Going Gandhi Gone


From Mohandas Gandhi to his unrelated namesake Varun Gandhi, the Gandhi name has suffered a reversal of fortune.  From Mohandas who was willing to give his life for the sake of Hindu-Muslim amity to Varun who – based on the remarks on the publicized CD – would be willing to harm a Muslim life in a case of mistaken Hindu enmity, there has been a sharp erosion in the value systems of our leaders. 


The Gandhi family has paid a steep price for their dedication and political service and suffered the loss of two former Prime Ministers – Indira Gandhi (daughter of independent India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru) and Rajiv Gandhi (the elder son of Indira Gandhi).  Both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were the tragic victims of assassins (killed in 1984 and 1991 respectively) associated with two different independence movements (Khalistan in Punjab, India and Eilam in Sri Lanka) that perceived the former leaders as inimical to their respective causes.  Varun Gandhi’s father, Sanjay Gandhi (the younger son of Indira Gandhi) who died in an untimely plane accident, was in a prominent position within the Congress Party and en route to becoming a potential Prime Minister.


Rahul Gandhi (son of Rajiv Gandhi) is slated as a future leader and potential Prime Minister while his sister, Priyanka Gandhi, currently actively campaigning for the Congress Party, may have possible future political ambitions in her own right.  Rajiv Gandhi’s wife, Sonia Gandhi is the current leader of the Congress Party. 


Maneka Gandhi (wife of Sanjay Gandhi) a BJP Member of Parliament from Philibit, UP was a Minister in the former BJP Government and her son, Varun is now campaigning to become the next BJP Member of Parliament from Philibit.


While many Indians are supportive of the public service and prominent political roles of the scions of the Gandhi (Jawaharlal Nehru) dynasty, one family should not be burdened with the onerous responsibility of having to produce the nation’s leadership for successive generations.  This applies not only at the national level but also at the state and local levels where a few families have assumed the lonesome legacy of leadership. 


The public needs to assist the feudal families to ensure that alternate avenues of employment are available to upcoming family members and to spare them the pressing pressures and trying tensions of having to take care of their ancestral aspirations in their “family fiefdoms”.


Some Indian filmmakers have had a fascination for decades with copying the attitudes and cultural norms of Western nations in many films and a few business houses have been aping some of the failed financial practices and questionable business methodologies along with encouraging their workers to adopt Western suits and ties in a tropical climate.  Now even politics is following suit and has adopted the Western obsession with ever younger leaders in politics as if youth alone is the answer to all problems.  The British author and savant, George Bernard Shaw noted that “youth is wasted on the young” and this is especially apparent in Indian politics today.  Instead of increasingly younger “Turks” /   leaders chanting the overused and shrill “change” mantra and committing “Varunesque” gaffes, there is a dire need for experienced, mature, wise and steady leadership (with a knowledge of our shared history and distinct cultures) that will focus on resolving the nation’s problems and improving the standard of living.       


In a mature democracy with a growing middle class and an increasing number of people who are upwardly mobile and educated, there is a greater pool of qualified and experienced candidates who can become prospective leaders, without special interest backing, without the benefit of being hand-picked star candidates and without nepotistic nurturing.


(www.embar.net – for additional articles) 


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