Sops work quite well during elections, but then again, so do sobs. The former UP forest minister Fateh Bahadur Singh is relying on his own brand of lachrymose politics to see him through after Behenji sacked him for corruption. Contesting on an NCP ticket, the poor man is seen weeping copiously into his handkerchief. Just before we learnt of this, we heard of information to the effect that the Congress president may have shed a tear or two over a certain issue only to learn that she is not one to display any unwarranted emotion in public. But, great leaders have been known to well up in public.
Alexander the Great allegedly wept because there were no worlds left to conquer. Julius Caesar who did not hesitate to loot and pillage at the drop of a Roman urn is said to have been moved to tears by things of beauty. Our lads here are not propelled to tear up by such noble motives. Rather they are like the Walrus in Alice Through the Looking Glass. After luring a pack of young oysters out for a walk on the beach, the cunning Walrus decides to eat them. “I weep for you, the Walrus said/I deeply sympathise/With sobs and tears, he sorted out/Those of the largest size/Holding his pocket handkerchief/Before his streaming eyes.’ A bit like our netas and the trusting voters, don’t you think?
But don’t underestimate the power of tears. Many a hard-hearted boss has been known to cave in faced with the waterworks turned on by his or her employees. The former BJP leader Bangaru Laxman sobbed bitterly after he was caught with his hand in the till. A former MP once wept in Parliament for not having got his cut of a bribe for cross-voting. So let’s have none of that nonsense that women are more weepy than men. And let us assure you, tears have their place in public discourse in India where we as a people are emotionally a bit over the top. Yes indeed, weep and the world will weep with you.