Mr. PM! Mrs. Gandhi, the Lady par excellence in politics, can very well afford another mouthpiece for herself and “granny” for her genetically blessed Prince. But the nation, cursed with an all the more lame and weak Opposition, has no other option to seek respite from. And that is precisely the reason we can do nothing but sigh restlessly at the open mockery of democracy at the very PMO.
To begin with, accept my congratulations-in-bewilderment for the seven years of tenure as an apparent political head in a liberal democracy like India. The achievement is laudable because you have survived gleefully, despite your government hitting the rock bottom at several occasions and on multiple issues in past seven years. Surviving unstained through the dingy Indian politics is no less an appreciable feat. But you have done it, all applauds to you!!
1. Your Profile: Mr. PM! The soft, mild, gentle, yielding, submissive nature adorned with a heart warming smile suits perfectly to the description of the lead male characters from any of the Ekta Kapoor’s serials. Add on to it the fascinating tags like OXFORD and CAMBRIDGE alumnus and a comfortable Class I job at the highest office of the country, and you are ready with the Perfect Groom’s Profile, which any Indian mother would want for her daughter. If it were not for your age and marital status you probably would have been the most eligible bachelor of the country.
But! Mr. PM!! Does that make you the Mr. SUITABLE for the topmost Political Office of the country?
NO! Absolutely not! A massive country like ours, which is vulnerable to harms and regressions at various fronts, needs a strong, decisive, upfront leader and not the epitome of passivity and mildness that your profile projects. Mr. PM! The nation might be a huge admirer of your personal integrity but that does not make us less baffled at your political fragility.
2. Stop iterating “I did not know anything”: Please Mr. PM!! Scam after scam, the Games fiddles, buying and selling of votes, allowing reservations in the Education Bill, Dayanidhi Maran cases, lathicharge oppression of innocent people at Ramlila Maidan, etc. etc.! Every damn execution culminating the government was spun right under your nose and you say, “I didn’t smell the filth!”
Oh! Innocent Mr. PM! Ignorance is neither bliss nor an excuse when it comes to the issues of national concern. Your integrity and clean white image appears to be the funniest joke when so many of your Cabinet is stigmatized with the darkest shades of corruption.
“Actions speak louder than words”. True. And no wonder you appear to be double-fold dumb with an obstinate absence of both. I wonder if the PM’s oath had the unbreakable clause, “I accept the fact! That I’ll never ever Act.” We shall not be surprised if IUPAC adds a new inert element to the group 18 of the periodic table and names it MMS in your honour!
Enough is enough! The nation has had enough of your dumbness, deafness, blindness and placidity. Halt it, Mr. PM!! Get out of your hibernation and change your handicapped attitude lest the nation too becomes crippled due to the lack of a strong leadership. It’s high time that your attitude of curt chilliness and taking refuge in passivity be shed off!!
Also, since you really care not about big deals, please give a little heed to constant publicity seekers like Mr. Jairam Ramesh and “Alias-for-rubbish” Mr. Digvijay Singh whose non-sense ramblings give nothing more than a chronic headache to the nation! Why not generously donate a little bit of your muteness to these co-party members?? And the nation expects (as if you care!) a stringent action from you when a drowsy national representative like Mr. S. M. Krishna reads a Portuguese Speech in a UN gathering. Mr. PM! Sushma Swaraj’s dance at Rajghat is blown to bumpers by your party and such statements and issues which present a slumbering image of the national representatives to the international community are given no heed at all! Doesn’t really matter Mr. PM! Does it?
3. Thanks! But no thanks for the puppet show at the PMO!: Mr. PM! It gives us no pleasure to expand PM as the Prime Minion rather than the Prime Minister. But the servile and obsequious persona that you endorse, forces us to be sadists to ourselves! Why the hell! You don’t understand the fact that you are the presiding King of the royal and prestigious 7 Race Course Road and not the hapless but faithful servant of the Queen’s 10 Janpath? Any dementia or dyslexia? Mr. PM! Stop being the puppet dancing to the regulatory tunes of Madamji. Also stop being the cover-up granny for her Baba’s baby steps in politics. Stop giving the jack to his politically measured Dalit and Kisan affections, and act. Need I mention the paltry amount of compensation offered to the Bhatta Parsaul victims, the very next day to the Baby’s picnic in the jail? Or should I throw some light on the recent mundane Cabinet reshuffles, totally to aid Baby’s cradle set up in UP?
