Do you love samosas? Me too!
(For the benefit of NDTV viewers: Samosas are a popular Indian snack consisting of spicy potatoes packed into a fried flour exterior: you might have seen some at the ethnic food section of a party thrown by your local BBC correspondent)
I was a young boy in 2000, when elections were happening in Bihar. All I remember from that election is a handful of images. The first is that of Lalu Yadav poking his head out of a campaign vehicle and waving at the crowd by the side of the road and telling them “Bhajpa hatao; Bhajpa hatao” (Get rid of BJP! Get rid of BJP!). Yes, that was 2000 and everyone in Bihar would say, many with great joy, many with great despair:
“Jab tak samose mein rahega aalo, tab tak Bihar mein rahega Lalu” (As long as potatoes shall be used in samosas, Lalu shall reign in Bihar)
Hey you… NDTV viewers…see the cultural importance of the samosa in India?…You should really ask your local BBC correspondent about what samosas are… 🙂
In those days I remember a lot of people would shake their head and say that one day Lalu Yadav would become PM (my own dad was one of them). After the 2004 Lok Sabha election, when Lalu became railway minister, I remember in one of his interviews he proclaimed in his earthy, heavy rural Bihari accent: “One day I will rule this country and I will serve this country”. A lot of people nodded in agreement. My dad used to say he does that accent on purpose.
Cut to 2015. What has Lalu achieved? The other day, Lalu Yadav had this to say:
Now they laugh when Lalu Yadav says this. Addressing a rally in the run up to the 2014 elections, Lalu Yadav said about Modi : “Pehle Guru ko roka, ab chele ka number hai“, grandly referring to him stopping Advani’s rath yatra in 1990.
Since that day in 1990, BJP has gone on to win countless states and installed 2 Prime Ministers. Advani himself rose to become Deputy PM and has a decent shot at becoming President of India in 2017. Lalu Yadav is currently “drinking poison”, looking to see if he can team up with Nitish to have a fraction of the power in Bihar, the only state in the entire nation where he is relevant. I have written here about how Lalu could not even survive in Jharkhand. Sorry Lalu Yadav, you could stop nothing. Because you are not a mass leader, but a tiny pygmy.
You want to hear a joke, Lalu Yadav? It’s in the name of your own party: Rashtriya Janata Dal. Do you know what the word “Rashtriya” means 🙂 ? In that one single state of Bihar where Lalu Yadav matters, here is how he has performed in the last decade:
Election 1st Rank 2nd Rank 3rd Rank
2005 Assembly Poll JDU BJP RJD
2009 Lok Sabha JDU BJP RJD
2010 Assembly JDU BJP RJD
2014 Lok Sabha BJP LJP RJD
Yes, this “Rashtriya” party of mass leader Lalu Yadav survives in just ONE state and in that one state he has not even reached 2nd rank in a whole decade! I am by no means picking on Lalu Yadav in particular here. Want to hear another joke: All India Trinamool Congress 🙂 That’s the full name of Mamata Banerjee’s party. Mamata Banerjee is another “mass leader” we know.
One of the things that has always galled me is how Dynastycrooks always refer to pygmies like Lalu Yadav as “mass leaders”. In the liberal classes, these pygmies are always spoken of with a certain fascination and admiration. Sample Shekhar Coupta (again, the “p” is silent) :
You know who are the real gamechangers for Indian politics: Vajpayee, Advani and Modi. These men worked to make the word “Bharatiya” in Bharatiya Janata Party actually come true. This makes them real gamechangers. But let’s see what Dynastycrook Robber Sardesai has to say about mass leader Modi:
And as for Amit Shah, let’s hear it from Dynastycrook M K Venu,
Yes, while people like Narendra Modi are mocked as leaders of Twitter, people like Lalu Yadav who are struggling to survive in one state are hailed as “mass leaders” and “gamechangers”.
Now why do Dynastycrooks have this admiration for these petty mass leaders like Lalu, Maya, Mulayam, Mamata, etc. despite the fact that these leaders have mostly grown up by feeding on the votes of the dynasty? You see what the Dynastycrooks really want is a kind of constitutional monarchy with the Dynasty nominally sitting at the top and most of the de facto power transferred into their hands. Someone like Lalu Yadav or Mayawati who is ready to accept the Dynasty as constitutional monarchs is not exactly a problem for Dynastycrooks. But the Republican BJP which aims to uproot the Dynasty is a huge threat. This is why you see legions of otherwise intellectual people among Dynastycrooks savagely criticizing the BJP all day. When backed into a corner, these people will usually add a disclaimer that they are not exactly Congress supporters. This is why otherwise intellectual people among Dynastycrooks spend their lives looking for communal politics of the BJP, but never speak out against caste politics of others. These otherwise intelligent Dynastycrooks realize that the fall of Congress power is inevitable, it has been declining right since 1952 and cannot be salvaged: their real priority is to “manage the decline” of the Dynasty so that the power passes into their hands.
These Dynastycrooks are so desperate to deny the obvious success of the BJP’s mass leaders that they end up believing their own stupidity: here is what Shekhar Coupta had to say about Amit Shah:
“The appointment of Amit Shah to Uttar Pradesh, therefore, is the BJP’s (or rather Modi’s) first big blunder, and that too so early in this campaign.”
Okay, let’s go on to other jokes: the Samajwadi party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. What happened? Why can’t you spread outside Uttar Pradesh? What is stopping you? The bedrock of the SP is Yadavs who are politically quite dominant in Bihar. Why can’t the SP at least spread into Bihar? Instead why did the Samajwadi Party die in Uttarakhand when the little piece was carved out from the larger Uttar Pradesh? As for Mayawati, there are enough Hindi speaking Dalits in Bihar, MP, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi: why can’t she get her party’s message across to them? There are countless Jat voters in Rajasthan and Western Uttar Pradesh, why doesn’t the “Indian National Lok Dal” of Chautala come out of Haryana and spread over there? At least Mamata Banerjee of the “All India Trinamool Congress” can make the excuse that there is a language barrier to her party’s growth. It’s a handy excuse but hardly makes sense: Modi himself is a Gujarati, not a native Hindi speaker. And if the BJP can spread from the Hindi heartland into Karnataka, can’t Bengali speaking Trinamool Congress spread into Odisha and Assam at least? Instead it’s the BJP that’s spreading into Assam and Odisha… ROFL!
The answer is that if you could have, you would have. The reason SP, BSP, AITC, RJD, JDU, INLD can’t do it is because their “mass leaders” like Mulayam, Maya, Mamta, Lalu, Nitish and Chautala are just pygmies. And if Dynastycrooks keep betting on them, they are in for more and more heartbreak. Don’t bet on Pappu and don’t bet on these “mass leaders” either….
Oh and guess what Lalu Yadav? There is still aaloo in samosa, but … 🙂
(Again, NDTV viewers, seriously, try the samosa at least once…it’s delicious! No, I don’t know where you can get gluten free samosas…please don’t ask).