Friday, 15 June 2012

Didi Oh Didi.....................

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" (Latin: Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius)

The last few days of political drama at the heart of our capital has been engrossing like a thriller . It has even managed to stump the Anna-Ramdev-Kejriwal-Kiran combine to grab the eyeballs and the earholes of the nation always ready for something dramatic,be it cricket , cinema or the political circus.

The politics of petulance and brink(wo)manship has reached its logical climax by the alienation of the TrinaMool Congress from the mainstream of Delhi darbar. In opposing Pranab Babu's candidature for the post of President of India, the TMC supremo has massively erred in her calculations and by trying to blackmail Congress and Sonia by riding piggyback, a seasoned politician like Mulayam Singh Yadav, she has made a blunder which makes her look like a naive schoolgirl taken for a ride. Sonia MMS combine once again proves that they can be very accomodating but at the same time the most ruthless of politicians if you try to snub them on issues linked to their personal compulsions. Prakash Karat was the earlier recipient of their wrath with his ostrich like opposition to the nuclear deal. Ask him,he still must be getting nightmares over his folly.

The great Machiavelli would have not matched the guiles of the great survivor of badlands of Indian politics. Didi is a novice in this matter. By raising the stakes and trying to snub Congress,for whatever personal grouse or miscalculations she may have made, she has totally rendered herself into a laughing stock for the moment. And her antics can now be equated with what Rakhi Sawant does for the entertainment industry. Exposure in the most vulgar way only for titillation without any substantive contribution. 

Pranab Babu may not have a big mass base of followers in his home state or even in his village , for that matter. But he is an astute politician and a survivor. Also his administrative skills and a personally clean image makes him worthy of being considered for the post of the President of India. Among all the present political personalities in the country, he is the best suited for the post. Everybody will agree to it unanimously , except perhaps our great Sister of the nation (or is it Singur/Nandigram). There is no reason to oppose his candidature other than reasons of political positioning which has been done laudably by BJD and Naveen Patnaik. Even BJP can not make their mind on this as they really do not have a suitable candidate to offer against his name.

But wait, don't I hear rumbling dissent and sniggers from some educated , upwardly mobile and well meaning urban middleclass people . Their very own hero for whom they have a nostalgic attachment with deep respect is not being mentioned much to their chagrin. How can you forget Kalam, they are screaming. Yes , Kalam is most suitable to be our President . Also he is a tried and tested entity. But what is being conveniently forgotten in the overwhelming emotional support for APJ Abdul kalam is the fact that he is not a political animal. And he is actually BJP's , sorry, AB Vajpayee's legacy . Why should the Congress party agree on him. They are not in the political arena to let BJP score brownie points. That too in the present scenario.

The present situation demands a political person as the President of the country. We are in the midst of a global economic crisis coupled with a fragmented domestic polity. The next general elections are due after a couple of years but the challenges of an economic catastrophe, coalition government and the Anna-Ramdev coalition may change the equation anytime . Whether elections are held now or after two years, it is very unlikely that any party will get the clear mandate and majority to form a government on their own. It has to be coalitions of political parties, stable or unstable which will rule the country. Even worse, there may be extended spell of Presidential interventions in the states and the centre. For such eventualities, an astute politician is needed . One who understands, economics and diplomacy. One who is acceptable to all the political parties as an arbitrator. One who can keep the continuity in foreign policy. And finally one who can tilt the balance in favour of the Congress party. Only Pranab Babu fits the bill and Kalam is not trusted by the Congress because of his proven bonhomie and camradiere with the BJP. So don't blame the Congress if they are not really a big fan of the offbeat hair style of our previous Rashtrapati.

Another small but interesting development has probably not been noticed by many. President Obama called on our PM today well before the announcement of Pranabda's candidacy . I may be laughed at for having a feverish and novelist's imagination and it may sound to be straight out of the pages of a Frederick Forsyth or Jeffrey Archer novel . But USA has never been comfortable with Kalam. Do you remember him being strip searched . My intuition and deductive logic ( don't smile ) says that there is something kaalaa in the Daal. On the other hand Pranabbabu should not be a problem for them. His long innings at the central cabinet would not have been possible without the USA being amenable to him. And it is an open fact that he is a darling of the industrialists . There are many stories how the richest brothers of the world owe their eminent positions by the benevolence shown by a previous Finance and Commerce minister to their father. The stories may be true or untrue but the inference is strong.

So for good or bad, our best PM material will probably be our next President. For him this will be a pinnacle of a long political career where pure politics, networking and administrative capabilities have won over mass appeal. He has never been a mass leader and will probably lose by 100 -1 against the Lady from Kalighat but the winner at the last post is the Brahmin from Birbhum. His story reminds us the importance of the good old virtues of tenacity and indomitable spirit . May he be a successful President to guide the nation through a foreseeably rough period ahead.

As for Didi , my prediction is that TMC will very soon (within six to twelve months ) be split into two with Congress and CPM joining hands to form a government in Poschimbongo. Betting is illegal in our country . So I can't offer odds. But , are their any takers for it ?

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