Aug 28, 2003

UP, UP and A Way

One of the recurring (and unfailingly funny) joke concepts in The Simpsons comedy series involves the blessed-only-with-short-term-memory Homer doing something that causes him physical pain, and then doing it again, and again, and again and so on, while muttering Oowwwww all the time. The politicians in Uttar Pradesh remind me of this a lot.

Whether it's the BJP coming back again with Mayawati after she famously plunged her Bahujana Hitaya dagger into their backs in Parliament, or their notorious but innovative power-by-rotation agreement or Mulayam and his tango with the Congress at the Centre and State, UP politics is as spirited as ever, with almost every possible aspirant to the kursi having got a chance to warm it with his/her gluteus maximus over the last few years. The photos of the last decade look like the shifting colour combinations of a kaleidoscope: all perms. and combs. are possible. Of late, there has been an argument over statements like "Mumbai always bounces back" with some saying that "Mumbaikars have no choice: their stomachs demand they go back to work, bomb or no bomb". I feel the real phoenixes are the members of the UP Vidhan Sabha, not even one of those crazy toy balls rebound and richochet as much as these chaps.

But I must confess to be a little surprised at Mayawati (here's one lady who should've been born (or is it behen born?) to a Gujju sorority) giving up the chair so soon. I don't see the master plan kicking in yet. Why would she renounce so easily, especially with the BJP not really forcing her hand (as far as I can see)? Did she think the BJP-appointed Governor would not let the SP in? If this is a gaffe, then she is in good company with her old friend Mulayam's move during the break in the UP Lok Sabha elections. Anyway, it has given rise to another unlikely and apparently indigestible recipe featuring Kalyan Singh, Tiwari-Pal and an alphabet soup of parties that takes the whole concept of the abbreviated names so far that I saw a Hon. Member from the ABCD party.

And if this had been a sketch from Monty Python, someone would have walked in saying: "Stop it now, this is getting too silly even for us".

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