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The road to Parliament is paved with bad decisions

india Updated: Jun 24, 2012 00:41 IST
Ashish Shakya
Ashish Shakya
Hindustan Times
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Keh ke lenge uss ki.” — Nitish Kumar, on Modi.

OK, so he didn’t really say that, but you know he was thinking it. That line from Wasseypur was pretty much the subtext of the Bihar CM’s tirade against Modi this week, which showed that the rift in the NDA had now widened to Gadkari-like proportions. It was the kind of bickering that almost made the UPA look good. I say “almost” because it is difficult to look worse than a group that has the decision-making abilities of a corpse.

The trouble began when Nitish Kumar, a key ally of the BJP, said that the party should choose a secular prime ministerial candidate for 2014, thereby ruling out that big basket of fluffiness, Narendra Modi. Nitish also revealed that Vajpayee had actually wanted Modi sacked after the 2002 riots. The only reason this didn’t happen is because by the time Vajpayee actually finished saying that, it was already 2012.

Naturally, the RSS piped up, saying that the country needed a PM who was pro-Hindutva. After this, they went on to discuss other vital RSS-related issues, such as, “Am I wearing these shorts high enough?” Meanwhile, LK Advani was sitting in a chariot somewhere, reminiscing about the good old days when democracy was simpler, because it hadn’t been invented yet.

The Nitish-Modi battle is interesting to watch, because of the strong characters involved.

Imagine being given a used bedpan, and turning it into a soufflé worthy of MasterChef. That’s what Nitish Kumar was tasked with after taking over Laloo’s Bihar.

Modi, on the other hand, made his mark by encouraging industry in Gujarat, most notably the kerosene and matchbox industries. He’s also one of the very few politicians to have his very own iOS app. That’s right — you can go to the App Store and actually download a Modi app, which can then be used to generate clean chits at will.

This rivalry is just one act of a circus that will grow increasingly ridiculous as we get closer to the 2014 general elections. But what bothers me most is that I have no idea whom to vote for. Just consider the options: marauders, spineless sheep, trigger-happy dictators and obsolete loons.

It’s not like we expected great things when the UPA got a second term in 2009. Their only selling point was, “Hey, at least we’re not the NDA.”

Rahul Gandhi is apparently a Future Prime Minister, Our One Great Hope, Possessor of Dimples and Destroyer of Evils Such As Poverty, AIDS and People Who Will Not Shut Up About Their Cats. Then there’s Mister Sibal, who is basically trying to delete the internet. (I’m sure he’s tried to do a right-click-delete on the Internet Explorer icon.)

Pranab Mukherjee, the one person who looked like he was working, will soon be shunted off to Rashtrapati Bhavan and placed in a cryogenic chamber. (Unless Mr Sangma makes it there and visitors keep confusing him for security.) Then there’s Digvijay Singh, who is talented in that he can put his foot in his mouth even when his head is up his bottom.

So the BJP’s a great alternative, right? Except that if I did vote for them, my logic would be “Meh, what’s the worst that could happen?” which is exactly what the people in Jaws said before they turned into shark breath.

As part of the Opposition, the BJP has responded to economic losses by, um, shutting down the country to add to the loss. It’s either that, or a rath yatra, which is Advani’s version of ‘Dil Chahta Hai’.

On the bright side, I don’t have to make a choice for another couple of years, and hopefully things will have improved by then. For example, Doomsday might kill us all, and the earth could go back to being a primordial, toxic space rock. Or, as LK Advani calls it, nostalgia.

Ashish Shakya is a writer and a stand-up comic. He co-writes the TV satire, The Week That Wasn’t. Sometimes he’s even sober while doing so