With abject apologies to a certain poet?Breathes there the politician with ego so dead, who never to himself (or herself) has said, I want power? Satiricus thinks not. But then, what does Satiricus know about politicians? The simpleton that he is, he finds the complexities of the political mind beyond his ken. And, of course, politicians with an inner voice are a class apart. Actually Satiricus finds it hard to believe that such a species exists. For, why does a politician need an inner voice, when it is the outer voice that s/he needs to conduct the business of politics?
So when Soniaji said she was declining the post of Prime Minister because her inner voice told her to do so, Satiricus felt flummoxed. After spending a life-time close to top-ranking politicians, Satiricus has seen that the business of politics is the business of power. Then if, as she so piously claims, Sonia never wanted power, why did she ever want politics? Oh well, perhaps her inner voice had different decibels at different times. For instance, a few short years ago this same inner voice had urged her to rush with a claim to form the government even when, as she later found to her chagrin, she did not have the numbers. Does this mean a politician'sinner voice speaks in different voices to suit different occasions? Seems so, no? Then what is the real reason? Your guess is as good as mine, as the cliche goes.
That being so, there are as many reasons as there are people. According to a Congress Party poster, it was a magnificent act of balidaan. But if we have a martyr, don'twe need a tyrant who makes a martyr of him or her? Then there was a journalist?of all people!?whom Satiricus watched on TV in disbelief declaring that Sonia'sact was as noble as that of a certain British monarch renouncing the throne. For Comrade Jyoti Basu it was her children?they love Mummy too much to expose her to danger as PM. In a way they have a point, because it is always safer to be kingmaker than to be king. An added?and very real?benefit is that you can exercise power without being accountable for its consequences. So Satiricus wonders?Sonia has renounced a political post, but has she surrendered political power? Even stupid Satiricus suspects not. Strangely enough, even not-so-stupid Congressmen not only suspect it, but say it. They say ?Doctors? may come and ?Doctors? may go, but Dynasty goes on for ever.
It is always safer to be kingmaker than to be king. The benefit is that you can exercise power without being accountable for its consequences.
At the same time Sonia'sinner voice is also an astute voice. It apparently asked her?do you really believe you can run the government and rule the country? Do you have the genius of an Atal Behari to herd a motley crowd of ministers from parties that are cheaper by the dozen? Now that your political future is clearly ?Left in the lurch?, can you pass as the leader of a government in which the tail wags the dog? And most frightening of all, do you really, really believe you can rule India, let alone Bharat, when even yesterday'sknight in shining secular armour like Tavleen Singh now says your very presence in India'spolitics, let alone as India'sPrime Minister, is ?dangerously divisive?.
So my dear Sonia, the voice must have whispered in your inner ear, even if you don'tcare for the divisiveness you may cause in the country, beware of the dangerous consequences you may cause for your career. It is that as Prime Minister you could come a cropper much sooner rather than later. It was this dire but distinct possibility, say some uncharitable souls, that was the real reason of Soniaji'sRaj-sanyas. They even summed it up in just two succinct, scurrilous words?blue funk.
But if there is a method in the madness, there is a plan in the panic. The plan is simple?push a meek political lightweight forward to tackle the chaos, let him get mired in the mess, then step in to save the country by delivering it to the dynasty. At least that is how ?a fairly large chunk? of Congressmen see it, if a leading newspaper is to be believed. This paper says most Congressmen ?are not ready to bet on the Singh government'ssurvival beyond two years?.
And what after, as Congressmen expect, the Congress party-led government collapses? Then where can the poor Congress orphans go except to Mama? And when they go to her, she would proudly present to them the real architects of the miraculous Congress victory?her two little darlings, Rahul and Priyanka. To quote Tavleen twice, ?Indian newspapers are replete with hacks of ?secular? persuasion who have not stopped gushing about Rahul Gandhi's?youthful sincerity? and Priyanka Vadra nee Gandhi's?gorgeous looks?, and concluding that it was this dazzling combination that made the difference.?
A Hindi newspaper had a front-page editorial declaring Rahul Gandhi as the sort of person India needs in public life because he is ?polite?, and as for Priyanka, her status as the treasure-house of all wisdom in the world was certified by Congressmen years ago. All in all, the dynasty is back?if not on the throne, at least behind it, and India is sure to be saved from going Bharat, sooner or (two years) later.
In the meanwhile Satiricus would suggest it is time for the Bharatiya Janata Party to ponder over one crucial question?should it become more Bharatiya or less Bharatiya for acceptance by the Indian voter? As Satiricus sees it, the Indian voter is a no-nonsense person?a no-Bharatiya-nonsense person. He has a catholic outlook?catholic enough to vote for the country'sleadership by a Roman Catholic from the homeland of Roman Catholicism. So now that the Bharatiyas of the Bharatiya Janata Party have jettisoned narrow Hindutva masquerading as Bharatiyata, they could well embrace catholic-cum-Catholic secularism.