You have to give it to us. When it comes to emotion, drama and histrionics, our political establishment is second to none. Just imagine if we had a desi version of Gordon Brown bowing out of office. None of that stiff upper lip for us. We’d have had a few well-aimed potshots at the new incumbent, a few subtle questions about his or her patriotism, and a tear-drenched farewell speech. This is what sets us in a class apart. Just look at the manner in which the Speaker of the Madhya Pradesh assembly, no less, was reduced to tears over the alleged lack of civility towards a woman MLA. The event was made all the more lachrymose when the offended lady also wept.
Of course, when our MLAs are not sobbing, they often engage in a unique form of calisthenics that involves flinging chairs and microphones around. As for language, there are few in the world who can match our colourful expressions. The latest instance is BJP President Nitin Gadkari’s canine allusions when referring to certain rival politicians, followed by a riposte from the irrepressible RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who insisted that Gadkari’s apology be accompanied by the latter holding his ears. We’ve had formidable women leaders in the past swearing to shave their heads if bested by a rival, only to forget their hyperbole when such a thing came to pass. Then there are those frequent fasts unto death from which our political worthies, medical marvels that they are, seem to emerge all the fitter. If Barack Obama feels ‘yes, we can’, our answer is ‘yes, we cancan’ going by the nimble footwork of many of our MLAs at festivities in their honour.
In a way, we’re grateful that our elected reps are not stuck in a rut. They go with the flow, from singing and playacting one minute to verbal and physical jousts the next. For this, we editorial writers are eternally grateful. We’re never stuck for material to write on even on a rainy day. If we had dry as dust Brown here, we’d be out of a job in a week.