Heir & Spare: When Manmohan gives it to Rahul

14 Oct

A seat for two

Will he? Won’t he? When will he? For a party that loves to answer questions with questions, it is but natural to make a 21 questions game of naming its future prime ministerial candidate.  So will the heir of la famille de Congress, Rahul Gandhi sweep aside the endless twaddle of  Congress’ wink-wink, nudge-nudge brigade and come clean on the matter? Please do, oh please do. Either say yes or no but not for heaven’s sake “You will know it when it will happen, if it will happen”. We cannot bear to watch another cruciatus curse inflicting 24/7 TV news anchor hyperventilate over this indecision: “Hello, suckers! The news breaking at the moment: Rahul Gandhi  responded to a query posed by our ‘miss no trick’ reporter and told us exclusively during a crowded press conference that  he will not run for the prime minister’s post as there is already a prime minister in the country.”   What?! You don’t say!

Snarky, supercilious political commentators would tell us that we have a choice: You don’t like it, switch the channel! Oh, really? Really? We have heard that one before. There is a teensy weensy problem.  All the channels show the same thing. What do we switch over to? The sight of a man jumping off a cliff crying, “I am the king of the world”?  Well, at least, he is clear about his position.

English nobles had a practice of having an heir (elder son) and a spare (younger son). In the case of death or incapacity of the former, the latter would take over the family business. For India, being contradictory is its shtick. So for Congress grandees, we have the ‘chosen for being biddable’ spare holding the reins until the ‘chosen for his birth’ heir is primed enough to do so. But in all the hype and hoopla over Rahul, one tends to ignore Manmohan because of his placid nature, effacing personality and his surname not being Gandhi. Ask him about mega buck scams, terrorist attacks, land revolts, children falling into manholes, Salman Khan not marrying, the man will always blink and mumble he is “anguished”.  This is not a slur against his limited vocabulary but  his limited authority.The man has a lot to be anguished about. But happy days are round the corner.

Like all good thrillers, it is often the quiet man who turns out to be the fiendishly clever villain who piles it on the hero in the end. And so, we come to the curious case of the incumbent Manmohan giving it to the waiting in the wings Rahul. While we all thought that the benign prof was warming the seat for the party protegee, all along the sly old fox was making the seat too hot to handle. Bummer.

Plagued by corruption, scandals, double-digit inflation, rising unemployment, maverick social activists, hostile neighbours, fractious opposition, internal dissension, the desi grand old party’s HQ has started to resemble the seventh circle of hell. Assisted by the master mandarin whose  initials match his aspiration, instead of going slow and steady on reforms, Manmohan is going steadily slow on it.  Thus, goes his swan song: As the clock drags it feet to 2014, troubles are sure to mount that the heir won’t be able to surmount.

Oh, to be spared by the spare!


One Response to “Heir & Spare: When Manmohan gives it to Rahul”

  1. John April 24, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    Hilarious. I don’t think the PM would be amused. But it definitely boosts his image and makes him more of a hero in my eyes.


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