Mar 26, 2006

Leading by example

Today's Hindustan Times carried the headline "Sonia says she resigned because it was the right thing to do"

I paused to think about it, and felt something between approval and admiration.

Before anyone crucifies me for making political statements on this blog, allow me to clarify. I am not a fan of Sonia Gandhi. In fact I have grown up supporting the BJP and belong to the school of thought which believes that a person of Italian origin leading a country of a billion would be an embarassment.

However, credit must be given where it is due. She is talking about 'doing the right thing'. The statement suggests the presence of a conscience, a degree of self-respect and the courage to stand up for principles. These values have absent in our polity for a while now. Leaders have displayed shameless opportunism, greed for power, and no concern for anyone or anything other than their personal interests. I do not remember recent political 'leaders' doing anything that inspired trust or respect. This woman, for the second time now, has assumed the moral high ground and taken the wind out of the Opposition's sails, and has set examples for others to follow. A good leader must be trusted to 'do the right thing', because they have the power to mislead masses. Its refreshing to see an Indian political leader talking about 'doing the right thing' and backing it up with action.

There will be people who will dismiss this as a political gimmick. Maybe it is. I dont care. At least she is saying what I like to hear and thats a good first step. If she or anyone else, actually believes in these values, and supports statements like this with action, that will serve to restore some of faith that we have lost. But that is a future issue - the expectations, given our past, are much lower today.

I thought the BJP and NDA got a raw deal in the last General Election. After everyone predicted a landslide victory for the 'India Shining' people, it was a rude shock to see the Congress win. It felt like a mistake - an injustice - that had to be undone. But now its fairly clear that the country is moving ahead on its own and as long as the Govt is not a decelarator, its not very important who rules. In fact, the BJP seems to be falling apart and has been disappointing in their performance as Opposition.

Having said a few good words about Sonia Gandhi, I also want to write about the disgust I feel for the way sycophants in the Congress idolise her. At the start, she wasn't much more than the widow of an assasinated PM, who in turn rode into Parliament on an emotional wave, following the assassination of his mother. I dont understand why all 'leaders' in the Congress worship this family. It gives them an air of 'royalty', even though they are leaders in a democracy.
But I admire Sonia for what she has done. And the Govt is doing well. Alls well that ends well.

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