Mr. PM! The Lady par excellence in politics can very well afford another mouthpiece for herself and granny for her genetically blessed Prince. But the nation, cursed with an all the more lame and weak Opposition, has no other option to seek respite from. And that is precisely the reason we can do nothing but sigh restlessly at the open mockery of democracy at the very PMO. Just that “better a well than a ditch”!
4. Talk issues of importance! Shall we? Though there are some hundreds of issues I would like to mention, but let me spare my editor too much effort and stick to a couple of the most important ones plaguing the nation right now and since ages:
(a) All applauds to your designation as “The prime architect in the Indian Economy reformation” and hail you for bringing India out of the economic isolation and help it become the fastest growing economy of Asia. Well done! But that, Mr. PM, is the story of the 1990s and the worst we can do is cherish the past golden period and ignore the present circumstances.
The economic data is pretty fascinating but the social indicators are as much deplorable. A whopping GDP of USD 1.73 trillion might astonish an economy-analyst but it doesn’t relieve the hunger pangs of 40 crore Indians still living below the poverty line. And that poverty line also has been drawn amongst the lowest ones of the world. The economic growth at 7-8% is overshadowed by the inflation ballooning at the rate of 10-11%. And it is the latter which is more significant in determining the present economic status of the country as it is what affects the salaried middle class and affects adversely to be more specifically. The economy growth rate on the other hand has direct positive effects on the creamy bureaucrat and rich business classes only. And unfortunately it is the marginal middle class which outnumbers the business class by a difference too big to ignore.
Mr. PM! Braced with those degrees from Cambridge and Oxford, it is you who can once again reform this unbridled economy growth and put it towards a more sustainable one.
(b) It might be too hackneyed but the relationship with Pakistan is one issue that I could not ignore too. Mr. PM! The bilateral dialogue and peace process with Pakistan has never come to such a standstill in the last two decades, as it has at this point of time. And yes! I’m ignoring Ms. Hina Khar’s much hyped visit which is welcomed by the Indian think tank more for the beauty of it than the brains behind it. For heaven sake Mr. PM! Do not leave everything to the mercy of events and invite more and more terror attacks. Chuck this ‘wait and watch policy’ and ‘let the time decide its course attitude’. It is the least prudent solution to the most difficult question that the country has to face and suffer from every now and then. Be proactive, Mr. PM! Give us the apparent, appreciable and satisfactory results. There is nothing wrong if the country wants an upfront and influential leader like Obama or Bush who took every possible step and made sure US doesn’t see a repeat show of 9/11. Mr. PM, you are as much an authority and the political head of as big a nation as India. Making it to the Forbes‘ list of the 100 most influential people of the world is good, but as good as good-for-nothing, Mr. PM! Don’t be good! Do good!! Do! You’ve got to be the man in action for the solid steps towards battling this daunting challenge of terrorism!
(c) As if the external threats to the country ain’t big enough to trouble, we have these internal threats challenging the national security. You call Naxal and Maoist movements as the greatest internal threats to the country. But have you noticed the movement has taken its gravest form of violence and mass destruction during your tenure. And the demands being as primitive as “fulfillment of basic needs and provision of equal opportunities.” An issue plaguing 18 states of the country and aided with the massive influx of unsatisfied/hungry “youth” to the movement at the present time is liable to destructive burst-outs any time in near future. And nothing could be more unmanageable than an apocalypse arising from within the country and by the country people. Intrude in, Mr. PM and bring out the quick resolution of the issues! Lest we fall short of the people caring about external affairs since they have been too victimized by the internal ones.
5. Wake up Mr. PM! It’s high time that you shed off your attitude of curt chilliness and stop taking refuge in extreme passivity. We don’t want you to be a hapless victim of constant public criticism but a leader competent enough to answer and undertake any public scrutiny. Set up your top priority goals/issues and kick off hard core measures to their fulfillment. We do not urge you to be the centre of geopolitical limelight, but definitely want you to come out from the shades of affirmative placidity to effective activity. We understand that just three years of your tenure are left. But then they say, better late than never.
Come on Mr. PM! Show your mettle, it’s the time!
Lead the nation dynamically, chuck the mime!!
(The illustrations in this post are by Nipun Chawla)