Rahul Baba and the Chaalis Chor….
Oh, how I love this lad! Rahul Baba has given India a brand new narrative overnight! Forget Alibaba, we now have our own fable titled “ Rahul Baba and the Chaalis Chor.” Though , frankly speaking, forty is a seriously modest number , when you consider just how many criminals there are in Parliament at present ( for a ball park figure, multiply 40 by 10). Rahul’s “Ordinance Outrage” ( as it has been aptly dubbed) was nothing short of a masterstroke. No debate there.While miffed Bollywood directors were squabbling over India’s official entry to the Oscar’s, here was an award winning performance that could teach many an overreaching superstar a thing or two about histrionics and timing! I have watched that incredible “ All nonsense” clip many times over. And I am pretty certain about one thing : this was no temper tantrum. Nor was it a spontaneous explosion. Everything about ‘that moment’ appears rehearsed and well planned. And one has to hand it to Rahul – he couldn’t have improved on the script! While Namo, his main rival, was still banging on about ‘Dehati aurat’ (oh please, get over it, already!), Rahul nonchalantly hijacked someone else’s press conference ( tch! Tch! Bad manners, sonny boy), gave a Gabbar Singh look straight to camera, curled his pout into a menacing sneer and took off. He just took off! And let fly. Shabaash! In one go, he achieved several objectives, not the least being the crushing of Modi’s bombast.
Young India worships those who dare ( most of our ad commercials featuring products aimed at male consumers are unambiguously macho and laud those who challenge the status quo). Well, Rahul played up to popular sentiment, played straight to the galleries and walked away with all the applause. It is hard to believe he did what he did in isolation. Or that he wasn’t tutored. It’s even harder to accept that Sonia, his mother, was unaware her son was about to drop a bomb. A bomb that had the potential to alter the India story dramatically. Subversion on this scale? Scary! It wasn’t just about displaying an absolute lack of good etiquette (whatever the personal equation between him and Manmohan Singh, there is something called protocol and propriety in public life). To diminish the office of the Prime Minister when the man wasn’t in the country is to cock a snook at democratic functioning itself. Let’s compare Rahul’s out of turn comment to an off the cuff remark made by a headboy of a large school , which insults an absent Principal during assembly. Any good school would first rusticate the headboy for insubordination and then go into the reason for his deplorable conduct. No such thing happens in India, when it comes to our netas.
This is not to say Rahul was wrong in asking for this preposterous ordinance to be junked forthwith. He has the gratitude and support of the entire nation for getting it scrapped. But surely, there was a better way to achieve this objective? Or does none of that matter given the larger good? Worrying question.Today, Rahul is India’s biggest hero for speaking up and getting others to speak up on what would most certainly have been the most besharam ordinance in our history. Is this a foretaste of things to come? If Rahul Baba gets bugged by something else in future, will he once again call it ‘nonsense’ and insist its papers be “torn up and thrown away”? He made it sound as simple as that! Elders in traditional Indian families are known to indulgently shake their heads when a child misbehaves and croon , “ Jaaney bhi do… bachchpana hai.” Rahul Gandhi behaved like a spolit brat – let’s face it. This one time, we can pardon him, since it was all for a greater common good. The real fear is that having tasted blood, he may take this route again and again . Then what?
As of now, the Modi camp has gone into a huddle wondering how to top Rahul’s Ordinance salvo. Modi’s Toilets-and-Temples speech has not found too many takers, though I am one hundred per cent with him on this one. It would be interesting to monitor how many public toilets have been constructed by his government in Gujarat. The last time I was there, locals were still peeing and crapping in the open, and the drains were not covered. If it’s going to be a toss up between ganda nullahs and ganda netas, we know where the country stands on this issue. At least one jailed neta ( Lalu Prasad Yadav) has made sure he has a clean , tiled toilet for himself inside Ranchi jail. His khaana peena is also sounding pretty good. He has a television set and enough khaini to keep his senses lulled and his mind comparatively quiet while he serves time. Lalu going to jail in the first place, is all thanks to Rahul Gandhi. Closer to home, Rahul may have a far tougher time dealing with some of his notorious kith and kin. Keeping criminals out of Parliament is the easy part . But keeping criminals out of ones own backyard?? Aha – haven’t you heard of the phrase: ‘Charity begins at home?”