Atal Modi vs Rajiv Rahul

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by nrj, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The conclusion in last Saturday's National Interest ('Still Mandal, Still Mandir', IE, March 2, National Interest: Still Mandal, still Mandir - Indian Express) that India now waits for somebody to pull his forces out of the trenches and break the two-decade stalemate in politics with a big new idea, has brought forth some obvious questions: Who is that likely to be? What can be some such ideas? And what if the same stalemate continues? The first and the third are easier to answer. Only two leaders have the strength, appeal and political wherewithal to break this stalemate: Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. And of course, it will be a most fun election if they decided to do so and locked horns in a big ideas campaign.

    The third question, well, you ask any Congress leader and he will answer it with a smugness that comes from two terms in power and the old TINA (There Is No Alternative) arrogance. If the stalemate continues, the election will surely be fought on old issues, or mainly identity, which suits the Congress. It is a truism confirmed by the general pattern of our state and national elections since 1989, and was even reaffirmed in Obama's re-election last year, that in a diverse society, in an election defined by identity, the sum of all insecure and united minorities is often greater than the power of a usually divided majority. But while such a stale campaign may again bring some kind of a UPA to power, it is more likely to resemble 2004.

    The Congress has been in power politics much longer than any of its rivals. So it is more inclined to be satisfied with minimalistic possibilities as long as it stays in power. That is what you would often hear from the busybody apparatchiks and mandarins who dominate its top echelons (only four of the current 19-member CWC are Lok Sabha members, including Sonia and Rahul; of the rest, 9 are Rajya Sabha members, 5 former MPs, one ex-MLA): We can afford to lose 50, 60, or even 70 seats from 2009 and still retain power. There is merit in their cynical arithmetic. What is 200 for the BJP is 140 for them, because they are likely to be acceptable to many more allies. But there is one pre-requisite here: the election must be trapped in tired old issues, identity and social justice. New ideas must be kept out. Retaining power, howsoever diminished, is better than risking losing it. It also follows that such a weak coalition will totally preclude a Rahul Gandhi prime ministership in 2014. But the Congressmen do not care. They would prefer minimalistic realism to anything adventurous, risky, go-for-broke. But will Rahul Gandhi set the bar that low?

    There is also a lesson here for those in the BJP, particularly the semi-intellectual types who work its fringes. They have already declared a Modi victory. Just let Modi be our prime ministerial candidate, they say, it will polarise the electorate and we will win. There may be some merit in that, given that a Hindu upsurge post-1992 had given the party Uttar Pradesh and finally power in Delhi. But 2014 is different. In any case, building a temple can never have the same oomph as breaking a mosque. So this will be a risky strategy. It will, most likely, vindicate the Congress party's minimalists. Further, the rhetoric needed to fuel such polarisation will make it impossible to build a ruling coalition, post-elections. That became possible in the nineties because Atal Bihari Vajpayee's inclusive and non-threatening leadership won over, at least in crucial electoral regions, allies that would have normally stayed away from a leadership of the Hindu right. L.K. Advani and Vajpayee then complemented each other: one divided to win, the other subsequently charmed to unite. The party no longer has such talent.

    The onus, therefore, is on Modi to do something creative to break the stalemate or status quo that suits the Congress. His aggressive style, lampooning of rivals, choice of words, inflexion, delivery and sense of timing make him one of our most impressive orators in Hindi. But his message, so far, has only enthused the faithful. The BJP voters love him. But he knows that won't be enough. Elections are also not fought on the internet and Twitter. He will have to widen his message, consign dated grievances like appeasement of Muslims, fear of Pakistan, Christian conversions, mandir, even terrorism, to cold storage.

    Does he, then, have the intellectual depth and political sagacity to drop everything about him that his fans love but the more numerous others fear? Can he build a fresh new agenda around growth, development, entrepreneurship, good governance, equal opportunity and wealth creation? Some of his recent public speeches have suggested that, usual Congress-bashing apart, he is trying to smoothen his ruder edges. To put it simply, to win, he has to change the game, and for that, he needs an entirely new approach from the one that made him the unchallenged leader of Gujarat. I have often said that in 2004, aam aadmi of the Congress did not defeat the NDA's India Shining. It was a case of Modi defeating Vajpayee. Now, to get even with the Congress, his challenge is to become the new Vajpayee. It may sound unrealistic, but it seems now that he will give this a shot.

