William Dalrymple: Afghanistan > India

His view has some merit, the problem is we just finished with an Oxford qualified top-notch Prime Minister who had no vote-base and thus no authority. What is happening in Afghanistan is similar to that of 1950s India, elites being imposed top-down on the electorate. Eventually some Imran Khan like charismatic, hardline person will rise up from  the ranks, thus disappointing Dalrymple once more. OTOH a much more likely scenario is that the Taliban will force out democracy and we will have a Caliphate/Emirate once more.
winning author William Dalrymple has said that the top three electoral
candidates in Afghanistan during their recent general elections are far
superior intellectually to India’s three leading political figures –
Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal.

In an
exclusive interview to TOI at the Scottish Parliament on the sidelines
of the inaugural conference of the Edinburgh India Institute, Dalrymple
expressed his “deep apprehension” about Modi and said he finds Modi
“frightening” and a “big mystery”.

Dalrymple said that
Afghanistan’s three leading contenders, Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah
and Zalamai Rassoul were all doctorates and had hugely cosmopolitan CVs.

“The three front runners in Afghanistan were deeply
sophisticated men. All of them were highly educated and held doctorates.
Ghani is a former World Bank official, a PhD from Columbia, a finance
minister, and an ex-university chancellor. Compare that to the
intellectual level of three of India’s top candidates,” Dalrymple said.

He further said, “I consider India my first home and the love and
adoration I feel for the country is immense. But India, a country of
heaving beauty and filled with youth and talent, with majority of its
diaspora dominating the world can’t produce impressive and intellectual
politicians. India is a country alive with geniuses but it is
unfortunate that the best talents don’t go into politics.”

According to him, Gandhi – the grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru is “a
complete disappointment who is dim and concerted in public debate and a
complete washout. Congress has some young talents in its ranks and
should find a new leader”. Dalrymple said he found Kejriwal “hugely

He added, “I hoped he would be effective and
given a choice, I would still vote for him with a heavy heart. But his
49 days in office is a missed opportunity. He missed his chance.”

Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Dalrymple-ranks-Afghan-leaders-over-Indian-ones/articleshow/35176161.cms


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10 years ago

I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.

-William F. Buckley, Jr.


Kodhambo Madhathakaja
10 years ago

Whereas I do not know who Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah and Zalamai Rassoul are, You should admit, at the minimum, Kejriwal and Rahul G,. have been a big, big disappointment. Especially, Kejriwal is a terrible speaker.

10 years ago

As far as educational background is considered, Kejriwal is an IITIan. I will put that up against a random PHd anytime.

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