Now, I am no expert on politics. In fact, my knowledge of politics just extends up to the point of recognizing those prominent faces, and associating them, most of the time, with the party they belong to. My standard reaction to all the hungama that one sees on TV in the name of politics is, “BS.” In our home, channel surfing seldom ends at news channels. We, little S included, find the shouting matches that take place in the name of debate on the news channels a bit too much for our sensibilities.
Therefore it surprised me no end when I returned from my Christmas vacation, to find dear hubby eagerly hooked on to a raging debate on a news channel. The channel was not even a top rated one, and even half a minute of giving it attention led me to just dismiss it as some crap. So I wondered why was he watching that, of all other things we could watch. Maybe for some entertainment, I told myself. For, even a silent, introverted soul like my husband’s can crave for spice and gossip sometimes. The craving however, didn’t seem to end that night. It started becoming a routine, with random self-obsessed uncles and aunties shouting their head out at each other, sometimes at the same time, every single night. Till I could take it no more and confronted the husband about it. What he said, almost got me too hooked on to the drama called politics being played out in our country.
In this drama, there seem to be three prime characters. I see them as three students of the same grade. One student has a poor daddy, other a rich daddy, and the third (a white thadi, i.e., beard… I can see eggs coming hurling at me for this stupid rhyming) is the class bully.
The student with the poor daddy is a very angry boy. His fiery approach seems to have impressed his class teacher, who has made him the class leader. With so much power suddenly thrust on him, this student, AK, seems to have gotten some strange ideas. For most part, he seems to have been inspired by Shankar’s Mudhalvan, or Nayak in Hindi. So, like Arjun, or Anil Kapoor, he goes around his domain, conducting the business of governance on streets, while holding ‘durbaars’ and ‘dharnas’. I half expected to see a typewriter wielding secretary behind him, doling out suspension notices and dismissal letters for all who dared to step out of line. A line, drawn an defined by AK and his followers. Everyone in the class calls him crazy, insane. And he goes out of his way to prove them right.
The next student, the one with a rich daddy, he is a very mild guy. His features, his voice, all project him to be a very soft spoken person. However, he seems to be a weak one too, especially at the heart, contrary to what his followers would have everyone else believe. Why, the other day, the stern and calculative maths teacher, with his big round glasses and wide eyes staring from behind them, conducted an oral test for our lad (let’s call him RG), and the stuttering and stammering of the poor fellow made many a heart melt. The poor lad was so not up for it, and was so close to tears, that if the teacher had gone on for another minute more, he would have broken down and wailed, “My mummy did not teach these things, sir!”
This third student, the bully, I am not really decide about him. Like the small kid who questions Kamal Hassan in Nayagan, I would like to ask him, “Neenga nallavara, kettavara?” (Are you a good man or a bad man). I hope he doesn’t answer back, “Theriyalaye pa Theriyalaye…” (I don’t know dear, I don’t know). He seems to go about talking tall to everyone, but his bullying misdemeanors are still fresh on a lot of minds. So I don’t know if he is the person I can rally behind, nor does most of the class. However, his over zealous followers plant themselves everywhere, from debate rooms in TV channels to building foundation laying functions, trying hard to drive home the virtues of their leader.
My husband, he really had hopes on the first guy, AK. He seemed to be a breath of fresh air, different from all the dynastic and ethnic zealots we had seen so far. However, the way he has been going about conducting his business has planted serious doubts in our minds. We hope he really lives up to be that fresh breath of life Indian politics needs right now. We hope he does not fail, for if he does, then the adversaries will rejoice, and no one else will again dare to stand up for the common man. And that would mean the real beginning of anarchy.
The year 2014 has started on an interesting note for the political system in our country, with interesting characters and interesting revelations about them popping up every other day. We have to wait and watch how things play out. Oh, but while we wait, I guess we can do away with all that shouting and screaming. News and politics will look so much more decent without them.