Will Sharad Malviya be the next PM?

Posted: May 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Sharad Malviya - The Edge of DesireThe biggest crisis that confronts the nation today is the death of quality political leadership. The malaise is manifested in three of government’s most abject failures in the last three years. First, it was Dr. Singh’s Sharm el Shiekh fiasco. Then, it was the government inaction on the 2G scam, until the Supreme Court rulings compelled the government to act otherwise. And finally it’s the locking of horns between the government and Army chief, hitherto unseen in Indian history.

It goes without saying that things would have been different had India had a stronger leader at the helm of affairs. A PM simply cannot escape responsibility for the colossal failures of his government by blaming it on his aloofness. That such a weak, unelected PM could become the third longest serving PM of India is a sad commentary on our political system. Unfortunately, both Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi have also had their failings exposed, which prevent them for emerging as obvious choices for PM. And this only makes a scary proposition stare at us: just how long will the nation have to suffer Dr. Singh?

Fortunately, in the last few weeks, things seem to be turning around a bit. Finally, there is a glimmer of hope of the country preparing itself for a change. Much of this optimism has to do with the Nationalist League leader, Sharad Malviya emerging as a key candidate for the Pm’s post in 2014. Sharad Malviya is a rare leader. A nationalist at heart, he hates the fact that political one-upmanship has led to national interests being compromised at every stage. While he roots for federalism, he condemns regional leaders like Mamta Banerjee and Karunanidhi who extract their pound of flesh from the Centre regardless of its implications on India’s position internationally.

Sharad wants APJ Abdul Kalam to be India’s next President. “In the first place Dr. Kalam should always have got a second term in 2007 itself. It’s sad that someone as uninspiring as Dr. Pratibha Patil had to succeed him.”

He wants the Indian President’s office to be made accountable for its lethargy in addressing mercy petitions of those sentenced to be hanged, especially in terror cases. He opposes the Women’s Reservation Bill . “Real women don’t need such inducements. On the contrary, the Bill will promote more Rabri Devis- wives and family members of male politicians who will forcibly have to vacate their seats. In the end, it will only encourage rubber stamp women politician and kill talent.”
Sharad has a different take on India’s relations with Pakistan as well. He advocates an ‘arm’s length distance” from Pakistan. When asked to comment on Pak Army chief, Kayani’s call to demilitarize the Siachen glacier, Sharad shot back “I will never trust a Pak army guy, be it Kayani, Musharaaf or Zia-ul-Haq.. We’ve given them enough opportunities to grow up but they haven’t.”
Sharad is also perhaps the first leader in the world to have once commented on a public forum, “A country born out of a false propaganda can never be true to itself or its neighbours.. Pakistan’s disintegration is in India’s interests. If they split into 5 smaller countries, trust me two of them will be pro-India, rendering the anti-India propaganda of the other three ineffective.”
Sharad’s maverick take on issues is not confined to Pakistan.

Sharad Malviya roots for Public funding of elections. He roots for general elections to take place once every 4 years instead of 5. “We’re living in a fast paced world. Why should the people have to wait for five years before evaluating a government? Ideally that should happen every two years, but given its burden on the public exchequer, we could at least start by reducing a government’s term to 4 years..”

The Edge of Desire

Sharad Malviya is in a wild hurry. He wants to change the politics of the land. He wants to revive India’s golden era. Interestingly, Sharad is as unconventional in other ways as well. He loves good cinema ( he has already seen Vicky Donor twice), relishes a good game of squash whenever time permits, is a huge fan of F1 races and loves travelling on a yearly holiday with his daughter, Rhea. This year they plan to do Brazil and Argentina and will leave as soon as the summer Parliament session gets over on May 24.
Interestingly, Sharad’s followers are growing by thousands every day. From being considered a rank outsider just about a year ago, today people look up to him. They are willing to believe in his conviction.

With less than 2 years left for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sharad has an arduous task at hand. But a good number of people believe he can do an Obama. According to senior journalist Aditi Roy, “The biggest advantage for Malviya is that his personality is just the opposite of Dr. Singh. The contrast is so well marked that it makes it easier for people to choose one over the other. Closer to the elections, thus, there’s good chance of it turning out to be Dr. Singh vs Sharad Malviya.”

Will Sharad Malviya be the PM that India always needed? Or will he turn out to be one that India always deserved but never had, like many others?

To find out, watch out for The Edge of Desire. Book released all over India on May 10.

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