Shahi Tharoor tweeted ‘Cattle Class’ and the holy cows sulked. And then hit back with the claws in their hooves. Obviously, Mr. Tharoor had not anticipated such a backlash from what appeared to him a docile species capable of baying but never biting or clawing. And then he realized his folly.
But one thing they got bang right. Mr. Tharoor has little, if any, understanding of Indian political scene. He doesn’t know that those who climb the political ladder land up on the side of the ‘classes’. Masses, he might know, the political ‘class’ doesn’t have the first idea about. Cattle don’t take offence of being called cattle. It is those who see themselves as non-cattle who would fume. Tharoor should take heart in the fact that the classes are blissfully nonchalant about his tweet (the majority doesn’t know what it is in the first place).
Take a peek at the General compartment of any train run by Indian railways and there would be no doubt, if you ever had any, that Tharoor has better understanding of Indian conditions and the ‘cattle class’ status of the masses than most of the leaders would admit having. So, the Holy Cows are simply insecure about the stupor they engineered over the decades patting the ‘cattle class’ and telling us cattle that we were mighty lions, and we feigned our sleep and kept nodding sleepily. Trying to roar was a waste of energy. So, we let them believe that we believed them.
The actual ‘cattle class’ was least bit offended because finally there was a minister who had uttered the truth, and he found his political brethren holding him by his neck for calling the bluff. And poor, bewildered Tharoor twittered an apology. Interesting, indeed. And we have a collective grin on our collective face.
Just a little while ago Tharoor was caught on the wrong political foot when in apparent contravention of the ‘austerity drive’ launched by Congress, he was found living in a five star hotel while his official residence was under renovation. Of course, he was footing his own bills, but that’s immaterial. He was spending loads, which he is not supposed to in ‘solidarity with the Holy Cows’. All members of the party must conform to one thought, one way of life and one history. And they should have just one view on all things and all men – the one approved and endorsed by the party. Live modest and write only such books that help party propaganda. Did we ever trust our leaders? Okay. So, this doesn’t make much difference anyway. All we have to do is modify our understanding a little. So far we did not believe what they said. Now, we would not believe what they write as well because what they write – and tweet – would be ‘party right’, and thus questionable and untrustworthy.
Originally published on my WordPress Blog on September 22, 2009