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Beyond Headlines

Colour blind Foe to friend Missing in action Power play Age no bar

The Telegraph Online   |     |   Published 05.03.05, 12:00 AM

Mediamen throng Raj Bhavan for firsthand information onthe political developments. Picture by Hardeep Singh

Colour blind

The fluctuating political fortunes are telling us things about bureaucracy as it is today. Take the incident of the March 1 night at a hotel in Kadru for instance. Ranchi SSP Anurag Gupta arrived at the hotel and removed ?MLA-poachers? of the non-NDA (read UPA) faction from there.

In less than 24 hours, on March 2 evening, Kumar reached the Ranchi airport, this time with UPA ministers Stephen Marandi and Bandhu Tirkey, and forced the chartered plane carrying NDA MLAs to stop on the runway and return to the tarmac. He then stormed in the plane to check if Enos Ekka or Harinarayan Roy was on board.

Had either been found on board, the cop would have certainly pulled him or them out of the plane. ?We know that is the true nature of bureaucracy ? in front of the common man, bureaucrats behave like kings, but when it comes to political power, they are like lambs, tied to the master of the moment,? commented a political figure.

Foe to friend

Talking of changing colours, we, however, cannot help feeling sorry for Stephen Marandi. A ?rebel? until recently, Marandi had never spared a chance of hitting out at Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief and chief minister Shibu Soren for foisting family over party. Marandi had branded Soren as a ruthless dictator, an autocrat with little respect for democracy among many other things. Soren, too, had hit back saying Marandi is an insignifant personality who has grown in his shadow.

Now, with the political situation as stable as a three-legged table, Marandi is seen sharing jokes and smiles with Soren.

With Marandi now firmly ensconsed on the deputy chief minister?s chair and with Shibu Soren at the helm, the masses are left wondering what else could be in store for the much over-rated democracy.

Missing in action

The BJP candidates from the twin Jamshedpur Assembly constituencies were a worried lot when the counting was in progress last week. Saryu Rai from Jamshedpur West and Raghubar Das from Jamshedpur East kept themselves off the counting centres until the results were declared even though candidates of other parties thronged Jamshedpur Co-operative College, the venue. Mediapersons and lensmen, gathered outside the counting centre, were surprised at the absence of the BJP leaders. ?Our leaders are apprehensive about the results. They must be praying at home,? quipped a pessimistic party worker.

The scene changed dramatically as soon as the results were declared. The BJP candidates arrived at the spot amid thunderous applause from the party workers.

Power play

It was a classic case of comedy of errors when Jamshedpur Utilities Services Company (Jusco) managing director Sanjeev Paul was extolling on the power supply facilities in the steel city at a press conference organised at their town office. Murphy?s Law took over and the lights went out. The airconditioner at the conference room stopped whirring.

?Diya tale andhera?, said Paul, failing miserably to cover up his embarassment. The electricity in-charge of Jusco, also present at the meet, stood flummoxed before finding his feet and rushing to the airconditoner to fiddle with the switches.

After a long wait, reporters fished out their notebooks and started recording the minutes in absolute darkness. They did not seem to mind though. Being kept in the dark is nothing new for the press.

Age no bar

The forever-young Thangaraj at J.R.D. Tata Sports complex in Jamshedpur. A telegraph picture

It was an awe-inspiring sight for some footballers of the steel city who had gathered at the J.R.D. Tata Sports Complex recently. Their self-esteem took a beating as they watched the 68-year-old Peter Thangaraj warm up. The towering three-time Olympian and Asian Games veteran belied his age ashe kept gathering the ball with youthful precision. ?Throw it fast... why are you so slow,? he cajoled the young footballers.

The footballers could not stop gushing as the Bokaro-based Thangaraj went through with his regime. ?He still looks fit. Doesn?t he?? asked one, rather lost in the majestic sight of Thangaraj in all his glory. ?Age is no barrier for fitness,? the soccer star said before leaving the complex.


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