So let’s be honest - this race is between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. I mean, Third Front? What’s that? And that group of maniacs, the AAP - I’ve known drunk frat boys who were better behaved than that icky lot!
I am no political pundit and I am infamous for my lack of knowledge of domestic politics - I even got Salman Khan and Salman Khurshid mixed up once. Anyway, what follows is simply how I am looking at the two candidates and you are welcome to maintain all the biases and hypocrisies that stop you from crying to sleep at night.
What qualities would one look for in a candidate? I would venture that someone who has an agenda is usually a good bet. Yes, I know…the bar is incredibly low in India. Second, one might want to look at past achievements that might help the candidate in performing the duties of the most powerful post in the land. And third, as a special bonus because this is an election that has Modi campaigning in it, pedigree or background might factor in.
Narendra Modi has spoken about his plans for a 100 new cities, bullet trains, nationwide broadband, manufacturing reforms, focus on infrastructure, and several other things. These may sound too fantastic to be true but even if Modi delivers on 25% of what he has talked about, he will be the greatest Indian prime minister as of yet.
Rahul Gandhi…well, it is hard to tell what he seems to want to do with his five years. I remember something about women’s empowerment and that is an honorable goal, but could he possible have described it any less? The Gandhi scion seems to speak in cliches and platitudes, that is when he makes any sense at all.
I choose Narendra Modi, of course, you might choose the other candidates because, you know, you cannot live with the horrors of 2002. I suggest spending a few nights without food, clean water and sanitation, or a shower. Now magnify that to 60 years…poverty truly is the greatest crime. Hundreds of millions of hungry and hopeless people still waiting for garibi to be hataoed does not, I suppose, weigh as heavily on the “secular” conscience. Idealism is lovely that way, saves having to make any tough decisions or dealing with reality.
Okay, I will still accept your decision that Modi is not prime minister material. But here is my challenge - show me a better candidate.