A difficult choice...

As India readies itself to complete the formality of officially endorsing the selection of first woman president (I am writing this post on the eve of the announcing results of Presidential polls) my mind is indulging into infighting with my soul. No, my dilemma is more intricate than what Bal Thakeray was undergoing through prior to making out way from catch-22 situation and announcing Shiv Sena’s support to Pratibhatai Patil. It isn’t just an issue of Marathi pride but an emotional connection we (I and her Excellency) share.

Here my regional genes also have begun riding high. She is not just from Amravati from where I too belong to, but also a native of Jalgaon district, the sleepy town from north Maharashtra where my Father spent his childhood and later did cast his vote in favour of her when she had contested assembly election. Thakeray’s predicament was just about choosing one way out of hindutva or Marathi asmita. But mine is about expressing joy over an Amravatikar by karma or Jalgaonkar by janma, occupying highest constitutional post in the country or lamenting over a person who even by the minimum common denominator isn’t eligible for heading three armed forces vis-à-vis Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, another presidential contestant.

Here, I keep aside Vidarbha issue on which I usually don’t spare a chance to vent my pent up anger against its antagonists. Well, eligibility also does not mean her educational qualification which is far far more than her rival. While the lady presidential candidate has done her MA and also completed her LLB, her rival, I am told, is just Eight standard pass out. It is more to do with her ability to act defying a silent code of ‘rubber stamp’ or political shrewdness.

I am traumatized especially after giving a thought to columnist Rajdeep Sardesai’s article in which he says… “there are two Maharashtras: one is a state of intellectual and social ferment, which produced the men and women who lived by the ideals on which modern India was built. The other Maharashtra is a far less noble entity, it is provincial, it is small minded, and it no longer produces original thought”. I don’t know which side I should take when it comes to choosing an option between supporting my soul, a carrier of emotional thoughts connected to a string of regionalism, or mind, which harbors holistic if not intellectual view. May be Patil herself will clear out the haze from my mind when she will do something great to gather an important milestone while enjoying the opulence of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Here I have become slight idealistic while relying on her…

Pawar's wine and his old bottle

WHILE writing the first ever post on this blog of mine, I have some memories back on my mind. It was little more than a year back when I had my first ever one-to-one interaction with late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan. I can not recollect the actual context on which Mahajan spared few minutes with me. The leader initiated saying, following the completion of his journalism course in Ranade institute of Pune , he could hardly scribble few lines while making an application which he wanted to submit to local marathi daily.

Mahajan, whom I was accompanying for the news coverage from Pune to Solapur during last year's rath-yatra conducted by Lalkrishna Advani, then said he now see more people at the helm of various affairs coming from rural hinterland of the country. He actually was pointing at him self, but for no reason I felt like flexing my muscles. Mahajan proved himself and went into the list of "would be prime minister" of this country where there is no dearth of leaders even when there is always paucity of voters when it comes to polling.

The sudden demise of Mahajan, which will complete one year in next few days (May 3), really hurt me inside that time after I got the first take about he was shot by his brother during the morning session of last week of April. I was actually in Amravati (my native place) that time trying to recollect how in my half an hour interesting discussion with him, the late leader told me many things and I was indeed inspired as well as attracted to his personality. It actually began after I requested him to take me to Advani for one-to-one interview, when the convoy of leaders had taken a brief halt near Patas near Pune. Mahajan didn’t act immediately but slightly passed on my visiting card to Sudhendra Kulkarni, Advani's one time favourite, who later fell into controversy. Although my wish of interviewing Advani didn’t come into reality, the pleasure and satisfaction was conspicuous on my mind after having talks with Mahajan and another BJP leader Anant Kumar, who to participated in our discussion for a while.

Mahajan's reply to my query about why BJP was going ahead with this rath-yatra despite poor response, though did not satisfy me, yet I found logic in it when he told me “never pay attention to media's uncalled advice....just read the paper and build your own opinion”. According to Mahajan, the itinerary of Advani was an attempt to project party's efforts to re-establish the contact with rural India after the later felt it has thinned following BJP's campaign through "India Shining" lenses. He then gave me an example of Sharad Pawar, who never stop coming to inaugurate functions in rural parts. "It establish the faith of rural Indians on you and they starts feeling that the leader is their'. Further, it also help the leader to analyse if the Janata accepts him in his present form or he requires changes in his or his party’s character”, Mahajan said. Many a times, political leaders act in certain way or delivers certain statements having deep connotations or sometime they even plant certain statements through media for getting a feedback from the aam-janata. Their future course of action depends on that feedback, said Mahajan. Though at that point of time I did not understand what connotations could have been to the late leader’s that last comments, but now after an year when I see Mahajan’s statement and congress leader’s recent remarks about Pawar should join congress, I find lot of logic in this. The recent remarks by Vilasrao Deshmukh and his other party collegues about Pawar should merge his party after the NCP leader accepting Sonia Gandhi’s present stature, might have been charged as ‘an attempt to create bewilderment among the voters’, but I am not convinced to that. Going by the Mahan’s logic and Pawar’s past record when the later, prior to his re-entry into congress in 1980 after he parted way to form United Progressive Front led government, planted similar statement through his party colleagues, I sense that Pawar is yet again ready to wear old hat. This I am saying because few days back I came across an article written by Praveen Bardapurkar (Editor- Loksatta, Nagpur ). The article had mentioned about how Pawar had planted news through his one time favourite Datta Meghe in 80s', when later told Bardapurkar that Pawar is considering to join congress again. Though Pawar rebuffed the news as rumour, he changed his side one fine day. It later became clear that Pawar through such news planting was trying to judge the mood of the people and their reaction about whether they will accept him. It went off in favour of Maratha leader and he changed his side.Now even as the saffron leaders including Bal Thakeray and even L K Advani are trying to hobnob with Pawar carrying a wishful thinking that one day they would make it to state as well as centre, the Maratha strongman, according to many who knows him well, won't relent.The leader is now once again aiming for big. As big as he could find himself at the top of the NewDelhi's rudder. And since his present party is perhaps not enough capable to lead Pawar to take him to coveted position then in that case we may see repeat of 1980 show.The only question is "will Pawar's wine turn into an old bottle, this time" ?.

P. S. The post was actually scribbled in April and I had posted it on the other URL of same blog. But due to some technical problem, I had to change the URL and fetch the stuff here