A Manufactured Problem
At times it makes you wonder whether the situation is real or manufactured. Refresh your memory, and think of one instance where either party has actually declared a name as the Prime Ministerial candidate… either of the two names that are touted by the media! While on one hand, the BJP is entangled in its own internal tug-of-war to decide one name out of the 543 probable candidates, the Congress is busy pleasing mommy dearest with all kinds of soap-opera. It seems they have outsourced the real work of deciding a name and devising an election strategy to all the TV channels—which has further trickled down to our drawing rooms and Facebook walls. News channels are running two kinds of rhetoric: “Why should Modi/Rahul be the PM candidate in 2014” and “Why the BJP/Congress is not officially declaring Modi/Rahul as the PM candidate”. The entire drama and the brainwash of the people has escalated to such a heightened level that today people do not even think beyond these two choices. Their respective parties too now don’t even seem to have an option but to declare these two as the PM candidates even though they have shown no categorical inclination to do so thus far. All because the media got some easy news and high TRPs. The ferocity with which they hold each discussion to decide not the nomination, but the winner, tells me that they would be willing to give an arm and a leg to go in 2014 and take a peek at the results, now if only someone can come up with that time machine.
Another very interesting and shameful trend is the unwillingness of the leaders from both parties to man up and to openly throw their hats in the rings. I do not understand their coyness in admitting that they too have got Prime Ministerial ambitions. Okay I do understand the case of Rahul Gandhi; he might have been struggling to figure out what the abbreviation PMO actually stands for, but take Modi for instance. Each of his speeches—even the ones he delivered for the Gujarat assembly elections—were made to address pan-India issues. He talks of national politics and despite the unwillingness of the party to declare the name openly, his demeanour clearly exhibits his ambitions. Then why not declare openly! If nothing else, it would save a hell lot of prime-time TV space, and people’s energy and time! Moreover, if you behave as if you’ll treat the PM’s post as a liability rather than taking the pride associated with it, you are heading towards being another Manmohan Singh; and we have had enough of that.
Comedians jump in
And while we are discussing this, it is always best to lighten up the mood by taking a break and allowing the Jokers to take the stage. A Samajwadi Party leader said that Mulayam Singh is best suited for the PM’s post. While over the years they have said many a thing to entertain us, this one takes the cake. To remind you all, Mulayam Singh Yadav is the same person who till recently tried to lead us into the 21st century by openly opposing computers and the English language. While we may laugh at it for a while, the mere thought of a Third Front headed by him (or worse, the statues from the same state, even if a distant possibility) sends shivers down the spine, and makes me reach out for the passport and run towards the visa office of Teheran.
Direct Cash… Transferred Abroad!
Even after a month of the initiation of Direct Cash Transfer (DCT) scheme, the small fraction of people who would actually benefit from it is still clueless about the what, why, when, how of it. It’s as if even after the elections and results, the nation were to be clueless who the PM is…. oh wait a sec, that sounds familiar. But even after all the faults and the fact that the scheme is misguided and intended for other benefits than the welfare of the people, the cash not reaching them would be the last fault you would wish to creep into it. After all, isn’t that the only intention of initiating the scheme! And by failing to do so, it’s not only defying its purpose but name as well: Direst Cash TRANSFER! I hope the transfer happens towards all the intended accounts and not towards Swiss Bank accounts.
In other very important news of this week, the Netherlands just shot up to #1 on my list of places to visit from its previously occupied position of… well, #1. The reason so far was Amsterdam. Now it’s both Amsterdam and Arnhem. A hotel in Arnhem has made rooms with QR codes on every possible article and inch of the room; these QR codes hide with them porn—photos and videos. As if the internet wasn’t sufficient, but you got to admire such an innovative use of the technology. Time to pack the bags.