RAJ Thackeray has let down Satiricus very badly. So long Satiricus was sure he knew all about the pious platitudes for the proper politicians. He also knew that the business of politics, like any other business, had to make a profit, otherwise there is no sense to it. That for the common man (read Satiricus) the platitudes that are the stock-in-trade of politicians make no sense is besides the point.
In fact it is bad business to make sense in a political speech. So Satiricus must sadly say that the speech Raj made to announce his political party was a tragic failure. For starters, all he talked about was politics of development-issues like jobs, power, water supply, roads, even security for women in local trains. See? Whoever heard of a politician who thinks development has anything do with non-issues like jobs, power supply and water shortage? Satiricus has not-at least not for the past fifty years. And in any case why do we now need politics of development when India is already developed? Look at the booming sensex and the zooming prices.
We now buy a notebook for the price of a book and a refill for the price of a pen, and we could (if we can) buy an Italian pair of shoes for 8,000 rupees and a French lady'shandbag for 30,000 rupees. Does that not mean we are now developed Indians? At least Satiricus´s underdeveloped intelligence thinks so.
Then there is this Muslim business-a tricky business, if you ask Satiricus. Raj says he is all for ?good? Muslims. Strange. Is it not axiomatic in secular India that every Muslim is a good Muslim because he is a Muslim? Take M.F. Husain. Does Raj dare say he is a bad Muslim? Of course not. Husain is not only a good Muslim, he is a very good Muslim, consequently his secular credentials are so high that the Government of secular India did not think twice before plying him with Padma awards thrice.
On the other hand Raj mentioned Dr Abdul Kalam, President of India, as an exemplary example of a good Muslim. Now Satiricus recalls-but apparently Raj does not-that when Dr Kalam'sname came up for presidentship and he was praised as a goodman, there were Muslims who publicly questioned the goodness of his Muslimness. Then again, are those Muslims good, bad or indifferent who, while backing Raj, publicly declared that they were happy his party'sflag has a green strip, because ?green is the colour of our religion?? And the secular media'shappy headline, ?Raj Thackeray sheds hardcore Hindutva?-should Satiricus take it to mean that in shedding his previous party'sfully saffron flag in favour of a partly green flag, Raj has sent the signal that as a part of his politics of development he is developing from a full communalist into at least a part-secularist? Oh well, it seems what Raj says despite being a politician makes sense, but what he does not say, being a politician, makes more sense.
All in all, Raj Thackeray seems a sensible youngman, so he may be forgiven for thoughtlessly trying to be a sensible politician at the same time. He is still too young to have acquired the required expertise in platitudinous double standards in words and deeds that are the very stuff of politics.
What is more reassuring, despite him and his likes-if any-Indian politics is in no danger of becoming an honest calling. For what this leader of India'syoungest political party has yet to learn, the leader of India'soldest party has not only learnt but mastered. An exquisite example of this mastery was her recent, repeated ritual of renunciation.
Look at Sonia'sspeech announcing that she was resigning as MP and NAC chief-?an atmosphere as if government and Parliament are being used only to favour me….has immensely hurt me…? How touching? And how cruel to hurt the lady'sladylike emotions, no? How can the government favour her when the government needs her favour to exist?
Off and on Satiricus reads about Sonia Gandhi making official pronouncements on matters about which the Prime Minister knows nothing. So it is ridiculous to suppose and/or say that his government has the authority to favour her, or-God forbid!-to frown on her. That being the case, Satiricus quite agrees that what she has done so dramatically, so spectacularly, is a dazzling example of selflessness.
It is therefore in the fitness of things that men, women and Congressmen should shower praise on her. Some hailed it as her ?purification?, some cried hoarse about their leader's?sacrifice and divinity?. Some declared, ?Sonia Gandhi has shown she is above greed and power… She is a picture of virtuosity and peace.? Some said, ?A mother always sacrifices for her children.? And finally some waved pictures showing her as a latter-day Rani of Jhansi. Satiricus is simply overwhelmed.
How can one person so sacrifice herself again and again-almost making it a practice, if not a political ploy? Will it not affect her ?divinity??
In the days of the Raj there were people who said British rule was by divine dispensation. Then why can'tSatiricus say this Italian rule is equally divine and cannot be tarnished by human foibles like greed for power without responsibility? But here Satiricus-the curious cuss that he is-cannot help wondering about something: What about that ordinance that was abruptly aborted? Soon after Parliament was adjourned officials had worked right through the night and into the early hours, just hours before the stage performance of what a big, bold newspaper headline irreverently called ?Sonia Gandhi, in and as Second Renunciation?. Oh well, discretion is the better part of the valour of a latter-day Jhansi ki Rani, no?