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Amar chitra katha

You can take the man out of the nitty-gritty of party politics, but you can’t take politics out of the man.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2010 21:56 IST

The wonderful thing about Amar Singh is that no one can quite picture him as riding into the sunset. Not even those who, rather naively believe that Mr Singh’s resignation from the posts of general secretary, official spokesperson and the parliamentary board of the Samajwadi Party (SP) will pave their way to the top echelons of the SP. Like him, not like him, Mr Singh is the proverbial political animal who eats, sleeps, drinks politics. So in a way we can safely assume that even if the boy takes himself out of the hurly burly of nose-on-the-ground politics, no one can take the politics out of the old boy.

We all have our reasons to take it easy or step things down by one notch. Mr Singh has cited “health reasons” and there is no fathomable reason why we shouldn’t believe him. But the yapping class will be the yapping class and much will be now conjectured about the ‘growing distance’ between the moustachioed face of the SP and the party’s chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Mr Singh is no babe in the woods to not know this. Like a veteran shatranj ka khiladi, he knows that whatever reason he cites for resigning from his posts, there will theories. Mr Singh will, if we know him well, sit back and enjoy hearing these theories and denying them with a smile and a twinkle.

A boxer in repose is still a boxer. Unlike cricket, where hanging one’s boots can be such a tremulous affair (just ask Sourav Ganguly), politics has no real expiry date, no matter what L.K. Advani’s example may suggest. As a continuing member of Parliament and the SP, we can jolly well expect the most vocal of sopranos in Indian politics to continue playing his part. And by listening to his very own ‘inner voice’ — or, at least, his doctor’s — Amar Singh will remain a player in the Kalyug. In a new avatar, of course.