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Tuesday, June 7, 2011





Let’s look back on the first week of June.
First, we learn that the contest between A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran continues – if not for a ministry, for a scandal. While Dayanidhi’s alleged theft of Rs 440 crore is rather paltry compared to Raja’s Thirteen Digit Heist, a secret telephone exchange is certainly more the stuff of detective novels than a bunch of licences. The DMK’s woes are aggravated by the court closing for vacations before it could send Kanimozhi trotting back to the air-conditioned environs of her home.
Meanwhile, Baba Ramdev got the most senior Union Ministers to bend backwards even before they attended one of his camps. Sadly, the Delhi Police didn’t take his lessons in flexibility as seriously, and ended up provoking comparisons to Jallianwallah Bagh by storming a peaceful protest with teargas shells and batons.
As the uneasy alliance at the Centre squirms in response to questions about its conduct, here are some tips for the protagonists:
Dear Manmohan Singh,
We all know you’re going to bring up Caesar’s Wife again, now that everyone’s demanding an apology from you for the police crackdown at Ramlila Maidan.
If only you had paid as much attention to your history and literature lessons as you did to economics, you might have been aware of the context in which Julius Caesar declared that his wife must be blameless. Caesar had his wife executed on suspicion of infidelity. He married again, replacing the executed wife with a ‘blameless’ one.
So, you might want to mull that over before you next declare that “The Prime Minister, like Caesar’s wife, should be blameless”.
Dear Sonia Gandhi,
It’s about time you stopped listening to your ‘inner voice’ and found ‘inner peace’ instead. Clueless? Well, watch Kung Fu Panda 2. Or, hop along to Haridwar, and join Baba Ramdev’s camp.
Whether his breathing techniques work for you or not, his whimsical sayings may cue your son in to what has currency in the media.
But you might want to skip the midnight raid ritual this time. What’s up with that, anyway? Was it your idea of a ‘bunga bunga’? Sigh, Signor Berlusconi must lament the loss of your citizenship – think of all the role play (complete with uniformed personnel) he could have had at his, if only you’d graced them!
Dear Baba Ramdev,
We took the Pranayam Fightback as a solution to avenging the 313 Brigade attack on a naval base in Pakistan.
We took the prances to the dais, the singing in the middle of interviews and the anachronistic, inappropriate screams of “Vande Mataram!”
But, a woman’s clothes to escape the police – really? We don’t know your stance on waxing at the moment, but most of us don’t grow beards. Next time round, you MIGHT want to trim that fuzz.
Dear Anna Hazare,
Since Baba Ramdev’s fast played out like a spoof of yours, and ended with Janardhan Dwivedi declaring that Congress workers would use your door-to-door technique to expose the forces corrupting the movement against corruption, you might want to distance yourself from the circus.
At the very least, you might want to change the venue. It’s believed that several tourists are under the impression that Jantar Mantar was an ancient protest site.
Dear L K Advani,
We expect your demand for an Emergency Parliament session will be followed by a demand for a confidence motion.
If you do decide to play an active role in politics again, you might want to replace those photographs of you working out in a gym with snapshots of you fasting. They’re both rather popular ways to keep fit, but the latter is more trendy right now. Ask Beyonce.
Dear Kanimozhi,
Cheer up about the site of your summer holidays. Yeah, you only have a fan, but Tihar has a generator, right? So you won’t have to go through power cuts – it’s that time of year in Delhi, isn’t it? Well, in Tamil Nadu, we’re rather confused because those were nearly a daily affair when Daddy Dearest was in power.
Second, you can use this to gain sympathy votes if you ever run for office again – ‘I’m a woman, they sent me to jail; I’m a mommy, they sent me to jail; it’s summer, they sent me to jail’.
Dear Karunanidhi,
You can’t actually think the whole ‘they are trying to undermine the Dravida movement by throwing my daughter in jail’ thingamajig is going to work!
Well, Kanimozhi is not quite the best Dravidian symbol to latch on to because (a) her English is arguably better than her Tamil (b) She didn’t give her son a Tamil (or Russian) name (c) She’s not made anti-Hindi or anti-Brahmin comments so far (d) She was born after the Dravida party had split up into a series of warring factions.
It might be a better idea to go back to cuddling Raja.
Dear Dayanidhi Maran,
A telephone exchange now, really? And then you say it wasn’t for Sun TV. So, it was for personal – oops, official – use.
Well, fair enough. But then, you’ve said, “After I resigned, there could have been an investigation. When I was not a minister, nobody wanted to get in touch with me.”
Umm... If that was the case, why did you need 323 lines?!
Dear A Raja,
Yeah, it’s not fair. Talk about line maro-ing.

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