Tuesday, September 29, 2015

M J Akbar and Congress: Mesmerizing power of Words and False Comfort

Once M J Akbar, then a columnist, had alluded to a poetry and written that the poet does not make facile accusations against the Almighty; but he provides evidence. 
But for political sycophants, there remains something called mesmerizing power of false comfort. Evidence of reasoning does not matter. Congress is passing through this. The Congress leaders are therefore angry these days the moment Narendra Modi visits abroad and addresses desi crowd. Anand Sharma is leading the charge. 

Another sort of ‘family retainer’ is waiting in the wings! Jairam Ramesh! The architect of NGO-inspired 2013 Land Bill will come out with his intellectual press conference any day to claim something ‘original’ about some palaces. Nevertheless 10 Janpath remains sacred. Temples have to be sacred. For Jairam too, all temples need not be sacred, that’s another story. Diggy baba is bit busy these days --- !!!
A magician of words

In the meantime, the joke is about a new parody (song) in Congress headquarter: even “dedicated SICKULAR” JOURNALISTS ARE IN THAT CLUB: "MJ Akbar-ali jaan ki dushman hae hae"!!
These are in REACTIONS to MJ Akbar’s statement yesterday lampooning ‘pappu’ – the crown prince and for designating him the title "spoiled child of Indian politics".
Akbar as a journalist belongs to an old school where playing with words has been his favourite pastime and also mastery! During The Telegraph days, Akbar once gave a headline – reportedly – I was a mere student in Nagaland – “Panja burns Ganja”.

In later years, I was told again as The Asian Age Editor, he gave one of his best headlines – “Jinnah partitions BJP” – this was after L K Advani made the hara-kiri “Jinnah is secular” statement! These are milestones.
So my apprehension is, his description of Rahul Gandhi as a “spoiled child of Indian politics” will stick - at least till the time another 'baba' comes. Jairam Ramesh, and Mumbai’s Sanjay Jha (only a party like Congress can have brilliant spokesman like him) have a lot of hard work to do. Another intellectual, and self-styled ‘inheritor’ of Dr MMS’s legacy, P Chidambaram has to try something original to save his Sivaganga constituency. 
MJ Akbar in 1980s
when journalism was type writer.
Well, in nineties – he did a brilliant floor exercise by joining G K Moopanar’s Tamil Manila Congress. In 2004, he contested as a one-man regional party leader. Future, they say, is always pregnant with hopes.
Now coming back to M J Akbar; I am hardly a Birbal in his durbar; nor I liked his politics and political somersault. In 1989, Akbar had backed Bofors scam-hit Rajiv Gandhi. In 2014 he read political reality pretty well and joined BJP.
Akbar’s press conference on September 28, 2015 --- came as a rude shocker for Rajiv Gandhi’s party and worse for his widowed wife Sonia and illustrious son Rahul.
In his lucid and eloquent style, Akbar lashed out at the Congress and more at the 'family' for what he said trying to belittle Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States. “kucch toh sharam karo (you should feel little ashamed)," Akbar said almost tongue-in-cheek adding, "Congress has become a voice of untrue, malice and utter frustration".

He said Congress party is "trapped as a party of inept leadership and is unable to bear the sight of India's Prime Minister raising the prestige and the prosperity of the nation".
Akbar, now a Rajya Sabha MP for BJP from Jharkhand and who was also a Congress MP in 1989, said the Congress party's "frustration" is evident in the huge positive response the Prime Minister Modi has generated from the "giants of intellectuals and innovation and from the leaders of the future who can see another leader of the future in their midst".
He did not stop at that. And this is likely to hurt Congress most!
Describing Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi as "spoiled child of Indian politics", Akbar also sought to ridicule tweeter postings and snaps released by Congress leaders to authenticate that he (Rahul) attended a conference in the US.
"Instead of hiding underground somewhere in the US and posting highly nebulous (one of the alternative meaning is ill-defined) pictures of some alleged conference, it would have been a better idea if Rahul Gandhi come out and explain what he is doing unless of course he is enjoying an undeserved holidays".

Answering questions, journalist-turned-neta Akbar made his argument more emphatic: "even if Rahul Gandhi has gone for a conference, why there was so hush hush about his visit. If the conference was for one day, where he has been for last 14 days"? 

To be fair to Congressmen and women – including family retainers – they knew something “intellectually interesting” about crown prince’s US trip. So, one of them had said, “Rahulji is out for personal reason”. Now, judge the quick impact of loyalty-balm: a truly yours news agency flashed it out promptly. PM-in-waiting is often more important than PM-in-office. 

Reacting to Congress media briefing by Congress version of intelligent man, Anand Sharma, BJP spokesman MJ Akbar said, "Congress press conference shows an astonishing lack of grasp of foreign policy.....and this only shows how Congress made such a mess of foreign policy". Nehruvian legacy crumbles! For Congress, Akbar was also at his best with his one liners during the press conference on jibe at Modi and his mom relationship. "Politics is always about reactions and commentaries, but you don't drag a pious relation like mother-son bond into these,” Akbar said in chaste Hindi.
"Narendra Modi's mother still lives in a small hut...his mother does not stay in a palace of 20 large rooms. ....entire country saw...everyone saw when he broke down and his voice choked talking about his mother (Modi at facebook headquarter as Mark Zuckerbarg’s guest) and you are reacting to this...kucch toh sharam karo," he said.

Reacting to Congress criticism of the Prime Minister, Akbar had further said,
"On one hand, we have a Prime Minister, a person who is so affectionate of his mother....on the other hand, there is a mother whose blind love for son has already destroyed the party and the attempt is now even to finish the country" alluding to Sonia Gandhi's alleged pampering of Congress vice president.

Congress party could not have it worse/better from a former Congressman.


I was born and brought up in Nagaland. I also had my baptism into journalism from Nagaland. Corruption is a way of life in that insurgency-hit state and that played a big part in weakening the Naga movement too. But in my brief career and life, I have never seen someone describing about the fungus of corruption in Naga hills so well. “In Nagaland, government payment is made for works done (about contractors) in heaven”, Akbar wrote in late eighties and this statement is still used in rhetoric about state politics in the north eastern state. That’s Akbar’s magic.


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