We’ve seen strange things. We’ve seen pigs fly; stones bleeding; Indians who can laugh at themselves. But in terms of pure spectacle, what wins hands down is watching former BJP Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh join the Samajwadi Party and coming perilously close to apologising about the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya under his watch and auspices. “I want to make it clear that I had taken moral responsibility for the demolition of Babri Masjid,” Mr Singh told the press on Wednesday. Strangely, the lights didn’t go out, the world didn’t stop spinning. But yes, many party faithfuls did choke on their previous evening’s roti and korma.
Clearly, Mr Singh’s reaching out to the SP’s usual faithful was at the prompting of the other Mr Singh — Amar — and party boss Mulayam Singh Yadav. After all, there comes a time in a man’s life — especially if he’s no longer welcome among his old comrades — to draw a line and cross it. The question is how much of baggage can one leave behind?
And in terms of reaching out, Mr Singh did the equivalent of a vandal addressing the house of the folks he vandalised and telling them that, yes, he had vandalised their house. Wow. We can see the Samajwadi Party gain from that kind of honesty.