    Similar choices confront Rahul Gandhi. He can let things drift. He can presume he has time, and settle for a de-risked, "re-elect a truncated UPA" approach. He knows now that his original idea of rediscovering voters where Indira Gandhi found them has not worked: those voters have either moved on, or discovered their own leaders. He has the gift of youth and modernity and a party more faithful to the leader than any in the world, and that includes the Chinese communists. So he, too, can build a new agenda around reformist economics. There aren't many other issues left in the run-up to 2014. Both sides have the same view on terror, national security and foreign policy. A secular versus communal approach takes him back to the doldrums of 2004. But it may be different if he talks modern economics and invokes the globalised confidence of Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, rather than the great but now outdated ideas of Indira and Nehru.

    A stirring new election will then have a Modi reinventing himself as Vajpayee, a Rahul relaunching himself in the image of Rajiv and Manmohan Singh, both talking economic reform, growth, governance, equality and aspiration. Leave it, then, to the voter to decide who she finds more convincing.

    National Interest: Atal Modi vs Rajiv Rahul - Indian Express
     
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  3. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    Trust Shekhar gupta the media crook to compare the incomparable. The sense of fear is perceptible in his tacit acceptance of the shit India has landed into due to the Nehruvian vision of socialism which was worsened under Rajiv.

    Modi does not need to become Atal because Atal did appease to get into power. Rahul needs to find some eloquence of Rajiv. If Subramanium Swamy is to be believed Rahul can never be a PM due to his Italian citizenship.





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  4. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    If Subramanyam Swamy is to be believed, Muslims do not deserve right to vote.

    BJP needs to overcome TINA factor which fails them everytime otherwise UPA wouldn't have been in power for whole decade.
     
  5. Black Cats

    Black Cats Regular Member

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    Check the Indian Dual Citizenship Law....Anyone holding dual citizenship cannot contest elections in India. Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi both have contested & won the elections.

    So this criticism is baseless.
     
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  6. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    Indian citizen cannot become PM in Italy. Hence indian constitution does not permit an Italian to become Indian PM.


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  7. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    There is no quid pro quo in such cases. Can you quote some law on this ?

    Further to what @Black Cats said, there is no law saying that a naturalized citizen cannot become the PM.
     
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  8. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Modi is not Vajpayee and most importantly he does not need to be one.

    I support him for being Modi, not Vajpayee-wannabe.

    As for Rajiv-rahul..well that comparison only increased by antipathy for Rahul..
     
  9. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Can anybody in his sane mind think that low IQ guy Rahul Gandhi will ever become India's Prime Minister. The only reason his name is in the list and he is in a ceremonial post of Congress is that his mother is pushing for it.

    Congress would be better off to stop talking about him and find another candidate.

    Why the Congress leadership is supporting him is because they like those cushy positions at the center. They wish to retain those positions. Only way to retain those positions is to support Rahul Gandhi and continue to retain power.
     
  10. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://m.rediff.com/news/1999/apr/23gupta.htm

    Sonia Gandhi has been a serious contender for prime ministership since 1999. Should she ever realise her dreams, it could have grave repercussions for our republic and our political system. In my view, Sonia is ineligible for any high office for the simple reason that her citizenship is conditional and subject to cancellation if she were to violate the stipulations laid down in the Citizenship Act, 1955.

    Further, unlike natural-born Indians (citizens by birth) who are citizens of the first class, Sonia occupies a much lower rung in the hierarchy of citizens that exists under this law. The main points of difference are as follows:

    Under this law, a person who is born in India and either of whose parents is a citizen of India, is a citizen of India by birth. A person born outside India and either of whose parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth, is a citizen of India by descent.

    Citizens by birth become citizens of India with the first breath of life and retain it, if they so desire, till their last breath. They do not 'apply' for citizenship. Nor do they have to file an affidavit swearing allegiance to the Constitution of India or take an oath in this regard before an Oath Commissioner. Their allegiance to the Indian Constitution is taken for granted. Finally, no force on earth can deprive them of their Indian citizenship. Even if a citizen by birth is found guilty of treason, he cannot be deprived of his citizenship.

