Look Who is Talking…
“Personally, I am of the opinion that an internal crisis, today or tomorrow, is inevitable in view of the uncompromising attitude of the present High Command and their failure to move with the times.”
(Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after resigning from the post of Congress President in 1939)
Look who is talking can be the only reaction to the statement of undeclared PM candidate of the Congress Party that Opposition wants ‘personality-oriented’ politics and it is not in the national interest. Perhaps the newly declared Congress campaign head has forgotten that it is the Congress Party which has nurtured personality based dynastic politics in India. Due to this many leaders deserted Congress right from Nehru to Rajiv era. For the last decade or so, Sonia Gandhi is worshipped in the same way and now erection of Sonia’s idol and confusing voices over Rahul Gandhi’s leadership within the Congress highlights the same. Feudalism, nepotism and corrupt practices of the Congress system gave birth to fractions and regional parties in India, compromising national interests. It is the same personality cult which has brought disdain to the PM post.
It is not the personality orientation but the issue of leadership that is at the core of naming PM candidate. Whether Vajpayee, Advani or now Modi, all of them have risen to the leadership through experience and hard work. Their experience with organisation building and governance made them leaders and not the dynastic inheritance. What is in the national interest is a strong and decisive leadership who can address the key issues of governance. Economy is in disarray which needs innovation and national conviction. Only experience of governance with credible results can rectify the derailed course. Nation is facing severe threats both internally and externally. It requires ‘nation-first’ insights and no sycophancy or sectarian secular outlook can provide this. Leader is the person who takes decision in the larger interests taking the popular perceptions along and sometimes even going against it. Such leadership is the need of the time. As described by Netaji Bose 75 years ago while resigning from the post of Congress president, ‘family high command’ culture is still not moving with the time. The frustration and confusion of alleged ‘personality politics’ comes out of it.
The Centre’s decision of relaxing recruitment norms for foreign faculties in Indian educational institutions and introduction of Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) in Delhi University are the last attempts to implement foreign agenda of ‘education reforms’. The crux of this reform has been facilitating foreign money, manpower and institutions in Indian education eying huge profits through this ‘market’. With the same intent, Foreign and Private Universities Bill was introduced. Neither the Congress allies nor the Opposition support the Bill, so the Centre is executing it in bits and pieces. None of the stakeholders are taken into confidence while applying these policies. That is why teachers and students, both are opposing it. Firstly, Government should understand that the reforms should come from below and therefore, quality parameters in primary and secondary education should be the top priority. Secondly, Indian education provides good fundamentals but lack applied aspects so industry-education linkages should be strengthened. It is true that the demographically dividend India requires better ‘manpower forecasting’ but purpose of education in India cannot be just employability. Unless technology and rigour of the West is combined with the Indian values and societal needs, real ‘reforms’ cannot take place for man-making and nation-building exercise.