Who will be the next President of India ?
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]ith Election Commission announcing dates for the Presidential election, speculation will soon begin on the names of the next occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The last date for nomination is 28th of June and if necessary, the election will be held on 17th of July 2017. Many believe mistakenly that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah are more inclined to name an RSS strongman. Others, who are more measured, think that it will be a surprise candidate knowing Prime Ministers’ penchant for secrecy on top appointments.
The last non-political President “Missile Man” Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was indeed an inspiring figure known for simplicity, scientific knowledge and earned the title of “People’s President” in the way he conducted himself in the Office
If at all Mr Modi is looking for transformational leaders who are grounded in India’s great cultural heritage, strong believers of India’s rightful place in the world and unapologetic about articulating country’s pride, there are two exceptional talents down South – Ms Sudha Murty and Mr TV Mohandas Pai.
Humility, simplicity, generosity and exhaustive knowledge of Indian culture and ethos define both Ms Murty and Mr Pai. Both are self-made, unparalleled leaders on their own merit with exceptional biographies. Having risen from a humble background, both have a passion and commitment and have worked tirelessly to change and build a modern India. While Ms Murty is low profile and hardly makes appearances in media events, Mr Pai is remarkably media savvy and quite often seen in many leading business and cultural events, both locally and globally.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]M[/dropcap]s. Sudha Murty’s claim to fame was through a letter she wrote to JRD Tata on the hiring practices at TELCO better known as Tata Motors. Ms Murty fired a missive to JRD after seeing a job advertisement for trainee engineers that said: “women need not apply”. Soon after, TELCO could not ignore the talented engineer and decided to hire Ms Murty. At the age of forty-five, she started Infosys Foundation through which she has worked assiduously in the fields of education, rural development, and upliftment of women, tribal welfare and public hygiene. More importantly, the vision of Infosys Foundation matches that of Prime Minister Modi’s for the country on education and public hygiene. One of the early missions of Ms Murty was to ensure that every government school in Karnataka has a library and till date, the Foundation through its grants has built more than 60,000 such libraries. Long before Mr Modi’s call for “Swachh Bharat”, Ms Murty funded the building of toilets and sanitation projects. Many may not know that she is India’s widely read and most celebrated woman author with 24 books in Kannada and English to her credit. What might surprise Mr Modi is that she matches him in his work ethic – 6 AM in the office every day of the week including Sundays.
If Mr Modi is looking for a “Brand Ambassador” for all his slogans – Make in India, Startup India, Digital India, Sab Ka Saath Sab ka Vikas and Minimum Government and Maximum Governance to occupy Raisina Hill, indeed he needs to look no further than Mr TV Mohandas Pai. After all, a President’s job is to extol the virtues of the Government of the day and Mr Pai is a global yet local statesman who can accomplish this duty with aplomb. Mr Pai is well respected by both the business community and civic society. Mr Pai is multi-talented and versatile in his knowledge and experience, having served as the Chief Financial Officer of Infosys and as a Member of the Board of Directors of Infosys, he led Administration, Education and Research, Human Resources, and the Infosys Leadership Institute. Having recently co-founded Bengaluru Political Action Committee (BPAC), an organisation that is doing yeomen work for building ground capacity in Bengaluru in order to transform governance in local government. His flair and prodigious memory of data and statistics in several sectors of Indian economy, phenomenal knowledge on levels of economic growth and well grounded macroeconomic experience makes him an ideal champion for the Prime Minister’s economic agenda on transforming India.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]P[/dropcap]rime Minister Narendra Modi quite often talks about his vision for a new India. In most of his stump speeches, he urges youth of this country to contribute to India’s success on the world stage. It is time for Mr Modi to walk his talk. He must shed the standard practice of appointing old age politicians on the verge of retirement or plaint individuals who will be easy to deal with in times of political turbulence.
The last non-political President “Missile Man” Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was indeed an inspiring figure known for simplicity, scientific knowledge and earned the title of “People’s President” in the way he conducted himself in the Office. By choosing an inspirational and transformational leader such as Ms.Sudha Murty or Mr. TV Mohandas Pai, the Prime Minister and BJP Party President would set an example for the Office of President of India and send an optimistic message to the youth of this country and to leaders across the globe that India indeed is set to transform in the coming decades.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.