India's future: An ugly little man with a lap-top

The "ugly man" regardless, perhaps we should feel privileged that the Independent, a British newspaper, has at least put the above headline on its front page at a time when most publications rarely mention the elections taking place in the world's biggest democracy.

So who's the "ugly man with a lap-top"? Described by a political rival as a man who looks "like a pickpocket at a bus stop", he is none other than Andhra Pradesh's Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. As anyone who has been to India recently will know, Naidu's achievements are becoming somewhat legendary in urban circles. In a short space of time, he has given Bangalore, the hitherto undisputed Silicon City of India, a run for its money by turning Hyderabad into Cyberabad. He has enticed the likes of Oracle, IBM and Microsoft to his state. Roads are being widened and repaired all over the state, and Hyderabad has got 34 new flyovers.

Mercifully enough, Mr Naidu is also very aware that nearly 60% of his people are illiterate, and only by transforming the prospects of the poor farmers can he hope to change things. He has created a "people-centred development process" to make the government sensitive to the needs of the smallest village.

However, Mr Naidu faces a huge challenge in the current elections. His reformist zeal, so beloved of the World Bank (it approved a loan of $540 million to the state, the first to India after sanctions were imposed following the nuclear tests), has resulted in higher taxes, higher bus fares, higher water and electricity charges and lower subsidies for farmers....  No wonder the Congress promises the opposite - free power, cancellation of unpaid bills and other political gimmickry. Further, by aligning himself with the BJP, Mr Naidu has alienated the Muslims.

Peter Popham, the author of the article, was travelling in Mr Naidu's helicopter on the campaign trail. And it is in Naidu's hands, according to Mr Popham, that India's future rests. Why so? Because, "if hope [ie, Naidu] loses, India will remain India and the eternal connoisseurs of muck and mysticism can sleep easy". And if hope wins, "all India may start to change in the same way: the enormous vessel will ponderously begin to alter course".

In what was a fairly balanced article, the only problem was the headline: "an ugly man with a lap-top". Is the issue what he looks like? Can you imagine a western newspaper describing its own politician as "ugly"? Just in case you were wondering, the Independent is not a tabloid that it has the dubious privilege of indulging in imbecilic name-calling. And moreover, if the person in question was female, can you imagine the headline instead, "an ugly woman with a lap-top"?
  Read more 


- Chetan Dhruve in London
  1999

We appreciate your feedback
Name is required
Email is required
Contact is required
Thank you for contacting us
articles  More articles
The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

Tourism information and packages for your holiday

Know More   

More Indian Cultural Links

Famous Paintings
Famous Paintings

Find out the history of Indian painting
Know more

Symbols
Symbols

Find the list of National Symbols of India
Know more

Languages
Languages

Find the list of Languages
Know more

Facts about India
Facts about India

Information about India
Know more

Statistics of India
Statistics of India

Statistical information of India
Know more

Tourism
Tourism

Tourism information and packages for your holiday
Know more

Indian parenting
Indian parenting

Indian parenting resources
Know more

Welcome to America
Welcome to America

Offers resourceful information for people new to America
Know more

Immigration
USA Immigration

In this channel you will find immigration information in the USA
Know more

Travel insurance
Indian travel insurance

Overseas travel insurance offered by Indian companies
Know more

US travel insurance
US travel insurance

International travel insurance offered by American companies
Know more

Indian baby names
Indian baby names

Popular Indian baby names
Know more

indian fables and tales
Indian fables and tales

Indian fables, Jataka tales, Hitopadesha, Panchatantra
Know more

Indian diaspora
Indian diaspora

Indians around the globe !
Know more

Indian diaspora
Health tools!

Tools for healthy living!
Know more

Return to India
Return to India

It has resourceful information for people who are planning to return to India
Know more

news

NRIOL.COM, the premier online community since 1997 for the Indian immigrant community provides a range of resourceful services for immigrants and visitors in America.

CONTACT

NRI Online Pvt. Ltd.

Phone: +918041101026

Email:

Estd. 1997 © Copyright NRI Online Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved worldwide.