The undue sensitivity of politicians from Tamil Nadu to being called “political jokers” by the Sri Lankan army chief doesn’t quite gel with their low stock at the moment. Matters are no different across the sea either as they were considered a bunch of bandicoots by a former Indian Army Chief! However, it should console them that they are in exalted company of the country’s planners who, too, were derisively dismissed as a bunch of jokers during the 1980s by a former Prime Minister. Incidentally, the head honcho of the Planning Commission then is now our Prime Minister!
The sad truth is that the image of politicians has sunk to abysmal depths after the Mumbai attacks. Candle-lit processions exhibited placards such as dogs being more welcome to visit our homes than politicians! Instead of chaffing at the bit, politicians should take such jibes as a sign of affection. What is wrong with being called jokers? The only difference is that those who perform in circuses are in a different garb. In election season, politicians stump around in khadi and ashes without cherries on their noses. Politicos also seek to amuse their audiences with promises of free colour TVs and electricity when no power at all is being generated!
Like helicopter Ben Bernanke — Chairman of the US Federal Reserve — our local politicians too, have sought to airdrop currency notes to buy votes! Observers have taken these shenanigans as a new paradigm of development in which resources flow directly to the beneficiaries! Is it surprising that a widespread reaction to their theatrics is whether all of this isn’t a joke?