Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Sonia, Laloo and Pak democracy

Sonia Gandhi’s Italian roots and Hindi hoots have been attracting a lot of ridicule. But now our members of Parliament are taking it to a new ridiculous level.

Yesterday, she was reading from a paper. Samata Party’s Prabhunath Singh objected to it, citing from some rule in the book that a member could not read to the House. Others invariably insist that she speaks in Hindi.

Yours truly disapproves of such behaviour and objects to such objections. My question is: How does it matter? Whether she speaks in Hindi or English, it would sound like Italian.

Though reading it from a sheet written by someone else she has proven one fact: she is not illiterate. She can read. How does it matter if she reads out somebody else’s views.

It’s better than Prabhunath Singh speaking out his own mind. He doesn’t prove anything but one doubt whether he has any mind. When it comes to making sense, he scores nothing.

When it comes to making a nuisance, he makes nearly as much as Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav does. The latter went to Pakistan and proved one fact: he’s actually made of flesh and blood and walks on two legs.

The realisation that the Laloo in those Laloo jokes was actually a human being made them laugh a second time. So much so that even President Musharraf was seen smiling.

Just that Musharraf had other reasons to be smug about. Of late he was worried about the rising demand for democracy in Pakistan. The dictator’s legitimacy was being questioned. The problem rose to the extent that the religious Opposition group Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal led by Fazlur Rahman organised rallies demanding he quit one of the two posts Musharraf holds: the Army Chief and the President.

Laloo’s visit eased that a lot. Now people in Pakistan wouldn’t be after his life for call elections and bring back democracy.

When Musharraf was smiling to PTV camera you could read his lips saying: “Dear sisters and brothers of Pakistan. Look what democracy can get you. Bihar has democracy.”

Soon after, Rahman agreed to let the President wear Army uniform. Pakistan can wait. Democracy has got them Fazlur Rahman. Enough for the moment.

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