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Her slap is showing

For those who do not find enough slapstick in our politics, Uma Bharti rides to the rescue.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2008 22:14 IST
Hindustan Times

Mercurial Bharatiya Jan Shakti leader Uma Bharti appears to have adopted the motto, ‘If you can’t join them, slap them’, which she demonstrated when she landed partyman Anil Rai a clip around the ears on Wednesday. His crime: letting his supporters crowd the circuit house where she was staying. Now, this may be a new version from the fiery sanyasin of beating-partymen-into-shape fame, but Mr Rai appears to be in no mood to turn the other cheek. No sooner did Ms Bharti realise that her image might take a beating, she raced to the offendee’s home and kissed him profusely, emphasising that the hapless partyman was her child and brother (a genealogical puzzle there), and that she was quite entitled to knock him about every now and then.

The mollified slapee, after initially being overwhelmed by Ms Bharti’s touch of love, refused to be beaten down and departed from the party along with what he insists to be a few hundred workers. There are salutary lessons from Ms Bharti’s methods of getting her partymen to fall in line. We all know that reason and logic are not strong points with the political class. But the firm smack of governance always seems to work.

Take a look at the gentle Raj Thackeray. Not for him any argument or thrust and parry of debate. He and his cohorts just get out there and administer ‘the treatment’ to any passing migrant. In our legislatures, the art of getting the better of political opponents often takes the shape of aiming one in the solar plexus followed by a swift rending of their garments. That’s the wonderful thing about our democracy. Nothing slapdash about it at all.

First Published: Nov 06, 2008 22:11 IST