Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rashtrapati ya Rashtrapatni ??

When I was in junior school, the school authorities bought a piece of land just adjacent to our school building to give young kids like us, more space to hone our sporting skills and that we surely did with full enthusiasm. We innovated on some very popular games like the farthest-spitter event and the tadpole-catching competition which however wasn't too well received by my mother when she saw her water-storage tank playing host to around eighteen well-caught-future-frogs. They all went down the drain and with them my ambitions to one day become the world's leading frog-breeder.

However what was remarkable about all these games was the manner in which they spread and caught on with the fancy of the entire school.
So while a few weeks would see numerous squatting huddles engaged in very serious games of marbles, the next weeks would see the entire school divided in groups with each banging their Hot-Wheel cars head-on to see whose wouldn't overturn.
Often the head banging could not be restrained to the toy cars alone and after around five or six hospitalisations, a new game such as Fart-Jumping would crop up from nowhere and all would be friends again.
(**--Many such wierd things happen in all boys schools most of which are kept under wraps to leave us happily with the illusion that we are still civilised.)

The whimsical and fairly ridiculous manner in which we came up with our games however fades in comparison to the fascinating selection process adopted by our politicians over the last few weeks to choose a candidate, competent enough to be our country's next President.

I hereby briefly touch upon the profiles of some of the candidates whose names have cropped up in this presidential race.
Guest appearances in this race by stalwarts such as Amitabh Bachchan and Narayan Murthy did not qualify them to merit a mention in this list.

Somnath Chatterjee
This angry old man of Indian politics who started his political career in the early seventies has a kind of ever-frowning face that would make you think that either his favourite underwear is being stolen every morning or that he suffers for chronic piles.
In his position as the speaker of the Lok Sabha, he holds the record for having staged more walk-outs than all the other MPs put together.
A cartoonist's delight, this man's desire to be the next President of India has been chosen as India's official entry in this year's list of 10 most hilarious comments made by a politician.

Dr.Karan Singh
This scholarly gentleman's existence in the Congress party is acknowledged every 5 years whenever there is a question of shortlisting candidates for the presidential post and he too very well knows that he will never be really chosen and instead spends his time authoring autobiographical books with extremely relevant titles such as 'Brief Sojourn' and 'A Tryst with History'.
This periodic media attention seems to be the only candy offered to him for his unquestionable alleigance to the Gandhi family which goes to such extents that he is rumoured to have undergone surgery to stitch the Nehru cap to his skull.
Of course he has also been appointed the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Cell of the Congress Party and his personal website summarises his position as follows:
"In this capacity he is present whenever a visiting Head of Government calls upon the Chairperson of UPA, Shrimati Sonia Gandhi, or when she calls upon visiting Heads of Government."
Rarely has a former king been bestowed with more gracious a post.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Mr Vajpayee, the poet-politician was the choice of the Trinamool Congress, a party whose only contribution towards social welfare till date has been in the field of calling statewide bandhs thus giving the people of West Bengal a well deserved mid-week paid holiday every now and then.
Their dimunitive leader Ms.Mamata Banerjee whose histrionics in the public arena is the basis of many a Bollywood movie script however could not pull this one off for though she had been advised that bachelors invariably suffer from senile dementia after 75, Mr.Vaypayee held on to his wits and politely declined the offer. The party is considering on a West Bengal Bandh on this issue soon.

Sushil Kumar Shinde
Elementary geometry books often use his face to describe a perfect circle.This man who sports a goatee in his head however was never a serious contender and his name was proposed primarily to fill the OBC quota in the presidential nominee list.

Shivraj Patil
Our Home minsiter was actually out in the market to choose the right design for his new name plate to be used in the Rashtrapati Bhawan when he received a call from Dr.Manmohan Singh's PA who said " Non sarete il presidente Sig.Patil" (Italian is the lingua franca of the Indian Cabinet these days) which translated to "You will not be the president Mr.Patil".
This soft spoken, former Lok Sabha Speaker who often uses the powerful weapon of his stern looks and stony silence to counter Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Al-Jaish terrorist threats, reacted to this message in his typical fashion and has dutifully gone back to his daily routine of political inaction and professional inefficiency.
After the bomb blasts in Delhi on the eve of Diwali, this man who aspired to be the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces was quoted to have said
"I appeal to the people to please go back to their families immediately. They will feel secure when they see their relatives."
Although retirement for Indian politicians is considered unconstitutional, this man if he ever thinks of quitting active politics, would be best advised to not take on a career as a motivational speaker.

Pranab Mukherjee
He has been the country's Finance Minister,Defence Minister,External Affairs minister and is currently the Foreign Affairs minister.With no other top ministry in sight, and the Prime Ministership not on offer, he thought of becomming the President of India and got all his Bengali comrade friends to support his candidature. Soniaji who is rumoured to have a memory stronger than that of many elephants put together, sweetly reminded him of two things. First he had opposed the Congress's choice of Mr.Rajiv Gandhi as the next Prime Minister of India after Indira Gandhi's death in 1984. Second his experience in governance is so highly indispensable and so very invaluable to the UPA government that it would be quite impossible to let him go.
Soon after he was seem roaming in the corridors of the Parliament House listening to Mukesh's all time hit song "Jaoon Kahan bata aye dil...Sonia badi hain Sangdil... Gaandhee aayee ghar jalane....Sujhe na koi manzil....""

Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
He is 84 years old and has 17 election victories and two open heart surgeries in his rather impressive resume. While most other people in the above list have been sidelined in this fascinating race, this man continues to run the marathon 'independantly' claiming to have some secret winning formula which goes beyond plain airthmetic. Maybe he is banking on the conscience vote factor but he would surely be aware of the loose sand he is building his hopes upon, for conscience is something which tops in the list of Ineligibilty Criteria to be an Indian politician.

Pratibha Patil
When people grow old in politics, they usually become Governors and lead the next 5 years of their life inaugurating everything that opens new in the state. Pratibha Patil was no exception to this rule and was leading a fairly ordinary politician's life with only one murder accused brother and a loan default of only Rs.17.5 crores. Once Mr.Shivraj Patil's candidature was rejected by the Left parties, the UPA government did a quick search in their database of other available Patils who would not mind naming any child born in their families after Soniaji. When the search results showed that all Patils in the Congress party were willing to do so, they thought of conducting a quick survey on some other fundamental aspects of Indian presidency. The questions were as follows :

a) Do you have the strength of character to take the firm decision that everything needs to be decided at the 10 Janpath residence?
b) Are you adept at changing nappies and willing to baby-sit Priyanka's children during the 2009 elections?
c) Do you know the difference between Oregano and Orangutan.

Though the last question filtered out most of the contenders, yet when no clear choice emerged out of the survey, Soniaji decided to take matters in her own hands and she came up with that one defining criterion which she felt must be their in any individual who was aspiring to be the head of the largest democracy in the world which was
He/She should have seen and communicated with an actual ghost!!

(Hasn't surrealism always been an integral factor in Indian politics ?)
And it is here that Mrs.Pratibha Patil Shekhawat beat all other contenders and raced ahead to be the official UPA nominee for India's next President.
With her exhaustive and entensive knowledge on both Indian and Italian culture and history, she indeed seems to be the most eligible candidate to replace the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna awardee and current president Dr.Abdul Kalam.
Her husband who in all likelihood is going to have the rather dubious distinction of being the first male 'First-Lady' of our country was quoted as saying "We are in a state of shock" and for once, I think we can completely empathise with this gentleman.

This completes my humble effort to touch upon the profiles of these luminaries and any hint of sarcasm anywhere in this post is purely speculative on the part of the reader and absolutely unintentional.

Jai Hind .


Ellie said...

Ha Ha HA!

A very apt take on the Indian polity. We are here wondering as to how on earth can Congress so blatantly and shameless thrust upon a veritable puppet but there is only so much that we can do.

And this is one of the things! You are a true patriot!! ;)

Did u read that Karan Singh said, " I am the only qualified candidate for the Presidency of India!" ? It was hilarious to hear it. That poor bloke's name surfaces once in five years...for every presidential election and then the title is unceremoniously whisked away from right under his nose!!

Utsav Mamoria said...


Had it been not for pragnya, i wouldnt have been introduced to this blog forever. I heard a lot about you from NESA guys, and i t seems its all worth it now.

The shameless and mindless Tamasha called the presidential elections just goes on to show how low have we stooped for power.

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Your charm never seems to fade! Wonder why you didn't touch upon Laloo Prasad Yadav as a candidate, though! :D

Ellie said...

Sorry for answering on ur behalf...but I believe..Laloo yadav has always coveted the PMs post more than the president! He still has more steam in him...may be when starts becoming the grand old man of politics..then we'll see Priyanka Gandhi doin the honours of nominating him!

But wait...wont he have too much of his own brain to use?? Tccch...tccch...there! now he's disqualified from being a Congress nominee!! :-o

Nikhil said...

Awesome as always!

Funny that even my latest post is on the Presidential election and the fun around it. Here

Rajarshi said...

Hilarious and satirical as always..Was having a particularly bad day..reading ur post just made me smile..keep it going..btw I guess if u keep going at this rate..a pultizer may not be impossible..hey no sarcasm made..reading Suketu Mehta's 'Maximum City' on b'bay these it if u haven't yet..guess u will like it..As u said in one of ur posts 'A 10 min walk from VT to Churchgate will tell you that pepole in this city walk with their hearts in their sleeves'..

HP said...

Loved the post!!

Keep inkin!!


Wanderlust said...

@ellie-My faithful blog reader,Thanks.If I leave my candidature aside, then I would be inclined to agree with Karan Maharaj.

@utsav-Thanks for visiting friend.A piece of advice...dont believe these NESA guys much !!

@sudipta--Just lost him in the cattle maybe.

@ellie-Dhanyavaad dost. Naukri join kari nahi aur outsourcing chalu !! :-))

@nikhil-Thanks mate.Good to see u after long.

@raj-Pulitzer ya PoliceJhar ???? Dont have much access to the recent books here mate...Will catch up surely once back.

@hp- Will keep inking as long as HP keeps printing.

silverine said...

"he is rumored to have undergone surgery to stitch the Nehru cap to his skull."

LOL!!! Good one!!

wanderlust said...

"ever-frowning face that would make you think that either his favourite underwear is being stolen every morning or that he suffers for chronic piles" - ROFL

just happened by seeing a similar blog name and enjoyed thoroughly.