Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Oye Control Yaar

We are a nation of emotional people. An eminent writer I am not sure I should quote once said Emotions are like farts, they are embarrassing but they must be let out. But in our zeal to let the emotion out, we sometimes make a fool of us. So much so that we often turn the tragic into farcical.

This is what happened last night. A tragedy struck the Congress party. And Congressmen and women turned it into a national farce broadcast on national television. The Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, decided not to accept the post of the Prime Minister, for reasons known to her and her alone.

Outside her house, supporters let loose a mass hysteria. And rightly so. They wanted their leader as the Prime Minister of India and were very disappointed that she wasn’t willing.

But what happened at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting was ridiculous, bordering on being disgusting. Leaders who are supposed to give the countrymen courage were breaking down in front of the TV camera.

There was no effort to hold back tears and at times one could see effort to shed more and more tears.

Noted lawyer and just-elected Lok Sabha member Kapil Sibal went ahead saying Mrs Gandhi does not have a parallel in Indian history.

Some were blunt enough to speak the truth. One bearded man got up to declare that the party would break into pieces if she didn’t reverse her decision.

To a great extent he was right. But he added another two worrying lines: Your priority should be to save the party and save the country. He got so emotional he didn’t think twice before putting save the party before save the country.

Just one or two asked her to stand up to the blackmail or stupid, irresponsible statements of some BJP leaders. All focussed on a version of sycophancy that would put even sycophants of past Congress regimes to shame.
Professional actor Govinda said the nation needed not only a leader but also a mother.

He blissfully ignored the fact that Mother India didn’t need a mother. All Mother India needs is a strong leader.

Sonia Gandhi can provide that. She has shown a lot of resolve, a lot of leadership qualities and a lot of promise. It’s perhaps the promise that Indians have voted the Congress to power or the power to lead a non-NDA government, to be precise.

It's the day of WYSWYG: What You See is What You Get. What we saw last night was a mockery of sentiments, including that of Sonia Gandhi. She has proven that she is a strong leader and she must teach her senior colleagues a thing or two about strength. Sacrifice is a sacred virtue, let’s not trivialise it.

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