Three-in-one politicians, If Charles Dickens returns to the good old earth, the first thing he will do is revise his Pickwick Papers with India as its...
If Charles Dickens returns to the good old earth, the first thing he will do is revise his Pickwick Papers with India as its backdrop. And his new working title will be “Three-in-One Politicians”. It is no exaggeration to say that in India alone we will find politicians who are willing to do any or all the three pre-requisites for surviving in the hurly-burly world of power politics. These faculties are an ability to stoop to conquer, readiness to pocket pride in full public view when chips are down, and readiness to “nationalise” every public cause – real or imaginary just to be counted as a leader before the public eye.
It is time Indian Netas apply for the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) as copy right is now called under new global trade rules to the 3-in-1 faculty. Any delay will see a repeat of the fate Khadi and before that turmeric and Basmati rice had met.
Everyone closely following Udhav Thackeray for the past month have given him a good rating. Matoshree’s leaking roofs have been telling how bravely the Sena Pramukh has stood up to the pressure of cadres and leaders alike though they are in no mood to sit outside the corridors of power for another five years. Already they have spent ten years in “vanvas”. But this Wednesday, there was a new tune from Matoshree. “Sena Pramukh wants to help BJP run the government without any hiccups and so he has agreed to patch up with the estranged saffron ally”, we were told just a day after the resolve to sit in the Opposition was reiterated in a TV byte.
On its part, the BJP has gone to the town that it has not budged. It means the Sena has climbed down, and this is clear from the headlines. It is not getting the Dy CM’s post; the home will remain with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. What is more neither the PM Narendra Modi nor the BJP chief Amit Shah had massaged Udhav’s ego by talking to him or by entertaining his phone calls. Well it is for nothing the BJP had coined the poll slogan: “Oopar Narendra-Neeche Devendra.” (Narendra Modi in Delhi as PM and Devendra here in Mumbai as CM) So much so what made Sena chief to become the esteemed torch bearer of the Three-in-One politics in the western metropolis? Simply survival instinct that forced him to pocket his pride.
In a manner of speaking, the BJP also has not acted differently while putting up a brave face. It has come down from its perch and worked on reviving the alliance in order to secure some breathing space in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP will continue to suffer hiccups in the RS till it improves its tally sometime in the middle of the New Year.
It is easy to say that Sharad Pawar had set the cat among the pigeons when he told his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) cadres two weeks back that they should be ready for a fresh ballot. While Pawar-speak was a pep talk to his cadres, who are unhappy over electoral reverses, it is a signal that he is willing to do business with the BJP. And Sena leaders began to see danger to their very survival in the event Pawar tied up with the BJP. They are aware that the political grapevine has been abuzz with reports of a secret understanding between Pawar and Modi.
There is no way to check the veracity of such reports which begin their journey as rumours in the morning, turn into speculation by afternoon and land up in the newsrooms as reports by early evening. But then, Sena knows that Pawar is not a politician who can be trusted to remain in the opposition for too long.
Now cut to Hastinapura, as Delhi was known in the Mahabharata period. Arvind Kejriwal is fighting to reclaim his lost ground and has become a true practioners of the Three-in-One politics. He is trying get over the hangover effects of his short rule (48-days) that made him earn the tag of Deserter CM. For him today theatrics has taken a back seat. For him, the Jan Lokpal doesn’t exist in his lexicon. For him the prime concern is selling dreams by the dozen. One such dream assures women that the first thing the Aaam Admi party would do on coming to power is empowering women to decide where a liquor vend can or cannot stay.
Rahul Gandhi, too, has hit the campaign trail and has become a champion of unauthorised colonies that are razed to the ground in tony pockets of the capital by government bull dozers. Insensitive bureaucracy has awarded a good talking point to the Congress Crown Prince by making the poor live in amidst the rubble, which was their home once, overflowing drains, and swarms of insects all around them in the cold month.
“Whatever is happening here is wrong”, Rahul told them and promised that the Congress would fight for them. His visit to the demolished slum spurred the local Congress to launch a help-line against slum demolition not bothering to find out how the slum appeared and survived during their party rule.
Whether Rahul’s act is simply pocketing pride, a survival instinct or stooping to conquer, the fact is that he has deemed it fair and unavoidable to become a true practitioner of three-in-one politics. And donning the mantle of a trenchant critique of Modi Sarkar, he has come up with the slogan: “Modi offered jobs but gave brooms instead”.
Will Rahul strike a sympathetic chord with the politically hyper sensitive Delhi voters? Much depends on how his message is carried by his cadres through nukkad meetings and not how his Twitterati egg-heads spread it on the social media. At the time of writing, the Pant Road office of Delhi BJP has become the favourite destination of the insecure in rival camps. The poll-eve Aya-Ramas are a useful barometer. Any doubt?
By: Malladi Rama Rao