Reality Bites: Mann’s comic-turned-tragic act and Grumpy Didi’s tantrums

Meanwhile, He Who Must Not Be Named intends to project his state --of all the places on earth-- as an ‘investment hub’ in foreign countries as Delhi’s Muffler Man jostles for making a foreign trip

Reality Bites: Mann’s comic-turned-tragic act and Grumpy Didi’s tantrums

Rupa Gulab

My heartiest congratulations, warmest wishes, etc to the Diyar Leader. According to The Economist, "India’s share of billionaire wealth derived from crony sectors has risen from 29% to 43% in six years.” And, one of the Diyar Leader’s bestest buddies, Gautam Adani, has just become the fourth richest person in the world.

I’m so looking forward to the moment when Congress MP Rahul Gandhi congratulates him on these achievements in Parliament. Gandhi’s earlier words on the subject, “Hum do, Hamare do” still make me giggle.

But enough on the Diyar Leader—if we talk about him too much he may choke on the celebratory laddoos he’s eating with his posse of crony capitalists while waving those new polyester national flags (possibly manufactured by some of them).

Let’s talk about a few chief ministers instead. I’ll start with the chief minister of Punjab—no, not the actual behind-the-scenes chief minister Arvind Kejriwal or his Man Friday Raghav Chadha, but the person whom gullible people in Punjab voted for as their chief minister: Bhagwant Mann.

Mann, we were told, had a drinking problem once upon a time. He demonstrated that yet again when he drank a glass of water (neat, gasp) from a polluted river to prove to the people that it had been cleaned.

His tummy registered a strong protest soon after, and he was whisked off to Apollo hospital in Delhi. Not one of those much-advertised AAP mohalla clinics mind you, because they seem to exist only for PR purposes on Bendy TV. If I remember right, none of those mohalla clinics shone when the Covid pandemic was at its peak.

While I’m laughing at the incident, my heart goes out to Mann. There he was, the Mann of the People, earnestly playing guinea pig to reassure the commoners that all was well, and then he fell unwell himself! Call me cynical, but I’m sure that wily Kejriwal or Chadha would never have shown the common touch and put their health in jeopardy.

Incidentally, Delhi chief minister (on paper, not in practice) Kejriwal is in the news too. He has been denied permission to attend the World Cities Summit in Singapore.

The Lt Governor (the last word in Delhi) scoffed and said “This is the programme of the mayor, the Chief Minister should not go into it”, and Kejriwal has thrown a fit. It’s so important for him that he got his MPs to stage a protest in Parliament.

I sympathise. No citizen should be denied permission to travel abroad as long as their papers are in order. While he’s appealing to the Ministry of External Affairs, I don’t hold out much hope.

My advice to Kejriwal is this: Tell the Lt. Governor that since the Centre cruelly treats him as just the mayor of Delhi, he is eminently qualified to participate in the summit!

Mamata Banerjee, the whimsical chief minister of West Bengal, is experiencing dangerous mood swings again. She has ordered her party to abstain from voting for the Opposition’s choice of Vice President, and her excuses are so childish I would laugh if I wasn’t weeping.

India desperately needs a strong Opposition to stop the Diyar Leader from bulldozing democracy, and to have a VP/Chairman of the Rajya Sabha from the Opposition would be terrific. Important bills may even be debated and not bulldozed through, for God’s sake!

Unfortunately, for all her talk about the BJP, it’s clear that she sees the Congress party as her real rival. If she doesn’t fall in line, we’re doomed to listen to her loyalist O’Brien throw tantrums on Twitter and news channels about the arrogance of the ruling party in Parliament!

Finally, a state that must not be named, because it’s better known as the FIR capital of India. The chief minister, He Who Must Not Be Named, launched a big mall recently. However, because it was owned by a businessman from the minority community (a community He Who Must Not Be Named frequently bad-mouths), his supporters were foaming at the mouth and ugly drama happened.

Now, if that doesn’t warn future investors off, what will? Yet, the CM continues to live in Lu Lu land, sorry, La La land and intends to project his state as an ‘investment hub’ in foreign countries.

My commiserations in advance to those who fall for it.

(Any resemblance to real people or events is a coincidence)

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