    He can be jailed for life or hanged but his citizenship cannot be tinkered with. That is why citizens by birth are citizens of the first class. Since citizenship is a fundamental qualification for holding public office in any country, citizens by birth are eminently suited for high constitutional offices.

    Foreigners who marry citizens of India and are ordinarily resident in India can apply for Indian citizenship under Section 5 of this Act. If granted citizenship, and this is subject to 'conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed', they are known as citizens by registration.

    Other foreigners who make India their home and seek Indian citizenship become naturalized citizens if their applications are accepted. Under Section 6 of the Act, where an application is made in a prescribed manner by such a foreigner, the Central Government can grant the certificate of naturalisation, if it is satisfied that the applicant is qualified as per the provisions outlined in the Third Schedule to the Act. The Third Schedule lays down several qualifications for naturalisation of a foreigner like Sonia Gandhi and under this Act, it is on the incumbent Central Government to ensure the following..


    a.

    that the applicant is not a subject or citizen of any country where citizens of India are prevented by law or practice of that country from becoming subjects or citizens of that country by naturalisation;


    b.

    that if he is a citizen of any country, he has renounced the citizenship of that country in accordance with the law therein in force in that behalf and has notified such renunciation to the Central Government;
    c.
    that he is of good character


    d.

    that he has adequate knowledge of a language specified in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

    These are just some of the stipulations. There are a few more. But the point to note is that foreigners who seek Indian citizenship either under Section 5 (citizens by registration) or Section 6 (citizens by naturalisation) need to formally apply for citizenship, swear allegiance to the Constitution of India and convince the Central Government that they have the qualifications outlined in the Act before they are granted citizenship. Further, the government is bound by this law to ensure that the conditions and restrictions imposed on an applicant is similar to the conditions and restrictions imposed on Indians seeking registration or naturalisation in the applicant's country of origin.

    The Indian Citizenship Act demands reciprocity both in respect of citizens by registration and citizens by naturalization. Section 5 of the Act says that the Government has the power to impose conditions and restrictions on such foreigners who seek Indian citizenship following marriage to Indian citizens. Further, while prescribing these conditions and restrictions, the Central Government 'shall' have due regard to the conditions subject to which citizens of India may, by law or practice of that country, become citizens of that country by registration.

    What this means is that if a citizen of Italy were to marry a citizen of India and seek Indian citizenship, the conditions and restrictions imposed on such a person under the Citizenship Act 'shall' be reciprocal. In other words the Central Government is duty bound under this law to examine the political and other rights conferred on an Indian citizen who marries an Italian, resides in Italy and seeks Italian citizenship, and thereafter determine the 'conditions and restrictions' to be imposed on the Italian who applies for Indian citizenship.

    Finally, the clincher. The Citizenship Act outlines the circumstances in which both citizens by registration and citizens by naturalisation can be deprived of their citizenship.

    Section 10 of the Act says citizenship can be withdrawn if the government is satisfied that:


    a.

    the registration or certificate of naturalisation was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact ; or


    b.

    the citizen has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal or disaffected towards the Constitution of India as by law established; or


    c.
    the citizen has, during any war in which India may be engaged unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in, or associated with, any business that was to his knowledge carried on in such manner as to assist an enemy in that war; or


    d.
    the citizen has, within five years after registration or naturalisation, been sentenced in any country to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years; or


    e.
    the citizen has been ordinarily resident out of India for a continuous period of seven years.

    But this is not all. Under Section 17, those who acquire citizenship through false representations can be punished with imprisonment extending up to six months or with fine or with both.

    Therefore, unlike one billion Indian citizens by birth, who can never be deprived of their citizenship, Sonia Gandhi will have to constantly look over her shoulder and guard against her citizenship being challenged on any of the grounds listed in Section 10.

    (To know more about this law see annexure II)
    Also, a close reading of the Act shows that her political and civic rights will always be dependent on the political and civic rights enjoyed by Indians who seek Italian citizenship.

