Today, the grand old man, Mr. L.K. Advani had a few valuable suggestions on the way our political system could be organised. His pearls of wisdom included compulsory voting, elections only once in 5 years and that too in February when the weather is salubrious, with a view on improving turnouts. Even though I do not support Mr. Advani in his desperate urge to become the Prime Minister, I agree with him totally on these ideas.
A few days back, Dr. Manmohan Singh also gave some invaluable suggestions - like limiting the role of regional parties and independents in the electoral process.
I agree with both of them completely. These are the only words of sanity coming in the cacophony of the ongoing electoral process.
I would be a little radical on this.
We are increasingly going to play an important role in the world theatre. The Doomsday Scenario is playing out. Whether we like it or not, India is reluctantly going to be drawn into a conflict with both Islamic fundamentalists across the western borders and in Afghanistan. We cannot rule out a high intensity conflict with the Chinese.
The scenario will play out in the next 20-odd years. In this evolving war theatre, the nation is going to be stretched for able political minds to strategize for the future - to not only ensure our survival but success as a nation.
To ensure effective and sane governance, we would need a legislation that defines on who gets to occupy key berths in the Union Cabinet. For instance, the defence ministry should go to a distinguished ex-serviceman, external affairs to an ex-diplomat, finance ministry to an economist, etc. We have in the past picked up people who have no damn clue what they are supposed to do in these mission-critical ministries.
Visualise a scenario where the Behenji or the likes of Deve Gowda become the Prime Minister. These people have no world view and have a myopic a vision of where as a nation would stand. Their parochial politics would make them Prime Ministers of Uttar Pradesh or Karnataka, as the case may be.
Such a legislation would ensure continuity of rational policy, which would give India the much required decoupling from political instability and parochialism.
Is it possible?
Yes, it is indeed.
The institutions like the Reserve Bank of India gives us a glimmer of hope that independent minded institutions can thrive for the good of the nation.
But the big question is whether the Congress and the BJP would get together to make it happen.