Is Jayalalithaa a future PM?
There have been very few political leaders in our country who have had clarity on various issues. Ever since I was a kid, I have always liked listening to various political functionaries. This period of my special interest in political leaders began in the mid sixties. I specify this because Indira Gandhi onwards, I have tried to keep a close watch on many of our top bosses. I never hesitate to admit that Indira Gandhi continues to be my all time favourite and I do not think any leader, past or present can match her political acumen and skills. Yes, she may have had faults like most humans but the kind of clarity she had, not many who have reached high offices can claim to possess.
Babu Jagjivan Ram was also a leader who spoke with so much of conviction that no one could help but admire him. I do remember his Ramlila ground address after he broke away from the Congress to form his Congress for Democracy in February, 1977. It was after his speech that the fear factor of the emergency vanished. A few days earlier, Jaya Prakash Narayan had spoken from the same dais at the same venue but his communication skills were not the same as Babuji’s though he was a great leader. There are many who feel that had Jagjiwan Ram been made the Prime Minister instead of Morarji Desai, Indira Gandhi’s comeback would been very difficult.
Rajiv Gandhi was groomed well but it was only when he was out of power, his understanding of various issues confronting the Nation became sharper. As the Prime Minister, he did take many path breaking steps but he did ultimately realise that there is no substitute for experience.
There was Chandrashekhar, the original Young Turk. When he used to speak, it was from the heart and he touched a chord everywhere. There was no ambiguity on what he said and he needed no advisers to tell him what to say and when to say. He had graduated with flying colours from the school of Real Politik and could have been a very popular Prime Minister only if he had been a mass leader too. Ramakrishna Hegde was also seen at one time as a potential Prime Minister but he lost out because of his diversionary interests.
Lal Kishen Advani led the BJP to its peak and in the early nineties, if after Chandrashekhar there was someone who had exceptional clarity, it was him. That was the phase when Govindacharya was amongst his trusted group of people and Advani of today is not a patch on Advani of the early 90s. He had left Atal Behari Vajpayee far behind and though there were many who did not endorse his ideological beliefs, yet no one could doubt that he had the potential of being a Prime Minister. But destiny willed otherwise and lesser mortals like H.D.Deva Gowda etc occupied the august office.
Since than there has been no one with the same kind of clear worldview for a long time. However, the other day, I watched J Jayalalithaa the Tamil Nadu chief minister’s interview with Arnab Goswami on Times Now. To say that I was totally bowled over with her exceptional communicating skills will be an understatement. She has so much clarity and such deep understanding of crucial issues, she can easily be a big-ticket player if destiny so wills. It was one of the finest interviews I have watched on the TV and there is no doubt in my mind that no present leader in any political party has the kind of clarity she has. There maybe people who may accuse her of megalomania and being obsessed with Tamil Nadu etc but she is one person who has all the making of what it takes to be both the leader of the Nation and a Statesman. This only time and destiny will determine even though there may be not many who may share my view on her. She appears to be a woman of substance and after Indira Gandhi may be a no nonsense Prime Minister if she gets a chance. It is evident that she understands politics well and I do share her belief that a lot of things can happen in a not too distant future and much before 2014. I do not know her but have watched her political career evolve. But she was too good on the TV and I am highly impressed with her.