Sanjay Dud and all that
Poor Sanjay Dud. One always thought he was a bit over-the-top type, but Dud Saab has stretched the elastic a bit too far. Sometimes you wonder if all those hours we folks invested worrying about his mental sanity and physical state when he was in prison was just a colossal waste of our private time. Sanjay's recent silly communal diatribe against the prison cops, whereby he has now even dragged his late graceful mother Nargis' religion, is in trashy taste. Not surprisingly, it has invited another of those Election Commission notices which by now could become a bestseller given its copious, colorful content. Dutt comes across as an overgrown imbecile, but we should have perhaps guessed that earlier from his new illustrious company and "big brothers". Also, from the brazen-faced way in which he publicly chastised his sisters, family, Congress party, just about anyone for not giving him adequate "love". Sanjay Dutt has lost massive goodwill and sympathy, and his Bollywood career is headed for a serious nose-dive too, from the look of it. Truly, he is like a brainless Shrek, essentially innocuous, but primarily a dim-wit.
Poor L K Advani. The 80-plus "youth icon of Narendra Modi" would have never expected the Amazonian assault of his dubious credentials from the Congress. LKA has clearly crumpled, and this is evident in his shoddy body language and defensive speak. The otherwise highly restrained, unassuming Sardar has perceptibly endured enough vehemence of the BJPs bearded poster-"boy", Narendra Modi, and Advani himself. You never should engage the wrath of a decent man, said some tagline of a Bollywood smash-hit of the 1970s. The Prime Minister has decided to return bricks with boulders. PM Manmohan Singh has made the campaign's wittiest remark to date: " I don't want to debate him on TV and give Advani the privileged status of an alternative Prime Minister". It was a brilliant, acidic one, and left the incendiary Advani and his Friends of BJP clueless in response. Prakash Javadekar, the BJP spokesperson, who in any case in normal days is remarkably incomprehensible, looked as nonplussed as a puppy with three tails wagging in tandem. Advani is no Atal Bihari, but with the relentless attacks on Kandahar, Babri Masjid, Jinnah etc., the Congress has successfully positioned LKA as an also-ran already. With Advani looking totally hamstrung, expectedly Modi played dirty. Taking cheap pot-shots, he used terms like "budhiya and gudiya" to sound sensational. But then Modi fills the air with speeches and vice-versa.
Poor Samajwadi Party; they forgot that their brand ambassador Shri Amitabh Bachchan writes long blogs in angrezi on a computer ji. SP's manifesto was such a funny joke, you couldn't but just laugh till your stomach ache was aching. One can understand what Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has to deal with in this outrageous bunch. Amar Singh, who is at war with practically anyone and everyone on both sides of his moustache, was trading punches with his brother as well. They called each other by some famous Mahabharat-type names; the royalty was still showing despite the laughing stock the emperors made of themselves.
Poor Naveen Patnaik. Since he is amongst the few politicians who speaks English with a peculiar concoction of a failed-Oxford-undergrad-meets-NRI-from-a-more-failed-US-bank-now-residing-in-Costa Rica, he gets a lot of media attention for his "ideological" conflict with the BJP, with an occasional smattering of horse-sense thrown in like salt and pepper. Where was Patnaik when he first went to bed with the saffron-seducers; had he forgotten Modi and Advani's vitriolic outbursts then? Had he never heard of the Gujarat riots before? It was pure electoral arithmetic which awoke his cosmetic "values" from a Rip Van Winkle sleep. Now Patnaik gives those cool arrogant ones that he will not side with either the BJP or Congress post-elections as if he will sweep all the 21 LS seats, and be the ultimate kingmaker. Or who knows, the king himself? Patnaik is behaving like Nero; if he looks closely, he is likely to finish with a paltry figure, which may make him less relevant than he currently bombastically postures. Naveen is fully entitled to his delusions of grandeur.
Poor Page 3 types. They have got their momentary hours of national fame for standing as Independents, but as Milind Deora , South Mumbai Congress MP rightly pointed out, politics is tough business, and social commitment is a long-term proposition. A brief sabbatical from a million-dollar salary bank job does not manifest anything. In a sense, it reflects the same hubris that the same investment bankers displayed with swap derivatives which has resulted in our global Great Recession. Sure, you can wax eloquent on the political system blah-blah, but seriously, anyone can do that. We all know that we can do with some major amelioration of public standards. And although the Olive-Indigo crowd consisting of former banker-types and private captains with diminishing expense accounts in their shrinking wallets will go ga-ga over the ABN Amro lady CEO's brave act , the truth is that it takes more than a few Orkut, MySpace and LinkedIn social networking sites to mobilise voters. Symbolic maybe, there is nothing wrong with that; that is a fundamental right of every citizen, but otherwise it is only an exercise in futility. As for the high-premium South Mumbai crowd, some of whom only throng TV studios after refusing to pick up their dog's poo on Marine Drive or look perpetually distressed about everything including their attempted botox, let us at least hope that they will improve its measly voter turn-out record later this month when the constituency goes to vote.
More about Sanjay JhaSanjay Jha is a hard-core “Congressi” largely on account of being enchanted by the incredible brilliance of the Gandhi-Nehru mystique, its array of inspirational leaders and the party’s secular ideology. HamaraCongress.com will soon assume a larger platform for like-minded thinkers. Sanjay is a former banker and asset management specialist, who chucked up the monotonous routine of fund management for pursuing more entertaining diversions such as cricket. He has worked with ANZ Grindlays Bank, Bank of America, Alliance Capital, New York and ITC Threadneedle ( a venture of BAT plc) . His venture CricketNext.com is now part of Network 18 media group. Currently, he is Executive Director of the world-famous Dale Carnegie Training, and specialises in leadership development, executive coaching and motivational practices, having delivered talks in India and abroad. Jha has authored 11—A cricket anthology, a collection of poems and writes frequently for mainstream publications, particularly Tehelka. He is an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur, and a post-graduate in economics from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune University, having graduated with distinction from Fergusson College. Jha is an eternal optimist and believes that only inner-fighting and parochial politics can stop India from realising its true potential. He can be followed on Twitter@JhaSanjay.
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