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Monday, June 7, 2010

Edition 24: Remembering Rajeev

'Yeh Bharat Desh hain , Humme ise ikkisvi sadi mein le jaana hain'. (This is India and we have to take it in 21st century) How many times in my formative years i had heard this. I used to do a reasonabaly well mimikri in my school repeating these lines, tone, accent. 21st century has completed its first decade , and we really are in it. For a middle class boy then aspirtaions were to grow into someone of repute, money and knowledge. And i hold Rajiv Gandhi one of the enabler of dreams of many people like myself. Though someone may attribute the growth of Indian IT to JRD/FC Kohli or someone may attribute liberalization window, someone may define it as windfall of Y2k. For me reasons of clear. Alongwith me , i have few noted economists agreeing to this.
1. Penetration of telecom with STD/ISD
2. Mid 80s construction boom leading to urbanization of cities like Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
3. (Though done not with honest intent) Creation of policy to encourage private educational institutes creating pool of engineers much needed to promote IT.
4. Focus on technology and many schemes encouraging govt funding for initiatives like STPI
I can dwelve upon each of above and impact of those policies on IT , but thats beyong point. Its about remembering a leader whom i liked genuinely.

Maybe then i was young but today its very hard to find any politician whom you can like. In current spectrum after retirement of A B Vajpayee and to an extent Thakaray, i personally dont feel worth of affection. (I am clear about word affection; It does not mean i support policies or the politics). Leaders like Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi, Vajpayee, Thakray, are liked by people. They have charishma. People look upto them to stand out and be with them in thick and thin.
They have humane face. Their politics or policies can be cricitisised but not their personna.
Thats what is missing today : a politician with personna. Rajiv Gandhi was much more than that. Though into politics by accident (calamity), he literally blazed onto scene. His speeches, youthy, energy was infectious. We never had so presentable, eloquent and dynamic PM.
That was the time when we like to be involved in National affairs. Reason being advent of DD with its high quality serials (though it was only option). We really felt together as a nation. Remember those national networks or run for countries (which we participated).
Politics declined with advent of characters like VP singh, Devilal etc .... People could not realte to them as person.Only respite was honest characters like Vajpayee and Manmohan singh.
I still remember that night on 21st May . That was the day i got to know about one of my greatest academic achievements. But as news poursed in (by means of one of my neighbours reading a board in local square), i was shocked. I felt my academic achievement is worthless as there is no one in country whom you can prove your capabilty. Those were the teen ages ;inexplicable not understanding that noone and nobody is indespensible and life goes on and on with or without anybody. Strange emotions that time. Today i can laugh over them equipped with lifes experiences, sarcasm /indifference/hate for politics and leadership. Maybe elders then could have felt that time also. But honestly i dont see today's teenager carrying same emotions for politicians (atleast not those i know of).
Rajiv was naive in politics and had to pay ultimate price for it. he also was tainted and back stabbed by those close. He also played a role of constructive opposition once down from PM post in 89 for almost and and half year.
Coming back to point i started that Indian IT has enabled many people to lead a life their parents would not even have imagined them to live. Entire middle class could aspire to get equipped with skills they can demonstrate on global scale and be part of mean world of Business which was restricted to few in old economy. In my community its rare to have someone who does not have immediate kin in US /UK or western world. In fact those who stay back out of choice have to face a stand out situation. And for me ,one of the enabler was Rajiv Gandhi. Point to be noted by all my peers in IT industry.
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