandhi Parivar. I am with Anna Hazare team fighting for corruption free India.

nishi rotkar

6 years ago

Only Rahul Gandhi can survive this country. he has super natural powers like Jessus / Lord Krishna. if rahul gandhi bcomes PM,
1] corruption will vanish from system like a magic
2] indo pak relations will bcome very friendly.
3] global warming comes to end
4] monson will be on perfect time.
5] all the problems in world has only one solution : Rahul gandhi / gandhi parivar.... if he is not, then priyanka is ready. if she fails, then robert vadhera is there or his son / daughter. thank god rahul is not married , then we can have very much choice for PM post.


6 years ago

I am sorry to say this but the tone of your article is more like "give up, you can't change the system. Anyway someone from Gandhi dynasty will take up the charge and you will be a merry puppet."

I guess we should be optimistic about future. The governance is changing. 10 years ago no one would have imagined a consumer court or even RTI. We should be optimistic that times are changing and they are changing for good (Though the pace of change is slow).



In Reply to pravesh 6 years ago

@praveen: so who are the alternatives? look at the situation in tamilnadu. the people voted out DMK and voted in madam jaya. She's spent her time moving the secretariat, delaying the opening of schools, wasting time, effort and money on blocking out pages in textbooks and making thousands of schoolchildren work on saturdays, converting one-way roads back to two-ways "just because stalin made it one-way!!!!" and so -on... and what DO we have - "CAPTAIN" Vijaykanth? bleechhhhhhh. what optimism and what future? I'm disgusted to be from tamil nadu...


In Reply to demosthenes 6 years ago

Unfortunately we are short of alternatives. But that doesn't mean that we chose someone from the ruling dynasty? Someone being young doesn't make him effective. Of course this is debatable, but we should also keep in mind that young ones lack the experience that oldies have but on the other hand young one's aggression can bring in the required change or may be do more damage if used foolishly. So RG is not an effective choice. Other politicians are also not suitable as they have been tainted for some reason or other. But still I would hold on a ray of hope cause things don't stay the same. Change is unavoidable and in case of and emerging country like ours change will be for good.

As for TN, I guess politics in this region are more about display of ego. If DMK comes back to power the reverse would happen. In fact we see a flip flop on every election. I wish lokpal gets implemented soon and perhaps there would be a provision where I can question these activities.

In addition I would also like to have minutes of meeting after every meeting and agenda before every meeting and video conferencing (even better) of all meetings of NAC & UPA working comittee. as a provison of RTI or lokpal I would really like to see what soup they cook behind closed doors.

An even better thing would be to disclose meeting of political parties. May be this will make them more transparent and bring their true intent. May be we can choose a good candidate then.

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