Saturday, May 12, 2012

Early Polls or Not, Let Lawyers & Economists Make Way for an Entrepreneur as PM

Today, Mamata and Congress are fighting over whether it should be early polls or not, even while the opposition BJP fears a poll more than anyone else. Rather than fighting over the timing, it would have been far better if all of them had debated on the necessity to bring in someone special with extraordinary commitment for the top job rather than a business-as-usual lawyer or economist.

One the finest quotes of 2012 was from the mouth of a former President. But that was more due to the quality of that person rather than the fact that he was President once. Lokpal will only serve to fill our jails, Dr. Kalam had said. The simple but powerful words were enough to split the anti-politician camp into two.

Those were words that were bold, so bold, not to have come from any career politician in any party. Career politicians are also famous for their poverty in creativity. Otherwise, why no brain in Congress could conjure up this idea, even when it was embattled by Hazare and team? There is no doubt that in posterity Dr. Kalam’s words would be credited with delivering that definitive and mortal body blow to the populist anti-corruption movement.

Though a few sceptics were there who found issue with Dr. Kalam’s timing, thinking that he was trying to be liked by the Congress camp, that idea is likely rubbish conspiracy theory.

But what followed from APJ was what makes him Gandhi-like. “What we want is nobody should go to jail, as we want good human beings.”  Now what would have APJ meant by that - good human beings? By being the multi-faceted high achiever he has been, it certainly wouldn’t be saints or sannyasins.

Anyway, by anyone’s definition, good human beings are ideally people of not just high integrity but having high commitment to achieve great things for society’s common good. They will also morph into leaders or role models, because people follow integrity and quality in their unconscious quest to turn good themselves.

That of course brings us to the question. Isn’t Dr. Singh a man of integrity? Even his most ardent detractors would shy away from questioning his integrity. Then, isn’t he a man of achievements? He sure is, personally and on the social front due to his role in liberalizing the economy in the 90s.

MMS was just a metaphor. It could well have been Vajpayee. Nobody questions ABV’s integrity or achievements. But then why is India where it is now? What is the missing link? It is obviously in commitment.

That is why it is time to make an entrepreneur as the PM. Because, in no other career-class do we see the kind of sheer commitment to goals that we see in entrepreneurs. Not in lawyers, not in scientists, not in economists, definitely not in career politicians.

If you haven’t been blessed to see an entrepreneur working his ways up-close, you are definitely at a loss. They set impossible targets for themselves, scheme up the processes that can achieve it, identify the special people who can execute it, and thus achieve the impossible. They never take no for an answer and get things done in one way or another.

Just two Indian examples would suffice. Who would believe that Ratan Tata, whose Tata Motors is yet to make a globally competent car in India, could take over a doomed JLR from auto granddaddy Ford and powerfully turn it around within a couple of years? That is Indian entrepreneurship in action. 
Or who would believe that an unassuming group of 7 first generation entrepreneurs could create Infosys, one of the largest and most respectable IT Service companies in the world that employs more than 1,50,000 professionals today?

It is high time that India figured out how to bring in ‘good people’ - with commitment, entrepreneurship, and creativity in their blood - to all the top roles including that of PM. Otherwise, gaining that competitive edge over China or US, or even Brazil or Russia, in the long run, would remain a mirage.

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