By political guru
Once upon a time lived an Irish priest, an evangelist with a singular mission to spread the word of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The father adjudicated his his sacred duty with aplomb, bringing in large numbers of faithful into the fold.
His one vice was that he enjoyed smoking. Once, he was caught in an aircraft trapped in a whirlpool of tempestuous weather and was the lone survivor. He offered fervent thanks to the Lord. An angel appeared and whispered, "Father your life would have been snapped today, but the Lord willed you survive so that you may spread His word. But for this you need to give up the vice of smoking." The priest with misty eyes and profound gratitude accepted the lifeline and eschewed the habit.
Years later in a hospital at Dublin, he cast his mortal remains as he was inflicted with the lethal disease of COPD.
Life has a way of balancing out our antipathetic and efficacious deeds.
Meanwhile, several Indian politicians have lost their lives to the clutches of aviation crashes, not being as fortituous as the Irish priest.
Minister of Industries, Mohan Kumar Mangalam perished in an aviation tragedy on 30 May, 1973. The sprightly Youth Congress leader and Gandhi scion, who became infamous for forced sterilisations and was one of the architects of the Emergency, capitulated to a plane crash on 23 June, 1980. G.M.C. Balayogi, former speaker of Lok Sabha and Dalit voice of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) died in a chopper crash on March 3, 2002. More recently the charismatic Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr Y.S.R. Reddy succumbed in an aviation tragedy on 2 September, 2009.
This was after the well liked and favoured, pro-people and pro-farmer politician had scripted two sensational victories. He had garnered a sizeable contingent of Members of Parliament, that helped pitchfork the amiable Dr Manmohan Singh into the Prime Minister's seat, both in 2004 and 2009.
Upon the tragic demise of this magical and alluring leader of Andhra Pradesh, a friend asked a noteworthy and estimable politician of Andhra Pradesh if YSR's political baton would be passed on to his son, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
"The prized possession is determined by the elusive high command, " was the desultory reply.
As events panned out K. Rossiah was announced as the Chief Minister, followed by Kiran Kumar Reddy .
Governance was at a discount, two States were formed and there was outright anarchy. The ebullient Young Turk, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy quit the party and formed the YSR Congress.
The Indian National Congress (INC) haunted by policy paralysis and crippling political initiatives at the centre and state surrendered the initiative to satraps like Chandrababu Naidu and K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR).
Telangana was swept by KCR and Andhra Pradesh TDP wrested Andhra Pradesh by a whisker, thanks to the support lent by the fledgling Jana Sena floated by Pawan Kalyan, the actor turned politician and powered by the Modi wave in 2014 . The Congress had ignored the aspirations and formidable talent of Young Turks at its own peril, accommodating those owing allegiance to the dynasty.
Today, post the recently concluded Assembly Polls, a similar story seems to be unravelling.
Kamalnath has edged out Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh and the 'high command' has swung in in favour of Ashok Gehlot over Sachin Pilot . Sachin, took his time to back off, creating a piquant situation for the Gandhi scion. But eventually the will of the 'high command' prevailed.
The time has come for the Congress scion Rahul Gandhi to permit youngsters to hold responsible positions thus allow talent to flourish.That has been the secret of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It unleashed energetic young leaders at the central and state levels. Be it PM Modi, Shiv Raj Chauhan, Vadundhara Raje, Nitin Gadkari, Devendra Fadnavis ,Sushma Swaraj ,Arun Jaitley among others. The list is endless and also provides appropriate political optics. It must be said though, that the time has come for the BJP to look at younger leaders now.
Though the Gandhi scion pays lip service to the promotion of young talent in the party, perhaps the caveat in his mind is that they may find their place in the radiant political sun only when he alone ( once the original dynast but no Young Turk!) manages to clamber into the driver's seat of governance.
Let us not forget the original Young Turk, Chandrashekar who scaled the summit to become the Prime Minister of India.
One ignores a fresh pairs of legs-- in any field-- only at the team's peril. This is the resounding message, which seems to be falling upon deaf ears.