Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 20:13:54

Modi Banddi, Please!

Updated: September 30, 2014 3:25 pm

 The Manager of a readymade garments retail shop told a customer looking at a banddi that he should wait for a fortnight or so. The reason, Modi-style banddis are expected. He said for so many years the demand always was for Nehru jacket but now the customers are demanding jackets patterned on the style Prime Minister Narendra Modi wears. Another large designer readymade agreed that the people wanted to wear the kind of jacket, shirt, kurta and pyjama Modi sports. He is a fashion icon. No wonder in America his dresses were noticed and he emerged about Michelle Obama in style.

Modi is in business of politics otherwise members of his community have an ingrained talent for trade. Anyone else would have taken out a copyright on the design of clothes he wears. Imagine the amount Modi would have made giving permission for basing the design of their clothes on that of his. But one supposes the prime ministership is more than enough compensation. He should be content. Whatever it might be now Modi has replaced foreign fashionists and Nehru in men’s fashion. One wonders if the Congress leaders, especially, the Family would take umbrage for displacement of Nehru’s style.

Rahul’s New Incarnation An Angry ‘Young’ Man

He is so angry, or pretends to be, that he rushed and jumped into the well, fortuitously not from which water is drawn, but of the Lok Sabha. It is sacrosanct and no one is supposed to enter it. But our Rahul Gandhi, in his new avatar of an aggressive and ready to fight young man, showed he did not care for such inconsequential off-limits conventions.

Usually quiet and reticent in Parliament, Congress vice-president Gandhi not only stormed the well of the House with Opposition MPs demanding a discussion on “rising incidents of communal violence in the country”, he questioned the impartibility of the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. His ire was over her refusal to comply with his request. In any case the agenda and timing are fixed by the standing committee and not by a Mother dairy outlet!

Reports are that there have been 600 communal incidents in Uttar Pradesh since the Lok Sabha results and how these are clustered around 12 bypoll areas—Opposition members raised the issue before Question Hour. Congress leader in the House Mallikarjun Kharge demanded a discussion on an adjournment motion. The Congress wanted the Question Hour to be suspended. The Speaker, however, did not permit a discussion. That incensed the angry Prince and his shouting went up a few decibels. This is when Rahul rushed to the well of the House with other members. The group of MPs chanted slogans against the government, “We want justice”, “Achhe din kahaan gaye?” and “Pradhan Mantri kahaan gaye? Bhaag gaye, bhaag gaye.”

Talking to the reporters outside Parliament he continued his tirade. He alleged that the Opposition was not being allowed to speak in the House. “We are asking for discussion. There is a mentality in the government that discussion is not acceptable. Everybody feels it; their party feels it; we feel it; everybody feels it,” he said. “There is a mood in Parliament that only one man’s voice counts for anything in this country… We are raising a point; we are asking for discussion… The Speaker, I mean… It is completely one-sided, partiality. That’s what we are raising,” he said. Rejecting his charges of bias, Mahajan later said equal opportunity is given to all members and parties.

“Since this government has come to power, communal riots are spreading everywhere. Who is behind it? That has to be discussed,” he said.

The government refuted the charges. But the main focus is on how and why he had a complete metamorphosis. Is he angry with himself for losing the election badly, or with his party leaders who have been critical of him—one advising him and his mother to go away on two-year leave and another? telling him to have patience and listen to others? Or he is smarting over the demand to bring in his sister Priyanka. There are no relationships or friends at the top. Would Rahul like to hand over the gaddi he has been occupying for a decade?

The consensus is that his new aggression and tactics are his counter to the demand of overwhelming number of Congressmen for Priyanka to take the lead. Posters have appeared and resolutions have been passed in a few district committees. This probably is the last, desperate fight being put up by him, to stall the coup from within. It is as yet not known if he has Sonia’s blessings or she is being neutral. Much will depend on what Priyanka wants. If she decides to come, his brother cannot prevent her. The theatrics do not last long. Even MPs were grinning at the show he put up.

Second Stroke

K Natwar Singh overjoyed at the phenomenal success of his autobiography and has decided to come out with another edition of what he has seen, heard. It and knows could include a rejoinder to Sonia Gandhi if her memoire comes by April or so next year. The news must have alarmed 10, Janpath. The One Life is Not Enough, has been enough to destroy her image and ruin her political future, whatever was left of it.

Foreign Jaunts And Outings Just Dream For Ministers

A minister sought permission to go to London for 15 days. He got rejection note from the PMO. So he sent for permission for seven days. This was also rejected. Unable to suppress his disappointment and frustration he reportedly went personally to meet a senior PMO official. The minister reportedly told the official that he was going to attend an official function and also attend the graduation ceremony of his daughter. He pleaded that if he did not attend his daughter’s graduation ceremony she would never forgive him. The official promised to get him an answer. The answer was the same again—rejection. Additional message, according to sources, was that he had the option of resigning and then he could go to London for as long as he liked. This was rather cruel. But one is told that the suspicion was that the minister was also expected some welcome from business houses. So that is a warning to others as well. A few did start attending dinners hosted by their respective friends who stood in good stead when these VIPs were ex-VIPs. The old leisure ‘valleys’ of ministers and government of India Secretaries like the upper crust House of Ming, Bukhara, Dum Pukht and such like are sorely missing these VIPs. They scarcely come and this means the crowd of businessmen vying with each other to host these Sirjis, lamented a floor manager of a famous restaurant frequented by the ministers etc during the UPA days. Yes we are sending more packed food, admitted one restaurant manager. “But dining at our restaurant has its own pleasure.” Please don’t say this before the VVIPs. They would breakdown remembering the good, old days when the Saturn had not risen from Gujarat and now shines in Delhi. Samajh gaye?

System Being Finetuned

The number of those disappointed with Modi government for failing to achieve anything that were promised by him in his election speeches has been going up. A former Secretary, Government of India said that prices are still rising, women are unsafe, in fact nothing has changed. We are still waiting for acche din. But what is the reality? Observers feel that Modi has been doing what we can say preparing the ground for the future. People will suddenly find many promises have been fulfilled. He is finetuning administrative machinery. The Gujarat Governor has been sacked because of allegations of corruption. According to the grapevine Sheila Dikshit could be the next. She faces a lot of charges relating to CWG. There are speculations that some changes in portfolios and even of cabinet members are in the offing. After the present session of Parliament these changes are likely to be effected.

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