I was driving my scooter at a normal speed but a policeman gave signal to stop by the side of the road. I was surprised. I had not violated any traffic law. I had not jumped red light. I parked the scooter and asked the policeman, “What is my fault?” But the policeman was busy giving similar signal to all vehicles on the road. I asked a fellow victim who was standing by the side of his scooter. “VVIP movement.” He explained.
I saw a couple of cars driving without being stopped. Rahul Gandhi was sitting in one of the cars. I could recognize him because he was waving at us. He must be thinking that we were waiting for his darshan. As usual in the public, he was smiling. I always admire his smile. Very innocent, childlike smile. Whenever he smiles, you can see two sweet dimples on his lovely chicks. Unfortunately, nobody responded but that did not seem to discourage him. After a couple of minutes another fleet of vehicles passed by. This time it was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, sitting next to the driver and waving at the crowd. He too was smiling. We ignored him too.
My experience is that whenever a leader sees a gathering – big or small, friendly or hostile, making celebrations or in mourning – his right hand automatically starts waving. Perhaps, one day geneticists have discovered the gene that makes sense signal to waive at the sight of a gathering.
I asked the same fellow victim the reason of arch rivals rushing in the same direction. He looked at me with surprise. “It seems you did not see the morning news on TV. In a school, a few hundred metres ahead on this very road, a new messiah is chanting some mantra since morning. It seems all the VVIPs are rushing to seek his blessings. If you are also going for that, try your luck.”
I cursed myself. These days one should be very alert. You never know when an intellectual or a celebrity will inform you that it is time to move out of the country due to intolerance or when a new saviour announces his arrival.
Out of curiosity I decided to have a look at the new Messiah. Somehow I reached near the holy site to get a glimpse of the messiah. I saw a boy, about ten or eleven year old, standing in the school compound and shouting at the top of his voice: ‘
About a dozen children who had surrounded him cried, “Azadi” “Azadi”.
The leader shouted next slogan: “We want Azadi” “We want Azadi from suppression”.
The other children repeated the slogan.
The leader gave the next call: “We want Azadi from domination”.
His supporters too shouted.
“We want Azadi from fear”.
“We want Azadi from fear” I heard the echo.
They were shouting.
VVIPs like Rahul Gandhi, Seetaram Yechury, Arvind Kejriwal and many others were also repeating those slogans.
Scores of media persons were taking photographs and recording the historical event. TV channels were making live telecast with a running commentary that a new revolutionary had appeared on the horizon to save this country from oppression and suppression, that he is demanding Azadi from fear and Azadi from poverty, that he is demanding Azadi from all the evils.
I had not heard words like ‘poverty” but when the media persons were announcing, that must be true interpretation of what the boy was shouting.
Some politicians and media persons were discreetly making inquiries about the boy’s religion.
“Oh, he is not a minority. Never mind, find out his caste.” I heard someone whispering.
After some time, the new revolutionary got tired and sat down on a bench. His friends followed him. VVIPs rushed with glasses of juice and milk. They were all eager to catch his attention and get photographed with him.
Rahul Gandhi being the foremost in the hierarchy of VVIPs there, pushed all others, put his around the boy and tried to run away with him. Seetaram Yechury and Arvind Kejriwal rushed to snatch the boy but Rahul Gandhi’s security guards did not allow that. The boy was struggling to get out of the clutches of Rahul Gandhi.
“‘You can’t touch him. He is a Marxist. I need his support to rout Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal assembly election.” Yechury yelled.
“No. He is a new messiah. He is a Gandhian. He wants freedom from oppressive regime of Narendra Modi. You will see, he will force Modi to quit India. I am taking him to Mom to discuss the next course of action.” Rahul staked his claim.
Not to be left behind, Arvind Kejriwal shouted: “He represents common man. I need his support to defeat the communal forces in Punjab election.”
Rahul Gandhi shouted at Kejriwal. “I have first claim on this saviour of the country because I came before you.”
Sitaram Yechury corrected Rahul Gandhi. “I have first claim because. I had reached here before all of you. Moreover, he is from my school. I too had studied here.”
Arvind Kejriwal looked angry. “I could not reach earlier because Delhi police stopped my car to give way for Rahul Gandhi’s car. This is all because Delhi police is not under my control. I may have to go on hunger strike against highhandedness of Delhi police.”
Sitaram Yechury looked at Rahul Gandhi. “Let us first save this revolutionary from Kejriwal. We can settle our differences later.” He said
Immediately Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury formed adhoc united front against their common adversary.
‘Keep away. We have first claim on him.’ Both of them told Kejriwal.
“We will use him to bring Modi’s barbadi.” They said to each other. (barbadi – detrsuction)
Kejriwal withdrew. Strategic withdrawal. He knew such adhoc fronts would not last. He tweeted: “If Modi arrests this revolutionary it will be the beginning of his downfall.”
In the heart of heart he must be praying that the boy gets arrested. A close follower whispered in his ears: “Sir, please don’t take this boy’s help. He seems to be a bigger orator than you. You will have no chance if he joins our party.”
Kejriwal realised his mistake but whispered in the ears of his follower : “You’re right but we can’t give the impression that we are ignoring him. If he comes along, I will drop him somewhere so that he is nowhere. Worse comes to worst, I will push him in the company of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan and he will never know where to go, what to do.”
The follower looked at his leader with admiration.
Meanwhile, the revolutionary had managed to get out of the clutches of Rahul Gandhi and rushed to his parents. His beaming parents and siblings formed a protective ring. The media persons rushed to them. “I want his exclusive interview.” Everyone wanted to register his or her claim.
The mother was feeding sweets to the revolutionary son. All family members were posing for photographs. The father assured the media, “Have patience. Everyone will get chance. Please, write down your name and mobile number in the register I have kept with the messiah’s elder brother.”
The media persons rushed to make entry in the register.
I saw some teachers standing at a distance. Since I had no chance of getting photographed with the revolutionary, I went to them to get some more information about the new revolutionary.
A teacher explained: “He is a bully. Does not study nor does allow any classmate to study. But for the government policy, we would have thrown him out of school long back. This morning, when I asked him whether he had done his homework, he rushed out of the classroom and started shouting ‘Azadi! Azadi!’ We don’t know who informed the media. What to do?”
“But his parents to be very happy.” I expressed my surprise.
“Yes. Till yesterday, they used to tell us to persuade the boy to take interest in studies. Today they are very happy.” The teacher said.
“Because they have realized his potential. Now there is a leader in the family. One day he will be MP or MLA. May be, even a Minister. There is no need to pursue studies. His future is bright. As bright as Laloo’s sons.” He explained.
More political leaders had arrived on the scene when I was leaving.
By Devendra Narain at indiaopines blog
The author blogs here