Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Slumdog Millionaire has not just won eight Oscars. It has also inspired our politicians to venture into Animal Kingdom this election season. As elections come closer, we may well find more and more plants, animals and other living creatures figuring in the descriptions of political rivals and in 'befitting' responses! Perhaps Bollywood will finally be able to cast away its obsession with the word "Kutte" (dog) used by heroes and villains and ladies to challenge rivals and rapists on the screen.

Narendra Modi has kicked off this 'return to nature' campaign, ironically by recalling an old Bollywood film "Ek Phool Do Mali" (One flower two gardeners). If he is to be believed, Rahul Gandhi is a 'flower grown in a pot', a flower that has been protectively tended to by gardeners. He is not a wild flower, the one that grows in the wild that is, not the potted one that goes wild! Modi also sees a cute goldfish in Rahul, a delicate one that swims gently in an aquarium. In his own self, on the other hand, he finds a hardy, ocean fish that knows how to fight the waves and storms!

While Rahul Gandhi is still looking up his old books and appropriate TV channels to pick suitable creatures that describe Modi accurately, Manish Tiwari, the Congress party spokesman, has already found the carnivorous piranha in Modi. How does it matter if piranhas are fresh water fish not found in any ocean and are actually pretty small fish that very rarely attack humans or other large animals? The 'maut ka saudagar' (merchant of death) as Sonia Gandhi had described Modi in the previous election has now become a cannibal who loves eating Muslims!

Is Modi going to react angrily to being compared to a tiny piranha by thumping his 'chhappan chhati' (56 inch chest) as he has been doing till now? Or is he going to call himself a whale shark, the largest fish in the ocean? If he tries the former, Tiwari may well say that while Rahul Gandhi may have a 26 inch chest, his heart is bigger than that of a blue whale. If it is the latter, then he will quickly pounce on the 'shark' part and say Modi is actually a great white shark, that ferocious predator, and not the gentle giant that the whale shark is!

Mayawati, on hearing this sharp exchange will certainly be tempted to remind them all that these elections are being fought on land and not in the ocean and that here, there is no animal bigger than the elephant. Her Blue Elephant, she will say in forceful Hindi - the type you will never hear on Zoom - will crush the small 'hand' of the Congres and eat BJP's 'kamal kakari' (lotus stem) for dinner, prompting both the parties to look for alternate election symbols that can take on the elephant!

Yes, next we may well hear someone from the BJP say that Rahul Gandhi is a 'videshi khet ki mooli' (radish of a foreign field), nurtured with urea, while Modi is a banyan tree that has grown on organic manure. The retort might well be that Modi is not the big tree that he appears to be but the creeper parasite that kills it. Someone from the Congress may also well say that Rahul is a pedigreed poodle while Modi is a rabid street dog. The BJP, he may add, is led by an old dog ( Lk Advani) when what the nation really wants in this century is an enthusiastic pup (Rahul Gandhi). Even the Australian cricket team is thinking of handing over captaincy to 'pup' Michael Clarke, he will remind cricket lovers, just to rub home the point!

Political battle lines are being drawn and the cowboys of both the Congress and the BJP are trying to herd as many cattle as they can into their pens before the elections. This really is boom time for the many small parties who know how to keep their options absolutely open, pretences apart. They are the bees, not 'B's - may be even that, some would say - of the political garden that are not partial to flowers of any variety or colour. All that they are looking for are flowers, potted or otherwise, that are either in bloom or ready to bloom; you don't get nectar from withered ones do you?

These bees are all enjoying these vicious dogfights and cockfights, and are happily waiting for the victor to emerge, weaker the better. No matter who wins, they will. Topdog Millionaires, in real life! Jai Ho!
Readers may also read:
1. Elections 2009: Secular SP for communal BJP!
2. Elections 2009: Sangh parivar or cong family?
3. Will the Congress do better without Sonia and Rahul?
4. Congress sounds war cry. Really?
5. Modi and Reddy: The choice is clear