Our politicians surely have a strong sense of humor. While I was reminiscing about some events that happened in the past 6 month in Indian politics, I realized that the Congress party is actually pretty appreciative of this trait of being witty. What else can you say about a party that appoints Rahul Gandhi as the Vice President? They even made an intelligent man like Dr. Manmohan Singh say things like Rahul Gandhi is the most competent person to be the next Prime Minister of India. He got to be joking, right?! I mean, you have to appreciate their efforts to make everyone of us laugh! Proving to be a good leader, Rahul Gandhi kept this “motto” in mind and showed us his humorous side through some of his funniest statements. Who else than Rahul Gandhi has made a more witty comment than saying that the Congress party does not do dynastical politics? He also said that the Dalits must attain the escape velocity of Jupiter to achieve success. Did you see what he did there? In a philosophical sprout, he again said that poverty is actually a state of mind. I mean, stop it! We can take only this much of humor, intelligence, and philosophy.
Giving a close competition to Mr. Gandhi is the Chief Minister of Assam, Mr. Gogoi. Gogoi is so famous for making witty comments that I sometimes wonder, he might have done more justice to his alternate career option – that of a stand up comedian. From “We’ll get the wizards of Mayong to beat Modi in the 2014 elections” to “Rajiv Gandhi had invented mobile phones”, he, at different times, has given a lot to us to laugh at. The only time I saw him agitated and very rude to the media was when the latter asked him if the high command of the Congress party thinks that Assam is a dumping ground. It was then when the Assam state Congress had welcomed Mr. Sanjay Singh with great zeal to represent Assam in the Rajyasabha. Albeit Mr. Singh didn’t know anything about Assam, was accused of murder, and was denied a similar opportunity from some of the other states of India. So what? The P.M, Dr. Singh, had also represented Assam after all. People can clearly see how much progression Assam has made because of that. Media is really a hindrance in Assam’s growth. During this election, these media people even showed a couple of big faces from certain political parties openly distributing money among the voters. Why do they do that? I mean, these TV guys? Don’t they have any better program to show? These media guys have also made Modi the biggest menace for the Congress party. As rightly stated by Priyanka Gandhi, another great intellect of the Gandhi clan, there was never a “Modi wave” otherwise.
Then there are witty politicians like Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, who quite famously said that it’s natural for the youths to rape; that the young, in their youth, do such things and there’s no point in giving them life sentence for such a mistake. It’s a young thing, you know! Thanks to Mr. Yadav, all the other people on Earth now know the difference between a crime and a mistake. On the other hand, his colleague Mr. Abu Azmi said that in case of a rape, not only the rapist, but also the woman should be killed. He also added that any woman who has sex outside marriage, with or without her consent, should be killed. Brilliant!
Coming back to Assam- as we speak, the forest minister of Assam is trying to pass a bill that allows them to dehorn the one-horned rhinos of Assam to “protect” the rhinos from poaching. Noble thought, I must say. The rhinos of Assam anyway have one horn less than their counterparts around the world. So let’s just cut away its horn and nobody will kill a rhino. Makes perfect sense. I just have one small problem while I imagine explaining this mascot of Assam to the next generation. Tomorrow if my kid asks me “What’s that thing on their nose?” I’ll probably cite “evolution” as the reason. On a similar note, I am eagerly waiting to see what this government suggests to do to a woman to curb rape. By the way, North East reports a huge chunk of rape cases per year.
Considering all these, I just wish that we have an equally entertaining government in the center this May- a sensible, empathetic, effective, aggressive, progressive, and efficient government for all of us. Abki baar, ek acchi sarkaar.
[This post was written for the May 2014 issue of Eastern Panorama, a monthly news magazine published from Shillong.]