What PM Vajpayee would say.
Amidst all the despondency surrounding paralysis in governance, a clueless opposition, and laments of dysfunctional politics, here is Arun Shourie recounting how Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee as Prime Minister would handle tricky situations in his cabinet.
Time and again, Mr. Vajpayee had to, and did risk opposition, time and again he staked the continuance of the Government on a proposal. Again and again, colleagues in the Cabinet would argue, “But this will cost us votes… It will alienate such and thus section… People don’t understand the reasons for our pressing ahead with this…,” and he would respond, “To unhe samjhaanaa chaahiye… Desh ke prati bhi hamara kuch daayitva hai” – “Then, we should explain things to them… We have a duty towards the country also…”[Link]
This is not to make the case that Mr Vajpayee always succeeded in pushing the right things through in the NDA government. But at least he had the right idea. Even that sense of doing the right thing seems to be missing across the complete political spectrum today. We seem to have hit the rock-bottom. That actually gives me some hope. After we hit rock bottom, there is only one way left to go and that is up!
Or as Harivansh Rai Bachchan famously wrote: Hai andheri raat par diyaa jalaana kab manaa hai [The night is dead dark but no one stops you from lighting a lamp.]
On that optimistic note, here is to wishing each one of you a prosperous and happy Deepawali!