Good luck to Nandan Nilekani in his bid for a parliamentary seat. Hope he can spearhead a change for the better!
Nandan Nilekani has just announced that he will be a candidate for a seat in India’s lower house of parliament in the upcoming general elections which have to be held by the end of May 2014. The news report said that he would be running on a Congress ticket from south Bangalore. I received this information with mixed feelings. Let me explain.
I was initially very happy to hear of his decision to run for a parliamentary seat. We need more parliamentarians who are intelligent, professional, have gravitas, and most of all are honest. These are all qualities I believe Nandan Nilekani has. Perhaps he will be a role model and attract other people with this kind of background and values to participate actively in politics and change the political landscape of our country. This is something we very, very badly need.
So why the mixed feelings? Once the initial euphoria of receiving the news had subsided, I began to wonder whether and what he could achieve as a member of parliament? I wondered whether the corrupt politicians and the corrupt political parties that rule the Indian political map would allow an honest politician to bring about change, as it is not at all in their interest to do so. Would they tolerate the possibility or would they undermine his efforts or worse still do away with him?
In the past, and I don’t mean the distant past, politicians who have tried to bring change and opposed the entrenched vested interests, the establishment if you will, have conveniently met their demise in “accidents”. I hope I am wrong, and I hope Nandan Nilekani can be the spearhead that ushers in a new era in Indian politics. I wish him all the very best.