Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nehru-Gandhi household cutlery goes far

In India, chamchas(sycophants)* do well, especially if they belong to the de facto rulers the Nehru-Gandhi family. However so far Home Minister P Chidambaram has kept up a sober, sophisticated image and one supposes that any chamchagiri(sycophancy) on his part  is discreetly undertaken.

However, at the Congress Plenary Session(yes, the same event that took the life of an innocent Indian citizen so that the Prime Minister could have his way), the facade crumbled under the pressure of bubbling sycophancy.

Perhaps Chidambaram couldn't help it. Or perhaps it was coldly calculated -

Close your eyes, listen to Rahul, you will hear (former Prime Minister and Rahul's father)Rajiv’s echo!” Chidambaram thundered during his address on Monday, proving that he can when necessary outdo any ordinary or garden variety of Congressman when it comes to in-your-face sycophancy. While his words were greeted with cheers and applause from the hoi polloi, observers noted that both Sonia and Rahul sat in frozen silence. This is being widely interpreted among political observers as a sign that Chidambaram’s days in the Cabinet may be numbered.

Just some loyal congressmen. Which is Chidambaram? The one on the farthest right -the biggest spoon?
Whatever the motive, Chidambaram tinkled loud and clear, even among that much cutlery assembled. As for Rajiv's echos, they must be of a very soothing frequency as the Home Minister

fell asleep while Rahul Gandhi was delivering his speech. At least three senior Congress members seated on the podium next to Sonia Gandhi confirm that Chidambaram’s gentle baritone snores were clearly audible even over Rahul’s high-pitched voice.

 And speaking of certain spoons, while I was researching for the earlier post I came across this from November, 2009 -

VIP security must be more sensitive, says Chidambaram

VIP security must be sensitive to the “emergency needs” of the people, union Home Minister P.
Chidambaram said here Friday while describing as unfortunate the death of a patient outside a Chandigarh hospital when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was visiting. Chidambaram hoped that the Special Protection Group (SPG) and state police had learnt their lesson and that such incidents would not happen again.

“The SPG is under the control of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). I think the Prime Minister’s Office said what needs to said that VIP security must be sensitive to concerns of people and emergency needs of people.

And yet, over a year later another two citizens are dead.
So what happened to that 'sensitivity'?  It seems that neither the Prime Minister nor the Home Minister could impart it to the forces under their order. Or cared to.

That makes them useless and/or callous.

Japanese had an honorable custom for those officials who failed their country. I am not suggesting that our masters(let's not insult our intelligence by calling them 'public servants') take that route. They may however, in true and tested Indian tradition, look for some chullu bhar paani* and quietly slink away into obscurity.

Only they are too shameless to do the right thing.

*The colorful Indian language translator-

       In Hindi, a sycophant is called a chamcha. Chamcha is also the Hindi word for spoon. Thus, a  common wordplay in India is to call a sycophant(often in the context of politics) a spoon, say- "X is Minister Y's spoon."
Thus, the wordplay in the title of this post. 

chullu bhar pani -
refers to the colorful Indian expression -'ja, chullu bhar pani mein doob mar' which "which essentially says that the concerned person who has incidentally done something shameful should go drown himself in a handful of water"