Rahul, Varun: Who let the kids out? Politics

Another Gandhi kid has spoken. And it did no good to anyone except, perhaps, to the venom spewing young Gandhi himself in some measure. It helped him grab the headlines that had eluded him for nearly as long as he had been running after them. Not any more. Nobody seemed to be taking note of the chubby boy and he apparently didn’t like it much.

So, the nation that was slumbering on him had to be poured a bucketful of cold water. And, yes, we did sit up to take note. Just that the nation noted those little claws trying to scratch at its secular fabric rather sleepily. No, the water-pouring tactic was not wrong at all. And the nature of it, too, is time tested (it has always worked). Just that it has gotten stale and lost much of its shock value from overuse by the likes of Modi.

The meowing kitten swore to grow into a living, fire-breathing monster once he was voted into power, but the monstrosity he was talking about has already had an heartrendingly splendid display at the hands of his seniors in the ‘lotus’ party not so long back. Of course, it had worked. We love the ‘strength’ of our false heroes and for that we would readily accept all projected ‘villains’ manufactured in the fecund imaginations of our political leaders for the specific purpose of producing such saffron wrapped, sword-wielding heroes (there are other varieties too). But in the young, inexperienced hands of this Gandhi the overused, oversized tool was rather unwieldy. Like all kids Gandhi insisted on using it anyway resulting in his political elders’ promptly distancing themselves from the remarks.

“You see, Mrs. Sharma, the kid didn’t mean it at all. He is a good natured, kind kid. He really is, you believe me. He just threw that dirty, old sports shoe at you simply because he thought it was yours…err… I mean he felt you had left it behind the other day. He meant well, believe me.” That’s Mrs. Srivatava (or Mrs. Sharma, Mishra, Rana, Bose, take your pick) explaining her son’s conduct. Lotus leaders looked much the same. Mrs. Lotuses.

The only difference was that Mrs. Lotuses were a little less protective and chose to offer explanations for baby firebrand’s venomous spiel only from a safe distance.

The older Gandhi kid, too, made a questionable remark about India’s role in the division of Pakistan. It was no less serious and elicited unpleasant reactions from across the border. Of course, it was political naivety of that Gandhi at work.

The ‘youth leaders’ (I am not sure who they ‘lead’ or ‘represent’) have no understanding of the finer nuances of politics. They are untrained rookies who know little about the value of words and the significance of public statements. It takes time to be seasoned politicians. So, don’t cry for ‘younger politicians’ and ‘young blood in politics’ because these little princes have a very, very long way to go before they could don the crown of thorns. Beware, political misadventures come with long-drawn consequences and generations pay the price.

Originally published on my WordPress Blog on March 21, 2009

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