I really admire Kiran Bedi. Believe me. Don’t go by my old tweets. I have since got inspired, and evolved. In any case, as a tennis champion-turned-first woman IPS officer-turned-Team Anna activist-turned-Modi fan-turned-BJP backer-turned-Sangh lover-turned-my favourite politician, the Irony Lady from Punjab out to win Delhi is easy to admire.
To make it easier still, let me paint a picture. A graceful visage with a ready smile; slightly tinted glasses covering her wide eyes; confident body language defined by flourishes of the index finger and stiff nods; and a relentless capacity to deliver phrases, theories, and sermons that sound way more meaningful than anything by Shiv Khera/Chetan Bhagat. Words are not enough for her.
Anyone can play with words anyway. Even self-important people who write excessively long sentences with too many adjectives, hyphens, commas, and long dashes — all of which eventually constitute a self-destructing style of writing — claim that they are writers of an obscurely profound variety. That is so easy.
It is really hard, though, to play with particular letters of the alphabet! That’s her thing.
Three Ds, six Ps, five Cs, nine Ts, seventeen Vs, eighty six Bs, two hundred and seventy nine Gs, zero Fs — such formulas can explain difficult concepts in easy rhymes. To anyone who believes that these are easy to come up with, I have a very positive point to make: Alliteration is the art of the possible. I don’t say negative things anyway now.
I’ve learnt that from her. To hell with negativity!
As a mark of my extreme admiration for her, therefore, this week’s column pays defining homage to the chief minister of Delhi. Yes, as a true Bedi Bhakt, I have already declared her the CM. Actually, I won’t take the credit. She appears to have done that herself. Bedi is the biggest Bedi Bhakt. But I must do my bit, in her style.
Here is my ‘5P’ definition of the phenomenon called Kiran Bedi:
Punjabi: First things first. She is from Amritsar, so all Punjabis are duty-bound to admire her. People may call her loud, brash, impatient, jealousy-driven, authoritarian, opportunistic, and even childish. That’s rude. But everyone also agrees that she is ‘good at heart’. That’s how Punjabis get away with anything!
Policewoman: She may have quit the service, but the cop in her is alive and kicking. It ensures that she never cops out, even when she doesn’t have an answer. Instead, she turns around and starts questioning the questioner. The whole exercise becomes a friendly farce. Fun for everyone.
PhD-holder: Don’t bother with the PhD in social sciences from IIT. That Muffler Man has a degree from IIT too. So uncool. Her real PhD is on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and governance. Proof: Two fat, blue folders marked ‘Modi’ and ‘Governance’ that she flashes often. Even though these folders carry numerous newspaper cuttings on these two subjects, she argues that the media never covered Modi and his governance properly. That clinches it. Copy-pasting and passing off several people’s work as yours, and then denying the very existence of the original source — that’s the hallmark of a successful research scholar.
(She almost got a PhD in RSS, too, after she praised it profusely. But a pesky journalist asked her about the RSS’s goal of making India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. “I am a Hindu… though I don’t say it,” she said. And then she turned modest: “See, I am not an expert on the BJP or RSS.” She must quickly gather some more newspaper cuttings.)
Positive: Nothing fazes her. Not even facts. She dismisses all her old tweets as pointless, all her old thoughts as ill-formed, and all logic as redundant. She effectively demonstrates how just two words — evolution, inspiration — can be used to explain everything from ABC to U-turns. What was communal is now nationalist. What was democratic is now rabble-rousing. What was questionable is now the answer. The rest is negativity. Inspiring indeed.
Politician par perfection: That’s a 3P within the 5P! ‘P’ also spells power, but that would be saying too much. Some call her a ‘parachute’ leader. That too is a wrong ‘P’. When people have the right to become politicians through parental pedigree, then why not through years of police service and activism followed by several months of prayers to the Messiah That Matters? It is clear so far that she possesses all the traits required to be the perfect politician. And, if perfection doesn’t work out, she can always evolve.
Got any Ps to add to the list? Do share at firstname.lastname@example.org