Something very special and unimaginable till recently, happened in India last week.
The most populous state of India (over 200 million inhabitants), the State of Uttar Pradesh (UP), got its youngest Chief Minister (who is all of 38 years old) in history. UP State would rank as the fifth most populous country in the world, were it a separate country.
There appeared to be a tug of war within the party which won the state elections, seems like the most powerful legislators wanted the father of the young man to be elected as the Chief Minister. Old habits die hard. Things continue in perpetuity in a country like India. Old politicians continue in their game for almost forever.
However, this time the father differed from the party politics and its thinking. He convinced the party that the State of UP indeed requires “fresh” blood to drive its agenda and become successful, not just in politics but in industry.
This is new-age thinking by an older generation of politicians. Increasingly it is happening across the political and business spectrum in India. For instance, younger generation is taking over the business mantle in many of the family-run industrial houses. The average age of CEOs is dropping and will continue to drop as youngsters now wish to control their own destiny and seem to be well qualified for the job.
The new Chief Minister of UP State is an engineer by profession and has a MBA to boot. He conducted the electioneering across his vast state in some new ways, influencing the campaign in a significant manner and defeating the strong incumbent party. It shows that the electorate are not averse to old parties adopting new thinking and new ways to connect with them. They listen to the campaign messages carefully and evaluate the commitments of the various parties before making an informed decision about who they wish to vote for.
Great, that is exactly what India needs in bigger measure as we progress as a nation.
Of course, we have to wait and see how the new young Chief Minister is able to transform his state and develop it with his new way of thinking and operating. He might yet get pulled down by party politics and politicking. But, he might also be smart given his pedigree and background in higher education. He uses the latest tech gadgets and is dependent on analytical data so one can surely expect some significant changes.
It is always important to recognize fresh talent who wish to contribute to the country, even if that talent belongs to an established party. The people only hope that things will improve under the new dispensation, and they will ensure that non-performing parties will be dismissed in due course. You get five years and nothing more.
All the very best to the young Chief Minister,
18th March 2012