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Political commentary

Indian politics and T-20 cricket have many things in common. No, not the cheerleaders, silly, writes Mina Anand.

india Updated: May 19, 2009 23:29 IST
Mina Anand

When John Buchanan expounded his ‘many captains’ theory, he stirred a hornets nest in cricketing circles. I belong to the old school, which allows for only one boss on the cricket field — the Captain! No ‘football-size’ coaches for me. But it’s a slightly more adaptable situation when it comes to ‘multiplicity’ in the political arena.

Pre-Poll Scenario: The situation is tailor-made for ‘Multiple Leadership’ and for ‘Team Spirit, in the interests of the Country’.

At the final count, there are four main ‘Fronts’, with a host of potential ‘captains’. Perennial rivals, coming out to bat together and putting country ahead of ‘region’. LK and MS, Sonia-Modi, Laluji-Nitishji, Rahul baba-Varun beta, Comrade Brinda-Balasaheb, Buddhadeb-Didi, Karat-Mulayam and Jaya-Maya.

While KKR’s beset by multiple problems, Political Teams multiply their numbers. Equations change by the minute. There’s ‘movement’ in the air. Parties, scouting around for potentially opportune ‘buys’. Who will give value for money? Will it be a lasting purchase? A 20-day wonder, enough for an urgent show of power? A 50-dayer’ to tide over initial ‘floor tests’ or, best, hunt for that rare long-termer; one on whom you can depend on, in any test of strength?

Joint Team Owners — LK and MS — are busy picking their team. “I want Rahul baba” voices Manmohanji, expectedly. “He has the pedigree and…..” “Which Rahul?” shoots back LK. “I know of only one that has the class, and he bats for the Royal Challengers. Unfortunate, but we won’t get to Fly Kingfisher, if we lure him away.” MS tries again: “’Sachin’, then. He can surely ‘Pilot the Ship’.” “Sachin is too young, Manmohanji. We need experienced leaders, like you and me, to steer the country. But don’t let me bully you. Speak up for whomever you want. Remember, I am stronger than you and can push my candidates in any time.”

The Nuclear Man shows some energy: “I’m calling my friend George Bush. We are allowed four overseas members, aren’t we ?”

“Yes, but remember this is the Indian Prime-Ministerial League. No ‘outsiders’ running the show.”

“Sure. Then let’s get Musharraf and Zardari — an Indo-Pak Team against the rest of the world. And the fourth ‘foreigner’ can be…” LK jumps up: “Quattrocchi! He won’t be able to resist the pull of power and pelf. At least, we’ll get him in our ranks this way.”

“I’m learning new tricks all the while, Advaniji. I’m sure we’ll have our Citi moments of success.”

‘Making the most of now’ post-poll :

The counting’s done. No going down to the wire, no 20-20-like suspense. The UPA wins, with seats in hand. In Cricket, DL (Duckworth-Lewis) causes flutters. This election, the DLL (Dalit-Left-’Lalitha) factor, loomed large in pre-poll reckoning. No longer. This time, ‘calculators’ (and suitcases) are not required. No scrambling to ‘get to the crease’.

The Congress can afford to ‘go it alone’ and leave out expensive/ expendable/exploiting allies. It’s a “UPA Maximum!”

Mina Anand is a Chennai-based writer