Now that the verdict is in and most Congressmen are out, it’s time to spare a thought for the losers. A majority of the UPA ministers bit the dust, which means they could all be unemployed, in political terms. That does not mean they sit on their hand, or hands, and most will find alternative ways to keep busy. Here are some suggestions gathered in an “exit” poll:
Rahul Gandhi: Can start an NGO dedicated to the empowerment of women and the youth, and children as well since that segment does elicit a strong public association. In every interview, no matter what the question, his stock answer was to do with empowering women and youth. Now that he’s the one that needs empowering and there’s no government behind him, or in front for that matter, he can actually start walking the talk. Baby steps, of course.
A K Antony: Can now join the church and become a priest, since he was always known as St Antony. Sainthood may be far away but, in his defence, there’s the clean image that the clergy have, since they are not called upon to make decisions, and passing the buck is pretty much like passing the collection plate. He can also dutifully follow the Ten Commandments, the key one being ‘Thou shalt not do anything’.
Kapil Sibal: Now that he needs to defend himself in the people’s court, the legal beagle has time to work on his poems that he keeps stored on his iPad. It was literally poetry in motion, since many were composed on his digital gadgets on the road or on flights. Some were on the 2G scam and his favourite defence — “zero loss” — sounds like the Congress score in most states. His magnum opus was called ‘Partial Observation’ which can now become ‘Total Annihilation’ since he will have the time to polish his iambic pentameter.
Salman Khurshid: He can now give his undivided attention to his Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust for the disabled. His stint in the Foreign Ministry will help since his heavy defeat means his focus will need to shift to external affairs.
Manmohan Singh: Would be a great success in treating insomniacs and those who find it difficult to sleep. He just has to sit there without saying a word and people will be put to sleep — an expertise he has shown on many occasions, or not shown, as the case may be. He has the doctor title anyway, so he may as well put it to good use. Alternatively, he can promote an app that puts your phone on silent mode with the touch of a remote.
P Chidambaram: He didn’t contest this time, promoting his son instead, but dynasties have come a cropper in this election, and promoting sons is especially hard hit. Chidambaram & Son has a nice ring to it, but the prospects of a new finance company look pretty dim despite the number of PSU banks that had set up shop in the constituency and Chidambaram’s promise to voters that electing his son meant that they would get two for the price of one.
Kamal Nath: May have been one of the few Congress ministers to win, but urban development kept him pretty busy and he will be at a loss without portfolios to juggle. However, he still has his second job as de facto president of the prestigious Delhi Golf Club considering the number of new members who have got in through the back door thanks to his ministerial ministrations.
- Flip side: Parting shots
Now we have to bid goodbye to drama and dramatists, it’s almost like the empty nest syndrome...
- Flip side: Signs of the times
There are some signs that are impossible to ignore since they reflect contemporary mood and trends...
- Book Review: Rooms with a View
The story of Habib Rehman and his role in the success story of one of India’s biggest hospitality chains...