August 18, 2010

the most-suited pm material: Rahul yes, Modi ok, Manmohan no no

I talked about India Today survey earlier. Let me talk of one important finding of the survey. People gave the following response to 'Who in your opinion would be best suited to become the prime minister of India?'
  • Rahul Gandhi:   got 29% votes
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee: 16% votes
  • Sonia Gandhi: 13% votes
  • Narendra Modi: 9% votes
  • LK Advani: 7% votes
  • Mayawati: 5% votes
  • Manmohan Singh: 1% votes [He comes after many CMs and his own cabinet ministers!]
Distribution among different categories was fairly evenly spread, except that Vajpayee and Modi were less preferred by Christians and Muslims while in case of Sonia Gandhi, it was the opposite. More males voted in favor of Modi and Rahul while more women voted in favor of Sonia.

Do look at the list of  contenders for the top six slots. Vajpayee is sick and has been out of active politics for quite some time and yet he is the second choice. Sonia is way down Rahul though she is credited with 'aam aadmi' [=common man] initiatives taken by the UPA governments. Narendra Modi eclipses the top BJP leader, Advani. Mayawati's dalit politics and her attitude gets her only there, no further. If toughness counts, why are Advani and Maya so low? If humility and grace count, why is Manmohan the 13th in the list?

So, what in politicians charms people? Lineage:yes, so Rahul and Sonia get some votes. Statesmanly charm: yes, Vajpayeee scores here and Rahul gets some. The sense that they are in control of things: this must have given  Modi a great lot of votes, also so Sonia and maybe Mayawati.

Oratory also seem to have a good place in giving politicians good marks: Vajpayee and Modi must have had good gain on this count.

Humility without confidence seems to be a big no no. Manmohan is battered for this image while from his own cabinet, Pranab and Chidambaram get some points for being seen as people with 'content' more than Manmohan. Even Manmohan's personal integrity [which should otherwise have got him high ranking] could not help when he was seen [perhaps] as a political weakling.

So, my advice to Rahul would be: be as social, raise 'aam aadmi' issues and also provide solutions to them, improve oratory in terms of presentation, emotional appeal as well as content. Be firm and committed, intellectually.

Modi ji, you have the guts to beat Rahul, provided you reduce the vitriol in your speeches a bit and add some more content. Add some grace to your overall demeanour. Learn to take on Gandhi family, congress etc with more grace. You are almost there.

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