The communist commissar Prakash Karat and the caped crusader J Jayalalithaa seem to have come together in yet another Sisyphean attempt to form the Third Front. And, of course, always waiting in the wings is that patriarch of the third avenue, HD Deve Gowda, former prime minister and forever-aspirant for that post again. Now we know that two is a company and three is a crowd, but we are intrigued as to why like Sisyphus, comrade Karat wants to roll the boulder up the Nilgiri hills yet again. We agree that pictures with the supremo of Poes Garden are handy for the old age album for the grandchildren, but does it make any political sense at all?
But then we are not blessed with the Karatian logic of getting on to a bandwagon, like Basanti in Sholay, that may derail at some point of time, but will roll on against capitalist offenders. Mr Karat, we feel, could be motivated by better sentiments than we give him credit for. The lady of large proportions is known for her love of the good life, the eternal Third Fronter Deve Gowda is known for his love of farming,
Mr Karat is the quintessential scholar having been schooled in Edinburgh, so here we have a holistic mix. Will it work? Well, Mr Karat would be able to tell us why it has not flowered in the past. But, to give Mr Karat credit, he has never failed to raise the Third Front prospect every time the government has been seen to falter. And more power to his elbow.
The only problem is that unlike the bouquets he hands out to prospective allies, he seems to get brickbats in return. So will the Third Front ever materialise, we ask again? We wonder, given that each of the leaders of the Front strongly believes that he or she should lead the country. We are not too good with numbers, so for the moment we are not too averse to sticking with the muddle of numbers that
make up a coalition. And if Mr Karat can get the boulder up the mountain, then, maybe, we could look at the numerical statistics all over again.