Friday, May 22, 2009

Much to look forward to...

Now that the dust has finally settled on the election season and we know for sure that this government will in all likelyhood last the full 5-year term, the nation can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The Indian voter has spoken and spoken decisively. We've said no to the politics of religious fundamentalism, caste based divisiveness, no to the regional parochialism of the Yadavs and the Mayawatis and no to the blind dogmatism of the Left. And as the results from Bihar show we've said yes to good governance. It seems the Indian voter has finally wisened up, and its about time.
The Congress have been handed a mandate, and a decisive one at that, with a very obvious message. Deliver on the promises, clamp down on  corruption and remove the tired old faces and replace them with the young energetic MPs voted in in such large numbers for the first time since Independence. With 200+ seats in the Lok Sabha there is no risk of the Congress being held to blackmail like the last time. This is an opportunity the likes of which the Congress will probably never get again especially if they fail to make the most of it. Only time will tell if they will flatter to deceive.
But if Rahul Gandhi continues to surprise as he has done in this election with the Congress' performance in UP, the Congress will definitely have sunny days to look forward to. He has displayed a sense of purpose and self-discipline not seen before in an Indian politician. He has been underestimated by almost everyone outside the Congress but this election and especially the results from UP are a vindication of Rahul Gandhi's political acumen. His stress on changing the quality of political leadership in India comes as music to my ears and if he continues in the same vein he may even make a convert of me. But for that he has to bring to fruition his lofty aims of internal democracy in the Congress and merit over everything else. 
Either way the journey of Rahul Gandhi is something to look forward to. Here's hoping he stays the course. God knows our country needs many more politicians who sing the same tune. On a personal note, the victory of Shashi Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram is particularly gladdening. I've been a fan for a long time and his victory is a sign that all is not lost in Indian democracy.

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