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His son’s father

chandigarh Updated: Mar 23, 2014 09:58 IST
Vikramdeep Johal
Vikramdeep Johal
Hindustan Times
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Hope other Congress leaders come forward similarly (like ND Tiwari) & accept their scams which they have fathered. — A netizen’s comment

I don’t shed tears so easily, not even of the crocodilian kind, but this time I just couldn’t hold them back. It happened while I was reading the story about Congress stalwart ND Tiwari finally naming his son Rohit Shekhar as his political heir. If this emotional drama doesn’t make your heart bleed, then you surely need a stent to clear all those blocked arteries.

Mind you, this isn’t one of those predictable chapters of Indian dynastic politics where the doting father blindly believes that his son is actually his flesh-and-blood product and hands everything to him on a golden platter. In this Mughal-e-Azam-style clash, Tiwari made Rohit fight a long, hard battle to prove that he was the rightful claimant to his father’s rich legacy. The former Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand CM even thumbed his nose at the court before finally agreeing to a DNA test – which settled the ‘issue’ beyond any doubt.

In the process, he has busted a few common beliefs about our politicians.

Belief 1: When it comes to sexual firepower, our netas are as good as a snail in a 100-metre race. Now a near nonagenarian, Tiwari was in his fifties when he fathered Rohit. That shows he was as active in the extra-marital bed as he was in the hotbed of politics.

More recently, he had to quit as Andhra Pradesh governor in 2009 after a Telugu channel aired a video allegedly showing him in bed with three women at his Raj Bhawan residence. True to form, he kicked up a row last year when he ‘forcibly’ danced with the female host of a cultural event, which was organised to remember sacrifices of martyrs (may their souls RIP). For the latest on his libido, one would have to conduct a potency test or wait for 20 years for a ‘new son’ to stake his claim.

Belief 2: Our politicians die but never retire. Here again, ND has proved the pundits wrong. The veteran feels he is a bit old now for another crack at the Lok Sabha elections, so he wants his new-found son to contest in his place. Cynics say that Tiwari is merely trying out artificial respiration to revive his dormant political career. So what? Anything is justified for the beautiful constituency he has represented – Nainital (which I’ve visited both with and without my wife). Of course, he will seek the sympathy vote, projecting himself as the victim of the ‘crafty relatives’ who kept him away from his dear son all these years.

Belief 3: In politics, they say, never trust anybody, not even your own father. By that logic, Tiwari might disown Rohit in case the latter contests and loses the elections. But the aged warhorse won’t commit such harakiri, for he has seen his only (?) son’s dogged determination and can’t risk another paternity panga.

Whatever may be the poll outcome, Mr Tiwari, there’s no doubt that you are the only one we have who can hold his own against the Italian stallions and French Casanovas of the political world. Keep it up as long as you can. Indian politics would be left with a big hole once you are no longer alive and kicking. Hats off to you, sir. And pants too.