With total confusion over political parties laying claim to the legacy of great leaders, unreliable sources say an all-party meeting was called to sort out the issue. Here are the alleged minutes:
BJP: Sardar Patel was one of us, of course. But we’ll gladly give up Nehru.
Congress: Ha, fat chance, considering they were both Congressmen. But if we do give you Patel, will you give up all claims on Mahatma Gandhi?
Janata Dal (U): The Mahatma belongs to all of us.
BJP: If the Congress takes half of the Mahatma, the rest being shared by all of us, will it give us Patel and Bose?
Congress: Done, provided we have full claim on Indira. And Savarkar is all yours.
Trinamool: How can the Congress give away Bose? He’s ours, along with Tagore, Vivekananda, Satyajit Ray and Maradona.
BJP: Why should we want Ray when we already have Gajendra Chauhan? But give us a slice of Vivekananda.
Forward Bloc: Excuse me, everybody knows we have exclusive rights to Bose. But you can take Ghose if you like.
BJP: Who’s Ghose?
Forward Bloc: Aurobindo Ghose, aka Sri Aurobindo.
Trinamool: Oh, that Ghose. You can have him.
BSP: We take Ambdekar and Sant Ravidas.
Republican Party of India: Oh yeah?
AAP: Will you swap Ravidas for Mahatma Phule?
BJP: We’d like a bit of Ambedkar too.
CPI(M): Same here and in return we’ll give you a share of Bhagat Singh, who you know was a Marxist. Also, you’ll get Rajguru and Sukhdev as a bonus.
AIADMK: We bag Periyar.
Congress: How about swapping Bhagat Singh for Chittaranjan Das?
Trinamool: Das is ours, the commies have Das Kapital.
Shiv Sena: We are perfectly content with Shivaji, thank you.
BJP: If we’re getting into history, I bag Rana Pratap. Also Chanakya, Vikramaditya, Ashoka and Manu. Also all Aryans.
MIM: We’ll take the Mughal emperors and Tipu Sultan.
Congress: Nonsense. Akbar was plainly a Congressman. And Chandragupta and Vikramaditya clearly believed in dynastic rule and should therefore be in the Congress camp.
RPI: Wasn’t Ashoka a Buddhist and therefore one of us? We also take Eklavya. And in light of recent events, we want Mahishasura.
BSP: We claim Valmiki.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha: Nobody can take Birsa Munda away from us. Nor Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu.
JMM: Tribal leaders who fought the British. Funny you haven’t heard of them.
BJP: Oh heck, almost forgot the tribal vote. Will you swap all the tribal leaders for Madan Mohan Malaviya?
Samajwadi Party: Lohia is ours, as is Shah Jahan, because we have the Taj.
Congress: Will you swap Maulana Azad, Tilak, Gokhale and Annie Besant for half Lohia?
CPI(M): What about international icons? We claim Marx, Lenin and Che Guevara.
CPI: We have just one claim — Kanhaiya Kumar.
Manas Chakravarty is consulting editor, Mint
The views expressed are personal