The stuff politicians are made of
SALT N' PEPPER
AJAZ A. BABA
Watching India’s best Dramebaaz on TV my friend remarked, “These children have a great future.”
“Yeah, provided they get a break, they can really become first rate actors.” I said in agreement.
“Well actually I was thinking about how great their prospects are in politics!” he clarified. In the backdrop of the recent theatrics which were witnessed in our house of representatives (unconfirmed sources say that Bollywood directors impressed with the impromptu performances have approached several of our state ‘actors’ promising them meaty roles!) his observation seemed to be quite accurate.
“This is one more area where I was severely lacking,” my friend sighed.
This particular friend of mine was quite well known in our college days for his leadership qualities and for his prowess as an orator.
‘This fellow is a born leader. He has a great future in politics!’ was a common opinion.
Modesty is one of the disqualifying…I mean, decent qualities that my friend has always had. He would brush away any suggestions about ‘a great future in politics’. But human beings are … well human after all. Gradually this suggestion began to take root in his mind. He began toying with the idea and ultimately decided to have a go at it.
Somebody advised him that having a godfather is essential to make it in the political arena. Somehow he got acquainted with a well-known senior politician. After a couple of meetings with him, my friend was convinced that he had found a godfather. Accordingly he latched on to this great man. For a couple of years, the great man made every possible use of my friend. Then, what with a failing eyesight, his stomach ulcers giving him a constant pain, his heart threatening to strike work at the slightest provocation, coupled with certain delicate domestic difficulties (an unfaithful third wife, a drug-addict son and a daughter’s elopement!); the great man started getting bouts of piousness. Though these ‘spiritual’ interludes mostly resulted in organizing of traditional ‘devotional concerts’, he began to have an occasional awakening of his long dormant conscience as well.
It was during one such interlude that he advised my friend to forget about politics.
“I am sorry, son, for dashing your hopes but you just are not cut out for politics. I know, I know…” he cut through my friend’s protestations. “I know I led you on all these years. That was just selfish of me. I made use of you like I have used people all my life. I am a weak and emotional old man now and have become somewhat attached to you… This is the truth, son, forget about politics. You just don’t have it in you!”
“But sir, everybody…even you… talked of my leadership qualities…,” my friend was understandably disappointed. The old man’s ‘moment of truth’ had shattered a dream cherished for years.
“I still say that! Of course you have leadership qualities. Nobody can deny that. But that is beyond the point… a mere superfluity, my dear! You see it is not the capacity to lead but the capacity to mislead that is required if you want to make it big in politics these days!
“I have known you for all these years now. Your problem is that you are honest and straightforward!”
“Do these also count as disqualifying factors?” my friend said bitterly.
“Of course!” the great man said, nodding his head emphatically. “There are no straight politicians like… like there are no straight rivers!” he continued as his eyes alighted upon a photograph of a birds’ eye view of our own river Jhelum.
“Have you ever observed that rivers are always more or less crooked? Do you know why it is so? It is because rivers always keep changing their direction when some obstacle or difficulty comes up in their path. Politicians are also like that. They change their opinions, loyalties, allegiances, affiliations, ideologies and, of course, parties, whenever it suits their purpose!”
“Look at you! You are about to cry!” the great man scolded my friend. “That’s another of your problems. You are too sensitive. Man! one has got to be thick-skinned to brave it out in the political battlefield. And yes brazen-faced! Shame is a liability and honesty a handicap! No, you will never make it!” he said, shaking his huge head.
A few days after this ‘moment of truth’, the great man’s diseased heart finally ground to a halt, ceasing all covert and overt operations. His party lost a great strategician and my friend a godfather.
My friend took his death (as well as his words) to his heart and buried whatever hopes he had of a career in politics, along with his godfather. A timely decision indeed! For I too know that my friend is nowhere even in the vicinity of being an actor.
Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM GK MAGAZINE
MINOR SENT TO JUVENILE HOME
D A RASHID
Srinagar, Mar 9: A local court here Saturday remanded 11 youth to police custody and sent a minor to Juvenile Home on various criminal charges including rioting and unlawful assembly. City Munsiff More
- Srinagar City
RTI QUERY REVEALS MUCK
Srinagar, Mar 9: Putting question mark over the credibility of examination system of Kashmir University –evaluators of answer sheets of Bachelor in Business Administration(BBA) program didn’t add up marks More
5.94 Lakh Youth Register For Jobs
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Mar 9: While Jammu and Kashmir has the highest unemployment rate in north India, around 5.94 lakh youth have registered themselves with the employment department in order to get job. As per More
- South Asia
Islamabad, Mar 9: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif has said he would resolve the Kashmir dispute and try and develop better relations with Afghanistan if he came to power.  More
Let’s change this mindset and explore other avenues
Even before a child is born, his parents start dreaming about his life and career. They aspire him or her to be the most successful person so that he or she makes them proud. No doubt it’s the obligation More