Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Narayana Murthy & Politics

Recently, the First Prime Minister of Singapore and one of its most influential leaders Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, on his trip to India asked Mr. N R Narayana Murthy to join politics to transform the Nation, just the way he did with IT industry. [In a way, the background was perfect given the highly popular - "Gowda v/s Narayana Murthy"] It'd be really interesting to see if it turns out to be true. Period.

Here's what Neerja Chowdhury (click here to read complete article)has to say about this case :
"Unfortunately, even after winning elections, many ‘politician professionals’ are more disappointing than ‘professional politicians’. Few are able to give politics their time, they’re unable to sense people’ needs or identify with them."

She goes on to say:

What, then, is the chance for the likes of Narayana Murthy to reshape the country’s politics, by joining it? As individuals on their own, very little. As individuals in parties? It would depend on the role the party decides to assign them. There could certainly be an increased role for them in the government structure to ensure better delivery and governance. To build a new party? Not so easy. Their conditioning largely limits them to middle class concerns. And building a new party, which even someone like V.P. Singh balked at, at the peak of his popularity, requires skills of a different kind and a staying power professionals have not demonstrated in politics.

That “better” people should come into politics goes without saying. But this calls for the reform of the party system. Reform will happen only when parties agree. It cannot be done by individuals. For the moment, Narayana Murthy and his ilk are probably better off where they are.

Interesting thoughts these - and interestingly the day I read the news about Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's views, the same day (Nov. 19th), I was talking to Dr. Bagga, and he asked me if I would like to join him to attend a lecture by Dr. Alexander on "Reforming Political Parties in India" and I gladly accepted. I think this is my second visit to Bella Vista, one of the many palaces in Hyderabad which is taken over by the ASCI (Administrative Staff College of India) for their Head Quarters. First time was when I went to listen to Mr. Arun Shourie before he joined the BJP. So, in the next post I shall present the ideas that Dr. Alexander had to say. May not be really special but then worth considering and brooding.

What reforms should happen with the Political Parties to ensure that the "better" people get into Politics? Shall be dealt with later. For now, adieu.


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