Wednesday, February 18, 2009

President's Day

Every year third Monday of February is celebrated as the President's Day, in the US, in honor of 2 of their greatest President's, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (February born's). Both these president's have set themselves apart from the rest to be wisely called as all-time greats. Abraham Lincoln has a special reference in US history as the president who saved the union from collapse during the first civil war and for freeing the slaves in that process.

In a country that right now has its 44th president in the White House, always its presidents have been looked upon as the leader of the world rather than just US. Time and again the world has looked up to US presidents for visionary and thoughtful leadership as is the case right now with the world watching every step of what the president of US of A is doing to fix its economy which every other world leader believes will fix the global recession. Rightfully, not many of US president's have made themselves go down in the history books for setting really a bad example of world leadership. I sincerely believe and hope that after the debacle of last 8 years of Bush administration, Obama's administration sets the right foot forward.

The point I want to make here is if one tries compare the two greatest democracies of the world, India and USA, in US, a country with just around 300 million people, there has been no dearth for leaders rising to the occasion to motivate and energize the population time and again. Almost every other US president had the potential to be able to bring people together through their speeches and interactions with the public. In India, a country with 1 billion plus population, there has hardly been a leader (President/Prime Minister) who had that kind of charisma and energy to be able to motivate and energize people and bring them together. The only national leader I can think of in India of such great personality is "The Mahatma" who without a doubt had a global impact which still continues. Don't tell me about Nehru's birthday being celebrated as Children's Day. Excuse me, I am talking about visionary leadership here.

Unfortunately, there is still no day in India where a deceased national leader is remembered for his deeds other than for "The Mahatma". I really cannot think of any Indian President making an electrifying speech that will motivate the people to bring about a change of immense proportion in the country. Sad but true that I have not seen any Indian President or Prime Minister making a speech without looking into a written script. Can't they even make an impromptu speech without looking into a written script? SAD. The Indian President who came close to energizing and motivating the public to some extent was Dr. Abdul Kalam and as expected the politicians did not let him continue for long.

Why cannot India have a President/Prime Minister who can be looked upon by the nation as a source of inspiration and motivation? Is it because of the nature of Indian coalition party politics that one cannot be a great leader or is it due to the selfish nature of Indian politicians who hardly care for the betterment of the people of the nation but are more focused in swindling money just for his/her family.

I believe that things will change in India only when the politicians contest elections with the true intention of serving for the people who elected them and not think about how to make money for their own future generations from the day they get elected. In other words, elections should be contested with a vision for improving living standards for future generations in order to leave behind an improved country than the one that they inherited and not with an intention to make money for personal benefit and start thinking about how to win the next election from day one. In terms of issues facing the country, the list is long and I some day intend to start blogging about India's national issues and my thoughts about the same. But first there needs to be a leader who can lead country with the right vision and energy.

I see a lot of articles being written about Rahul Gandhi being the next national leader and that he has lot of charisma and energy to make people like him. I frankly do not know much about him so I cannot comment on the authenticity of these reports. But if he is really good to be able to bring the kind of inspiration and motivation to the people of India and for the betterment of the country then it's good for the country.

I sincerely dream of seeing an Indian national leader being praised at the global stage and the country start celebrating his birthday as a national holiday. I hope that my dream becomes reality within my life time. Will wait and watch.



  1. Such a day may never come in our life time, buddy. A lot of things has to change in India including people's mindset about politics. BTW, Rahul gandhi, for me, is a half-boiled potato & is no good.

  2. Agreed. It's a shame that such a day may never come in our life time given the fact that India, as a country, has crossed 60 yrs since independence and even in the next 40-50 yrs if we do not have such a leader, it's a big shame that there may not be even one worthy leader in a century. :(


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