Of marriages, political and otherwise

Written by Malvika Singh | Updated: Nov 19 2005, 05:30am hrs
All the spoken-about-austerity of CPI-M members, particularly those in the politburo, all the screaming and shouting against the free market and therefore the free world, all the past that has been revealed in the Mitrokhin report about how diktats and the rest were doled out by the Soviet Union, all that is known about how another arm of the Left was affiliated in some manner, shape or form to China, comes together in a shrill cacophony of sound that falls to nought when we read about the free-wheeling wedding celebration of the grandson of the most venerated CPI-M leader, Harkishen Singh Surjeet. What utter hypocrisy, what a farce.

It was with mean delight that I read about the grand party for the grandson, the Mercedes he drove in, the helipad that was put together for the high-flying guests, all the trappings that the grand party and its politburo damns when other happy people spend their personal, hard-earned monies to celebrate important events in their lives! It was the best example of the contradiction between talk and action.

Juxtaposed against this 1,500-people jamboree is the memory of the dignified, sophisticated and quiet, private celebrations of the marriages of all the Gandhis and of the daughter of Manmohan Singh. What a sharp contrast between the true attitude and mindset of the so-called Left and that of the Right! The latter is how all marriages should be...they were, once upon a time, family affairs with close friends who were considered part of the extended family, till the event manager entered and took weddings to some strange plane, trying to conjure an unreal world exposed on page three, for all and sundry!

These over-the-top wedding events have become a part of the public space and ceased to be stylish. They have lost that special warmth, graciousness and joy, once intrinsic to all such celebrations. The over-indulgence, waste and gross display of wealth makes these celebrations a crushing bore. It is as though the hoststhe parents of the bride and the groomare misusing the sacrosanct wedding of their progeny to feed, once and for all, everyone they have been acquainted with. In simple language, it is called showing-off.

The CPI-M damns those who spend their hard-earned money to celebrate events
This is hypocrisy, given the gala wedding of HKS Surjeets grandson
Weddings, once a family affair, have been taken over by event managers
Having said that, citizens in a free country like India should be able to do as they choose, as long as they are not breaking the law of the land. The rest, including my personal view here, is merely an individual value judgement. The CPI-M, too, must live and let live and use dialogue and intellectual persuasion to win brownie points, instead of using the old unacceptable technique of forcing the issue with blackmail, since the ruling dispensation needs their support to survive any vote count.

This is where a coalition with inflexible, opportunist partners, and outside support of a party that refuses to think beyond its ideology, outside of the frayed box, can only fail. It is a question of time. The lack of commitment to this larger, pluralistic and multi-dimensional polity, this inability to represent the many exciting and energetic levels of our society, as well as the 60% strong next generation, is what pushes India to regress. It is this reality that allows the bureaucracy to feed on the body politic of India, exploiting it to their selfish ends.

The hope lies in breaking loose, breaking out of this stranglehold, even if it means the Congress would have to sit in the opposition for a while. There would be a salutary response from the people, across all castes and creeds. When the allocation of ministerial posts is done on personal demands made by fellow constituents of the coalition rather than on expertise and merit, governance can only be faulty. Bureaucrats relish this unsavoury situation, because it assists them in gnawing into weakness, causing further confusion. They then divide, exploit and rule, much like our erstwhile colonial masters.

The NDA, in a mess itself, will play havoc with the clutter and disorder of the UPA in the forthcoming session of Parliament. Ninety percent of our leaders across the political spectrum, are insulting India. It is time to change. It is time for those men and women, elected by the people to represent them, to in turn respect the people who they owe their power to. Enough of this arrogance and ill-mannered conduct.