While speaking recently at a meeting at Jagdishpur, a village in his Lok Sabha constituency, Amethi, Rahul Gandhi, the ever-in-waiting PM candidate of the Congress party, announced that he was adopting the villge under a model village scheme. While making the announcement, Rahul tried to take a dig at the PM who had propounded the scheme, by asking the assembled villagers as to where funds for their wishlist of forty odd development projects would come from. All he succeeded in achieving in the process was to betray his lack of knowledge of the dynamics of the scheme and the resources available to an MP for its implementation. Needless to say, the bewildered audience became disappointed over their parliamentary representative’s cynicism and disregard for their plight. Wasn’t he expected to sit with his constituents, work out the viability of the projects they were interested in and figure out a way of implementing them?  Was it not what his job was all about? In short, if he was clueless, as indeed admitted by him by implication, as to how to get the development schemes carried out, why was he an MP at all? Why didn’t he go home with his excess baggage of pessimism and leave it all for a better person to take over? Rahul was once again clueless, this time about his constituents’ bewilderment over his befuddled approach to his role as a people’s representative.

    In the Mould of Super CMs

    Not to be left far behind in a similar state of bewilderment as Rahul is our own irrepressible Chief Minister of Telengana, who is apparently clueless about the ways and means to become a popular Chief Minister. K.Chandrasekhara Rao, called KCR by his partymen in the popular mode of NTR and MGR, cinematic hero-turned-super Chief Ministers whose lengthy names had been reduced to cryptic initials by their fans in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu respectively, is peeved over his inability to become a darling of the masses in his state in the same way as NTR and MGR had in their time. His populist measures like increasing the pension amount from Rs.200 to Rs.1,000 has not cut much ice with the people. On the contrary, much to his chagrin and discomfiture, the number of suicides in the state among farmers and pensioners seems to be on the rise.

    Action Plan for the Right Image

    Surely, there must be a secret formula to the success of NTR and MGR, which one must be able to identify, unravel and put to good use for ensuring KCR’s unbridled popularity. Rao’s team of advisers put their heads together and came up with an action plan for creating the right image for their leader. Let it be known, they averred, that the people’s leader is all for purity in his official as well as private lives. Isn’t white the colour of purity?  Besides, Rao’s astrologers had advised that white was his lucky colour. So, clad he must be in white all the time! As a course correction measure suggested by astrologers, KCR got all the official cars of his convoy which were originally black in colour, repainted white. Again, in conformity with the advice of the astrologers, he shifted the Begumpet camp office of his party to vastu-compliant building next doors.

    Numerology for Good Luck

    Not prepared to bank only on the astrologers’ advice, KCR has been trying out the next point on the action plan, namely, numerology for good luck. His lucky number being 6, he has got 6 cars in his convoy, the registration number of all of which is TS 09 6666.

    While fighting elections for Lok Sabha and the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 2004 and 2009, he bargained for and wangled off 6 Lok Sabha seats and 42 (4+2=6) Assembly seats, both times. It is, of course, a different thing that in 2004 his party entered into an electoral alliance with Congress and in 2009 with TDP. To make not too fine a point, KCR was not averse to fighting elections with different alliance partners in different elections. Never mind the mismatch in ideological alignment! The number of seats alloted to his party must, however, be in strict alignment with numerology!

    When his party formed the government in 2014 in the newly-formed state of Telengana, his Cabinet included 12 ministers (multiple of 6).  Numerology, again!

    Beseeching Divine Intervention

    Despite his scrupulous adherence to the action plan of his advisors, astrology and numerology have not been of much help to KCR who has his sights set now on divine intervention, no less. He is now convinced that he needs ‘invincible powers’ to vanquish his enemies and overcome all obstacles. To this end, he is preparing for a mega religious event, ‘Ayutha Chandi Yaga’, an ancient and elaborate ritual performed in the olden days by kings and practically unheard of in the modern times. The Yaga includes rituals like ‘Shatru Samhara’ and ‘Rajavashikarana’. The logistics planned for the event to be held in February next year, are far too elaborate. 1,000 sacrificial fire pits (Yajna kund) are being built in KCR’S farmhouse in Medak district. 1,000 priests from Sringeri and other places will chant 700 mantras 10,000 times non-stop over a period of 10 days and offer oblation in the sacrificial fire pits to propitiate Goddess Durga.