    Those who say Sonia Gandhi can be Prime Minister are obviously unaware of, or are unwilling to acknowledge, the vulnerability of certain 'citizens' like her under the Citizenship Act. India cannot possibly be comfortable with a Prime Minister whose citizenship is conditional, whose citizenship can be challenged and even withdrawn under certain circumstances. More, a citizen whose status becomes dependent on the vagaries of Italy's citizenship and naturalisation laws!

    The current legal position obviously provides space for mischief where even persons with 'conditional' citizenship can head the government or occupy other constitutional offices.

    This loophole needs to be plugged at the earliest through a simple amendment of Citizenship Act, which makes certain public offices out of bounds for 'conditional' citizens.

    Until this 'blackhole' in India's citizenship law is plugged, 'citizens' like Sonia Gandhi will continue to display the temerity to aspire for the office of Prime Minister in the world's most populous and vibrant democracy. Persons like Sonia Gandhi, incidentally, are doubly blessed. A perusal of the Italian Constitution shows that she can aspire to be the Prime Minister of Italy as well. Article 51 (3) of the Italian Constitution says: "Italians who do not belong to the Republic can be placed on par with resident citizens in the matter of admission to public office and elective positions." A proviso to this Article seeks to remove all ambiguity when it says: "The law may extend this right to persons who are Italians from an ethical viewpoint but who are not citizens of the Republic."





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  11. Black Cats

    Black Cats Regular Member

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    I'm not sure on Italian Law, I think u are close by & u might have more knowledge than me. I can only talk on Indian Laws.
     
  12. Black Cats

    Black Cats Regular Member

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    Rahul Gandhi has already spoken that he is not a Prime Minister candidate for 2014. I go for P Chidambaram as he is more capable leader at present.
     
  13. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Thanks for this. It appears that Sonia Gandhi (and any other naturalized citizen) can become PM of India, but their Citizenship can be questioned/revoked depending on situations by invoking discretionary powers.

    To add to this, as long as there is discretionary power, she is under no stress but she played it safe.
     
  14. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Nandan Nilekani is the dark horse.
     
  15. Black Cats

    Black Cats Regular Member

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    A very long one....huh

    Sorry, was not able to post the link of the article due to post restriction, but google President Kalam & Sonia Gandhi & u will find this article in 'The Hindu' website.

    Excerpts from the article:
    President reveals that his office had readied a letter inviting Ms. Gandhi to form the government as Prime Minister but that she surprised him by nominating Manmohan Singh in her place.


    My views:
    If she wants it, she could have got it in 2004, but its true tht whole country was divide on this issue & she played it smart by nominating Mr. Manmohan Singh for Prime Ministership. This shows she never craves to be PM. Even she was not ready to come in Politics after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. If u remember, Congress had a very bad phase in late 90s, but after she joined Congress got revived.

    Rahul is still young & his more focus is on building youth & make them join politics. Only last month he took a greater responsibility in Congress party. He is still in a learning curve, I see him developing in next 5-10 years, but won't be surprise if he quits politics after he fills Congress with 100s of quality national leaders.
     
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  16. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    He talking about by the virtue of Law of Reciprocity.

    PS: Whether She requires that virtue or is exempted is not I am here to debate.
     
  17. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Sonia Gandhi could have become PM in 2004. She avoided the drama. You have Kalam on record.
     
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  18. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Both Atal and Modi are genuine post gradusates. Rahul has phony degrees which are no longer shown in CV as MP.
     
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  19. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    He has twisted tongues,he was the one who went rajapakshe and congratulated him for genocide
     
  20. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well both sonai and rahul knows power of kingmaker. then why become king

    if anything happens good then its under leadership of sonai /rahul

    if it goes bad then concern minister was responsible and he is removed

    have power but no responsibility

    and about IE less said better
     
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  21. nrupatunga

    nrupatunga Senior Member Senior Member

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    Interesting choice. But am not sure if he can really play ball (dumb) over a long period. Unless he is put under a lot of pressure, he may resign soon over any differences with various political vested interests.Or will he.............

    If really such outsiders are to be considered, am thinking of one more guy. How about sachin tendulkar, no need of holding RS elections as well.
     

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