- Both run their businesses with nothing above barely-there competency.
- Both have flirted with bankruptcy. And both are tax dodgers.
Indian politics has plenty of issues. Corruption, "Mera Baap Kaun Hain, Pata Hain?" and the absolute incompetence of most of our 'leaders'. However, till now one of the few persons who had little hope of leading a country was a tax-dodging, high-flying, model-loving, big-life living semi-competent business tycoon. After all, things had not come so far in this country...yet.
But now that President Trump is a reality, Vijay Mallya can honestly dream a little. If one of these two can run the world's oldest democracy, surely the other can hold a glimmer of hope for the world's largest democracy.
As noted above, the similarities between the two are aplenty. Both led super-sized lives filled with models young enough to be their daughters, big yachts and villas. Both claim to be the 'King of Good Times'. Both run their businesses with nothing above barely-there competency. Both have flirted with bankruptcy. And both are tax dodgers.
It is somewhat stunning to see that in America, apparently, anyone can become the next President. It does not actually require any proof of ability or experience in politics or even strong party affiliations. It just requires you to desire it - apparently.
And since this is India, it is inevitable that a large section of the young and confused (the same ones who wish India has a dictatorship for a short while) will start forwarding Whatsapp messages about how in India too, we need a system where 'anyone' can come to power.
Thankfully, we do not have such a system. For all of its flaws, the party system at least requires one to prove that politics is one's chosen career, not a whim taken up by bored billionaires.
This is not to say billionaires should not be in politics; they are free to do so. But they shouldn't be allowed to do so just because their wealth allows them to take a few years off from work.
Though India does not have a role quite like the President (The Prime Minister is far stronger than the President), any position which involves someone politically representing the country requires years of (at least theoretically) public service.
One has to become a 'known' face, contest various elections, work to rise in the rankings of one's chosen party and all of that. One cannot just get up one day and decide to be the leader of the nation, and voila.
So if you are one of those who is suddenly wondering if this can be possible in India, consider this - if this did happen in India, then it would be PM Vijay Mallya.
Shudder at the thought.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:41 PM IST