    The Yaga is expected to bestow on the one commissioning the event invincible powers by the use of occult science in which mystical energy and tantric powers are used to control and regulate other people’s minds, thoughts and actions. This uncommon Yaga has been performed by very individuals like former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Deve Gawda and Rahul Gandhi in living memory.

    Faith in Religion

    That the right of a private individual to practise his religion is enshrined in the Indian Constitution is stating the obvious. Faith in a religion on the part of any citizen is understandable and calls for respect from all quarters in our secular set up. What is not comprehensible is the utter insensitivity on the part of a political leader, who leads a State of composite cultures and religions, performing such an elaborate ritual in a fly-in-the-face fashion for a period of as many as ten days at what must turn out to be a stupendous cost. Add to the cost, which would hopefully be borne by Mr.Rao and or his party, the elaborate logistic arrangements including security and traffic, as also the unquantifiable time and energy which would be spent on the event by the state machinery. The sheer numbers involved are staggering and may be termed infructuous.

    Why the Yaga?

    And what is the purpose of the Yaga? The Chief Minister’s office and party would have us believe that the Yaga is not being held for the benefit of KCR but for seeking God’s grace and blessings for the newly-formed State of Telengana. They point out that the government’s populist schemes are failing to strike a chord with the masses but are used by KCR’s political opponents as a stick to beat him with. Their leader has, therefore, chosen to seek God’s grace and blessings for the nascent State!

    If at all the Yaga is being held for seeking divine blessings for the State, why the rituals which seek to bestow on an individual ‘invincible powers’ by the use of occult science in which mystical energy and tantric powers are used to control and regulate other people’s minds, thoughts and actions? Is the claim that the Yaga is for seeking divine blessings for the State a ruse for defraying the expenditure of the proposed event from the state exchequer?

    Clue and Solution

    Again, is the people’s leader seeking such overarching powers to fight IS or Al Qaeda, or maybe both the terrorist outfits put together, single handedly?  If he is only thinking in terms of remaining in power for the remainder of his tenure and winning the next round of elections, why seek ‘invincible powers’ sought by ancient rulers who were locked in mortal combats with their enemies? In a democracy like India, you only have political opponents and rivals but no enemies. The sooner this fundamental truth sinks in at the right quarters, the better for prevalence of sanity in politics!  If Rahul and Rao are clueless about the link which once connected them with the people missing, they only have to search their hearts for a clue and reach out to the people. Vox populi, vox Dei!



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    Exhorted by well meaning officers to write copious despatches and sumptuous (euphemism for voluminous) reports, Kalpatraman seldom had time to read what he wrote during his 37 years of sojourn to exotic locales like Kyrgyzstan, Syria and Ukraine, idyllic and picture perfect places in Switzerland, culturally rich Bangladesh and the wild-yet-enriching UK, (besides a very rewarding time in Delhi), all in the service of the nation as a member of Indian Foreign Service. Nor did he expect his works of art to make it to the top of the charts of best sellers. That was all for later. And now is the later! Writing is a passion which he allows himself to indulge in, usually while taking a break from reading. What does he write about? Nothing or nobody is too big or too small nor any happening too sacrosanct or too insignificant to write about. Indian and international politics, philosophy and Spiritual matters, Poetry, and any topic which tickles the funny bone of or is likely to arouse the curiosity of the reader is what he considers grist for his writing. Sarcasm, lampooning and humour are his forte. Why don't you discover more of him yourself? Just read his works. That's all it takes. A word of caution, though. Be very prepared to be surprised!