One of the key virtues of a political messiah is his ability to think on a broad canvass encompassing a broad spectrum of myriad people aspirations. Sensing the pulse of the electorate and anchoring a political ideology at a campaign podium therefore is an ultimate high pedestal that mortal men and women fired by an incandescent ambition to lead masses thrive upon.
While thought and ideological leadership are basic ingredients; fluent and colorful oratory panache delivered with chutzpa that politicians deliver under pandals or blazing sun and sweltering mercury goes a long way in taking the connect with the masses such a great human spectacle.
It is said that religion is the opium for masses. In the same vein I would postulate that Oratory eloquence is an aphrodisiac for the masses, particularly in a democratic system.
From the times of the yore spirited inspirational speeches by Winston Church Hill, Napoleon, Hitler, John F Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nehru et al molded the minds of millions of mortal masses while influencing them to swear by their dictates.
In the recent times, Atal Behari Vajpayee emerged as a quintessential oratory czar who captivated not only his own wards and the general public but earned lasting follower ship even from the staunch opposition leaders. Such was his stature that when he stood up to speak at the floor of the house, seldom did the other dare to interrupt in disdain.
So to speak did young Varun turn up earnestly at the hotbed of Indian politics! Uttar Pradesh.
Having set the context in the verses above, I would like to dwell in a bit of detail on the childish ranting that Varun Gandhi embarked at his mother’s constituency Pilibhit. A constituency which voted his mother to the office for an unprecedented 5 terms from two different parties – Janta Dal and BJP.
Should he have nurtured noble intentions of serving the folks at Pilibhit, then he would have done well to singularly confine his speech on development, welfare planks with an added call to galvanize support from youth that he so easily could have connected to and at the most if he felt compelled to bring in religious flavor which is quite a natural ingredient in any BJP communication then he could have exceeded his brief to professing hidutva and Ram Bajan?
But young Varun is still young and exercising restraint is not a natural instinct for a man of his age. The thronging saffron crowds and his able party mentors behind him, he stopped short of calling for genocide. Targeting Muslims is a BJP pastime, but this lad took it upon himself to name drop Osama when he could have done well to lean on Obama.
Instead of lending a hand he offered to sever the minority arm. A battle cry that he will have enough time on hand to introspect sitting in the confinement of the prison in Pilibhit whose constituency his mother presides as the member of the parliament.
To a naïve observer it would have appeared as a simple case of a Young Turk running amok in his first sojourn at the ballot race. But there is more than what meets the eye.
The advisors of Varun meticulously planned to leverage the event into an electoral plank which they so desperately sought in the battle ground of UP where the dalit elephant and the secular cycle moved freely denying the hand and the lotus any elbow room.
Polarizing voters is the birth right of politicians. But the generation Y is taking polarization toward a new zenith hitherto eluded by the dastards of the yesteryears. The new icons today be it Varun or Raj Thackeray will easily eclipse Bal Thackeray and Advani.
To refresh our memory neither of the yet to accomplish young politicians amongst Raj and Varun ever had the virtue of being eloquent at speech making on nation building charter. You may also refer to my pretext where I implied that any political leader worth his salt to have engaged in politicking wouldn’t have gone far in the political slug fest if he wasn’t an accomplished speaker polarizing masses with his influence of ideas and ideologies.
The new breed of sound byte gluttons seek air time on desperate media channels by hook or crook. Ram Sene, Togadia or several Muslim fundamentalists whom I don’t wish to name. The many in the mould of a moulwi, or preacher at the madarsa or pontiffs from any misguided worship outfits some who even make blasphemous statements like a condom spreads aids (this one has not come from India). .
The point is there is a great opportunity to elect a noble anchor to polarize your vote bank in a far more constructive manner. One African American half Muslim proved this point with a resounding acknowledgement last year. His planks were “The Audacity of Hope” and “CHANGE”. The biased and conservative electorate voted and voted HOW ?
Our own Mahatma Gandhi awakened a generation of docile Indians to a call of freedom on an unconditional plank of non violence.
Take an example of Andhra Pradesh which played host to two yesteryear young Turks. Naidu and YSR.
YSR reveled in his connect to the rural masses in a state which got severely dented by two successive droughts. Understood the pulse of the people and embarked on a 1500 thousand kilometer walk to connect with people in person. One on One.
People also appreciate and realize that wooing the rural masses with agrarian rhetoric and announcing farm subsidies is one elementary level of virtue but engaging global industry captains and effectively articulating a Vision 2020 for over 9 years at the highest table of commerce at Dovos is quite another level in elevation when it comes to oratory skills, communication and impressionable ability. An ability that Naidu excelled at but failed to carry along the rural masses which resulted in his party getting routed in the poll year of 2004.
YSR may have taken a decade longer than Naidu to polish his skills to win over masses to arrive as a regional leader but that is a feat Naidu has accomplished a decade earlier as a national leader of repute and stature globally revered. Naidu could not have been a convener of the NDA and hold his own with the likes of elite intellects like Vajpayee, Advani, Karat, and HarKishan Surjeet, Bardan, Yetchury if he dint serenade his audience with spell binding oratory eloquence. In the same breath YSR would not have ridden anti incumbency factor and swung the ballot in favor of Congress conclusively.
Unwittingly I submit to the youth of India to take up many positive examples both at recent times and from the rich history of the globe when leaders lent their voice to channalise their thought so successfully in the theater of democracy.
If push came to shove than Atal Behari Vajpayee was head high and shoulders higher than the two dynamites from Andhra. PV Narashima Rao being the incomparable linguist that he was so eloquent in more then two dozen languages – A goliath amongst David’s or Obama prevails over all others when he used is verbal prowess to power a black to the highest pedestal in the world leading the globe in many way. Or if this dint suffice none better than William Shakespeare or Thyagaraja or Subramaniya Bharatiyar or Anna Durai.
I hope I was able to drive sense into the several fundamental minds whose senses have gone nub with years of ego anesthesia or mindless initiative.
As they saying goes in Tamil “Onre Sol, Nanre Sol” (Tell a word and let it be a good word)
“ Yaar Jo Ho , Khusboo Ki Tarah , Jiss Ki Zubaan Urudu Ki Tarah”
( A friend like a fragrance of a flower & his verses sweet and much like poetry in Urdu)
“The Beauty and the poise of the Man is manifested in the way he wields tongue”