Saturday, August 28, 2004

India's finest President ever

Kakkan, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Nath Pai, Gita Mukherjee, JP, Sucheta Kriplani, Muthulakshmi Reddy, Kamaraj - are all gone. If you want to know what it must have been like when they were around look at President Kalam. A rational, liberal, Indian traditional rooted in India's chaal, chalan and charitra, with an eye on the future fully understanding that while we can forget history we cannot ignore geography. Regardless of what has happened we must live together. That is what Gandhi understood and that is what Ambedkar too recognised.

Gandhi wanted the politician to be a public servant a person who wsa capable of making a living through a skill or profession, who would serve the people for free. Kalam is one such person. He has made a living as an ordinary lower middle class Madhavan and built up our only successful technological supply chain. He has won the affection, trust regard of 1000s of small town and large town boys and girls who has moulded into furture oriented engineers and scientists. He has made the best use of our indigenous institutions of learning and opened up opportunities to innumerable small technology shops. He earned his honours the hard way by being a successful technocrat who learnt to work the political system fairly, without sucking up or putting on pseudo-liberal airs as one of his predecessors has done. He is not a pompous ass who talks of social justice in the afternoon and is sipping his scotch and soda without fail that evening. He is not a made up man of the masses who after a lifetime of high living in the capitals of the world and India's finest residences wants to continue living the high life at sarkar expense in New Delhi and bilks the exchequer as usual.

If only we could have more Kalams and less of the other despicable variety.


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