I am sure all of you are eagerly awaiting the commencement of the 2012 Summer Olympics. But I hope you have not missed our own version of the Presidential games which has been a roaring success over the last several months, thanks to the popular gimmicks, intriguing twists, spine-chilling maneuvers and daredevil stunts of our political gladiators. Please don’t ask me who the athletes to watch out for are! I reserve the right to not answer this preposterous question. For the benefit of some folks who are a little weak in (general) knowledge, I would like to highlight that there are in fact two contenders and not one. And Mamta Banerjee is not one of them!
Though our Presidential process is a fairly insignificant one and its impact is going to affect no one other than our Tourism Department, it has still lived up to the reputation of a tamasha! And what do I say about the sincerity and vigor with which our two crusaders have gone about their campaigns? Certainly in terms of the entertainment quotient, Sangma has an upper hand. He has shown time and again that he has got the moves. His dance performances have lent some flavor to the otherwise monotonous rat race. But he has got some competition from Pranab who has mastered a completely different dance form: dancing to the tunes of Sonia jii. Give the veteran some credit: after all there are so many exponents of this art and to stand out is no mean feat.
But when it comes to planning, no one beats Pranab daa. Right from the day his dream of being Prime Minister was squished, he has been meticulously and masterfully moving the pieces in anticipation of shifting base to Raisina Hill. Right from taking travel tips from Pratibha Patil to ensuring that he is already a President in university textbooks, he is running one hell of an organized campaign. I bet you can accredit two five year plans to this noble cause. I have insider information that even Mr.Obama is seeking his tips. I hope not on matters of Finance though. And in my not so humble opinion, I think it would be of international interest if they consider a Rotation program in their tenures. Surely the Americans (and the world) would for once welcome a President who is fairly inactive while Mr.Obama can talk his way into the hearts of the Indian Public. Some loose “Change” would help too!
In this entire hullabaloo, the Governmental institutions have been kept on their toes. The Postal Service particularly has had to deal with an unusual surge in the letter traffic as the candidates are on a writing spree urging for support from all quarters. And with majority of those letters being directed to a Ms. Banerjee, a lot of people are wondering about the mysterious absence of an entity called the telephone in the whole process. A Mamta wing has been set up in
West Bengal post offices to handle this
emergency. There is also a lot of bustle
in jails these days as several inmates are shuttling in and out to wine and
dine with the future President of India. If you thought jails were intended to
be some form of punishment, you are in the wrong planet.
Be it reaffirming their solidarity or grabbing some brownie media points, the politicos and party allies are enjoying all the attention. Mulayam Singh Yadav has had his share of fun in the process, first by flirting with Mamta for a few hours in what would go down as one of the shortest flings in political history and then doing a sly volte-face showing his homely allegiance to Sonia Matay. Not to mention his latest gimmick, accidentally voting for Purno instead of Pranab. Oops! And there are others who take their team player roles a little too seriously. Mr.Karunanidhi for example keeps announcing his support for Pranab every other day on television, first cordially, then warmly, later resolutely and then officially. Finally, the cat and mouse courtship drama of the Congress to woo Mamta had all the ingredients of a blockbuster reality show and it narrowly trumped the Paes-Bhupathi-Bopanna extravaganza.
Since there was never a buzz or anxiety (except for Mr.Sangma) around the outcome of the President’s race, the entire country had waited with bated breath as to which side Didi would sway. And boy, did she arrive in style or what! She rendered complete justice to a famous Rajnikanth punchline: “Late aa vandalam latest aa varuven”. Guess you won’t need a translation for that. But even the ever astute politician in Mamta missed the biggest trick that could have changed the landscape of Indian politics. Instead of choosing the poor old pawn Mr.Singh as one of her choices, she could have played the biggest political check mate by choosing the Rook(ie) Mr.Rahul Gandhi. By doing so, she would have had the once in a lifetime opportunity of confining the future of the masses permanently to the future. Now he has announced that he will soon assume a larger role. May our souls rest in pieces! Even a 1000 God Particles cannot save us now!
Image Courtesy (Cartoon):