After an entire month of watching the most powerful people in the country whose decisions affect the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich, one feels a sense of relief. That Goa’s politicians are bad, but not as bad as many blackguards in the rest of the country. That our guys are comical, but not as comical as many others too.
We have Karunanidhi’s Between Meals Fast that made eyebrows fly higher than when he acknowledged LTTE supremo Prabhakaran as his bosom pal. His Between Meals Fast defied logic. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu woke up one fine morning had a hearty breakfast. Then he decided to lie down on a mattress in full public view announcing that he was going on a fast. His doctors were horrified – it must be very lucrative keeping an old model politician like him going at public cost. He cannot walk properly, cannot see properly, cannot talk properly. Before lunch the fasting CM rolls over on his side and allows himself to be helped up onto his chair and announces that he has called off his hunger strike, because the Sri Lankan government has announced a ceasefire. The Sri Lankan government did no such thing. And the CM went on to get outside a hearty lunch.
Jayalalithaa AIADMK ex-CM of TN was always against the LTTE and their demand for a separate Tamil Eelam state in Sri Lanka. As recently as October 2008 she demanded that all pro-LTTE protesters be arrested. Before the 2009 elections she demands a separate Tamil Eelam state in Sri Lanka. When she is called anti-national she says, what nonsense, I am not asking for a separate Tamil Eelam in India; I am asking for it in Sri Lanka inferring – why are you getting your knickers in a twist. Both she and Karunanidhi have managed to spike the guns of the vitriolic Vaiko whose only agenda was a pro-LTTE agenda and left him without a plank to stand on.
In Andhra Pradesh SMSes were sent out to people telling them that the Chief Minister’s son Jagan Mohan Reddy was in cahoots with Satyam's Ramalinga Raju and why was the CM's son not put in jail. To counter that the CM sent his SMSes to students in Andhra telling them that they don’t need to worry about their tuition fees.
In Bihar Nitish Kumar one of India’s most successful Chief Ministers is being wooed by everyone. In his typical style he leads everyone up the garden path, makes statements about how he is against communalism and will not share a platform with Narendra Modi. And then he gets on a platform with Modi, hugs him, holds his hand and just stops short of dancing around the stage with him. He also tells the nation that when the Kosi flooding practically decimated Bihar the Manmohan Singh promised Rs1000 crore aid. When the PM went back to the dry land of Delhi the Centre informed Nitish Kumar that Bihar would get only Rs 110 crore. Kumar says not one “phooti cowrie”reached Bihar but his office received a FAX from the Centre asking for the return of Rs 1000 crore.
Prakash Karat of the CPI(M) has been doing so many flipflops saying he will not enter an alliance with the Congress Party and then saying he may. Uttar Pradesh has been the strangest of the lot with Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) running its very own soap opera. He takes ex-BJP Kalyan Singh into the SP fold saying “Muslims embrace him for it”. Azam Khan Muslim founder of the SP is mad as a wet hen and his supporters clash with other SP supporters of Amar Singh. In a parallel comic plot film actress Jayapradha accuses Khan of soiling her reputation by circulating morphed nude pictures of her along with some salacious CDs and Amar Singh tells the electorate that if Jayaprada loses she will commit suicide. The media ask Jaya to clarify and she says yes, she will commit suicide if she loses.
And then there’s Mayawati of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party, who amasses huge wealth from the “donations” of her fans, and builds huge statues of herself all over the state, but does nothing about the grinding poverty of her people. All she wants is to be made Prime Minister is what she says. Mulayam Singh Yadav says that he will form an alliance with anyone who will dismiss Mayawati as Chief Minister of UP.
There are many more comical stories from the rest of the country, but space and time constraints will not permit all. These elections started a new trend of shoe flinging in India. One believes this is the only reason why the militants from the north and the Maoists and Naxals from the east have not been more active in putting a spoke in the electoral process. They have been too distracted. Let us be grateful that as politicians go, ours in Goa are not as bad as the rest of them in the country.