Rajiv Gandhi was the real pioneer of ‘Digital India.’
By Hasnain Naqvi, Mumbai
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi on his 73rd birth anniversary today! A reluctant politician, Rajiv Gandhi was catapulted to the top post by sheer destiny after the ghastly assassination of his mother on the sunny morning of 31 October 1984. The nation plunged into many areas of darkness within the next couple of hours with outbreak of plague-like-violence against the Sikhs.
Though inexperienced, he started well as a man with a vision for taking India into the 21st century. A young man he understood the needs and aspirations of the youth and used technology to usher India into a technologically advanced nation of the world.
He laid the foundations of the Telecom and Computers heralding the Communication Revolution. He also sowed the seeds of liberalisation of Indian economy.
The Anti-defection law, lowering of the voting age to 18 years, the Assam Accord, the Pact signed with Laldenga, the New Education Policy and the Panchayati Raj were the other feathers in his cap.
He was also instrumental in making India count as an emerging power in the comity of nations through his dynamic foreign policy. However, he became a victim of circumstances partly because of his inexperience and partly due to the coterie around him.
The ill-advised decision on Shah Bano case followed by the opening of the gates of Babari Masjid-Ramjanbhoomi marked the beginning of his decline.
The nail in the coffin was the Bofors bribery allegations. Unfortunately, the decision to send the Indian Peace Keeping Force to Sri Lanka to tackle the LTTE imbroglio boomeranged on him and he paid a heavy price in his tragic death.
Had he lived longer, perhaps he would have led the country to its glory through his dynamic leadership and vision. Alas, that was not to be! Rajiv Gandhi will be remembered in history as a sincere leader who loved his country and its people and tried his best to lead the country to the 21st century!
Shakeel Hussain argues in solidarity with Hasnain Naqvi’s tribute to former Prime MInister of India. Yes indeed. It is he who can be credited with the ushering of the digital India. He enlisted a technocrat Sam Pitroda to head the communications revolution and gave him a free hand to execute the policy. He was also a democrat. Even though the Congress party emerged as the single largest party in the1989 elections with 198 seats he declined to form the government though he was invited by the President first. Rather than the coterie I think that he was misled by Arun Nehru his political advisor whom he trusted a lot. This fact is corroborated by the events subsequent to his defeat when Arun Nehru switched loyalties.