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305. What Indian political pundits should learn from Pope Francis election

March 14, 2013

Everyone including me made predictions and speculated about three names to be the successor to Benedict 16th as the 266th Pope. The three names that were considered front-runners by most Vaticanista were of Scola, Scherer and Ouellet. However, the outcome was a real dark horse which has taken most of the catholic world by happy surprise.

In 2004 India saw similar predictions of how India Shining would bring keep NDA in power with Advani leading the government as Prime Minister but fate had it otherwise and a super dark horse in Manmohan Singh emerged who was then 72. Now, media and fan boys of Narendra Modi are making the same mistake that stems from overconfidence and a brazen attitude of how the 2014 elections will have the controversial Gujarat CM straddling the reigns of power. But I believe it will be different.

Just as cardinals who go into conclaves as Popes come out as cardinals Indian leaders who go to the hustings as potential Prime Ministers remain just PMs in waiting. Despite all the criticism of how the Vatican is run the Conclave is certainly a humbling experience and democratic in some ways if not all. The fact that the 115 to 120 electors can vote for whomsoever they feel like and the winners is decided based on who gets 2/3 majority which is 77 to 80 votes makes it one of the toughest elections to win with minimum canvassing.


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