regular-article-logo Thursday, 01 June 2023

Who quit this space?

The hype over Prashant Kishor’s speculated political checkmate attained farcical proportions last week. So who do you think is responsible?

Upala Sen Published 01.05.22, 02:37 AM
Prashant Kishor

Prashant Kishor File Picture

After days of “now he is going to meet the Congress leadership”, “now he has met Sonia Gandhi”, “now in progress, nth closed-door meeting with Congress boss in n minus x days”, “now he is presenting Slide No. 489”, and blurred visuals of bowed heads in swish sedans and closed gates playing in a loop, the whole nation is going through the five stages of a break-up.

The BreakUp

Stage 1. The Announcement. Stage 2. The Digestion of it. Stage 3. Giddying analyses of what possibly transpired. Stage 4. BrokenUp Entity A and BrokenUp Entity B go public. A is the first to break the silence and is all goodness and generosity, offering the classic “it’s me, not you” rationale. B, late to speak up, now insists the first move had been A’s. Basically to say, “it’s you, never me”. Kishor has said he “declined the generous offer of Congress to join the party”. In his “humble opinion” more than him, the Congress needs other things, leadership and collective will etc. etc. “He [Kishor] came to us [Congress], we did not go to him,” Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel has said. Stage 5. Business as usual. Social media is atwitter about Kishor’s meeting with the prodigal Sidhu. I-Pac signs a deal with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

The I Pack

What it says of Kishor can wait. What is begging attention and meditation is what it says of the state of Indian politics. Kishor is a poll strategist --- he has worked for the BJP, JDU, INC, AAP, YSRCP, DMK, TMC --- it is not a philosophy or an ideology but a job description. Kishor does a good job, keeps getting better at it and now, not untypically, he is looking for a takeover. In this case, he is looking to take over a readymade ideology. The itinerant questions are --- can Kishor revive the Congress, can he stop the BJP juggernaut? As if we were not talking about a nation of billion people and their present and future but a plumbing job. Naresh Patel, a Patidar leader of Gujarat, who is about to join politics, takes heart from the fact that Kishor “stands by him”. While resigning, Goa TMC Congress chief Kiran Kandolkar blames Kishor for the "humiliating" defeat of his party. To think there is no one in no party --- save perhaps the Left --- with force and conviction enough to take blame and credit for their political doings. To think a billion people are routinely voting for parties and people whose jobs were outsourced long ago.

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