Our political worthies are proving quite a hit with the people. They seem firmly to believe ‘if you’re happy and you know it, slap your hands’, to mangle that old nursery rhyme. The latest is a Congress MP whose hand accidentally made contact with the cheek of a bank employee, a gesture meant to be a gentle admonishment but misunderstood by the latter to be a slap.
Now we are all for the firm smack of governance and who better to take a bash at it than those in high office. Our animal rights enthusiast MP Maneka Gandhi is second to none when it comes to being the fist among equals. Many a hapless MCD official has got the hiding of his life for cruelty to feathered and furry denizens. More power to her elbow, we say. As for that other stormy petrel, Renuka Choudhary, many have been at the receiving end of her blow-by-blow brand of politics. The problem, our elected reps clearly perceive, is that such things as reasoning and informed debate don’t always work. They take too long, they don’t suit the argumentative Indian. A well-aimed slap invariably has the effect of the slapee falling into line pronto. And as good citizens, we have taken a lead from our leaders.
If there is a road mishap, we don’t call the police but flatten the other party with our bare hands. If we catch young couples canoodling in public places, do we let them be? No, we tear a strip off them. Whatever be the occasion, be assured that we are at hand, with our hands at the ready. If anyone thinks this goes against the grain of democracy, our answer to them is simply, beat it.