Sunday, July 08, 2007

Chandra Sekhar, former Indian Prime Minister: An Obituary

By John Cheeran
One of the main privileges that an Indian Prime Minister gets is a final resting place at prime real estate in New Delhi. Chandra Sekhar ensured that in the nervous 1990s, by discarding the political position he had taken hitherto, to become India’s 11th Prime Minister, using the crutches offered by Rajiv Gandhi and L K Advani.
Chandra Sekhar is no more with us.
The one time Young Turk lost his fight to cancer and has embarked on his final journey.
Tradition is that one must not speak ill about those who have left us. But truth is that Chandra Sekhar’s political career was, in the end, an irredeemable tragedy. No pill could cure his loneliness; no pill could restore his thwarted ambitions.
Chandra Sekhar’s tragedy is that though he realized his lifelong ambition by becoming Prime Minister of India, none recalls him as such a man. History did not forgive him so easily.
Chandra Sekhar scored a pyrrhic victory when he became the PM at the fall of Vishwnath Pratap Singh’s government. He never won a mandate to become India’s Prime Minister.
What happened to the Young Turk’s secular credentials when LK Advani’s BJP withdrew their support when VP Singh stopped the Rath Yatra?
It is a travesty that obituaries that churned out by agencies and newspapers today extol the departed leader’s secular credentials and ideals. Like most of the Indian politicians, what acted as the soul force for Chandra Sekhar too, was the maddening allure of power.
Chandra Sekhar became what he sought all along his political pilgrimage. To his credit, it must be said that he displayed the nous to reinvent himself at the crisis points of Indian parliamentary history. As a Congressman, he was in a hurry to break free from Indira Gandhi’s fold but was too young to become Prime Minister (with stalwarts such as Morarji Desai calling the shots) when Janata party swept to power in the post-emergency elections held in 1979.
With in the next 10 years, in 1989, Chandra Sekhar reached the end of his political tether when VP Singh stole the thunder as the Congress dissident, a role Chandra Sekhar played without enough success during Indira’s time. Chandra Sekhar was pushed to the sidelines as the intrigue for Prime Minister’s seat was played out between Devi Lal, Chandra Sekhar and VP Singh. Though the electoral victory of the anti-Congress front was shaped by VP Singh, Chandra Sekhar believed that he had an inalienable right to lead the country.
Chandra Sekhar was forced to wait, and his day did come.


Atul said...

He was great man and leader like him will remain as an idol in the youth of every india

Atul Shukla said...

A great leader who never compromised with his ideology and thoughts.he was a real youth leader who showed the the path of ethics and value in politics but like Shiva he had to drink the poison of liberalization of economy ,though he was a face of socialism then.

he was the best leader ruled at a critical

karthikeyan said...

A great man! A role model for me when I was in teens!

John Cheeran at Blogged