Sunday, December 19, 2010

Article in the Indian Express - December 19, 2010

The following article appeared in my Sunday column 'Un Intended' in the New Indian Express.

Harimohan Paruvu
We need new leaders. That much is clear. There is a scam everyday.  New skeletons are coming out of cupboards, out of the ceiling, the floor, the woodwork – in fact at this rate it looks as if there are more skeletons than there are people here. I mean one skeleton per person is legitimately allowed, but this kind of greed, where everyone wants more skeletons than the other, is just not acceptable. Naturally, things are falling to pieces. The media, the corporate world, politicians, army generals, CVC, sports authorities, no one has any credibility left. In these dire situations, we thought it would be a good idea to find a superhuman leader to control all these rogue factors and get India back on track.

We ran a check on our super computer which suggested that we could get a leader from outside the system. That was a billion people to choose from. We’d surely find a few. We laid down the criteria. Firstly, someone who is well connected, educated (someone who can spell economics) i.e. someone who has an all round view of the world and not just politics. (Manmohan ji scored heavily here but lost on other counts). Secondly, someone who is young, who understands the game and its loopholes well - from the judiciary to business, politics to international affairs. Thirdly, someone who has enough money already, so we can skip the mandatory grace period for new scams. 98% population did not qualify by the time we got this far, as they were all poor.  

Next, we wanted someone who has the ability to firmly tell the biggest loudmouths in the land what to do and get the job done. This is an important requirement because our current leaders wanted something done and their team did something totally opposite (as we saw in the 2G case). We can’t have leaders wringing their hands silently all the time, we need them to wring the team members’ ears periodically. Of course our new leader must also understand budgets and must be proactive. 99% of our population was disqualified by now.
We searched for a leader who understands technology so he or she would not look foolish on the mobile or the laptop or facebook. Someone who could unite all four corners of the country – Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. We wanted someone who has the backing of the corporate world, who has the media eating out of his or her hands. We need someone who can speak well, look good and most importantly someone who is really good at what he or she is doing. We need someone who can work hard, late nights if necessary, and not fall asleep all day like some previous leaders. Preferably a face that everyone knows, a popular figure in India, and around the world.

As the computer checked and rechecked all its records, the range narrowed down drastically. By the time we were done with the entire lot we had only two people left for the Prime Minister’s job. M.S. Dhoni was one. Rich, popular, admired by all, internationally known, handles people well, handles media well, has most corporate houses behind him, understands growth, is good looking, articulate, firm, pretty much the guy we need. Only his economics could be suspect and we don’t know if he works into late hours. There was one other candidate that the computer threw up, as its obvious choice for Prime Minister, one who appeared to fulfil all conditions and who was completely in control of everyone and everything. Someone who goes by the name of N. Radia!