The Great Indian Chameleon 


By Partha Jyoti Borah

In Indian politics; neither enemies exist, nor friends is what we often hear from our politicians after the recurring polls. In spite of pre-poll insinuation, invective and diatribes against each other, political animals hobnob flawlessly in the guise of “nothing personal.”

On top of it, aya Ram gaya Ram syndrome is adding to the oxymoron. There has been infinite numbers of change of allegiance over night in Indian politics. Internalization in the new party takes place so expeditiously and deeply that it becomes hard to believe that the same party last night was sulking for the turncoat.

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There has again been a midnight merger of, this time, six gullible TMC MLAs of Tripura into the saffron fold. Going by Chanakya’s great proposition – thy foe’s enemy is thy friend, this merger has been materialized.  But against all public perception any merger – be it overnight or a result of protracted and brainstorming session, is turbulent and painful.

“I had finished three packets of India King since morning and there have been many sleepless nights since last fortnight”, revealed one of the TMC MLAs readying to saffronize his wardrobe on the eve of the planned merger.  Requesting for anonymity to this writer he said the entire idea of merging into a different ideology is so tumultuous that he has been sweating even in air-conditioning for last one month or so. While tension was palpable in his room at New Delhi’s Tripura Bhawan, sweat clearly visible on his forehead. Nevertheless there is a propensity in politicians to queue up to the ruling dispensation in anticipation of acceptance in its fold; but the present design of poaching is incumbent upon the ruling party to cherish its expansion dream.

“I was in Congress party for 36 years and became MLA from Congress when I was at late twenties; my DNA is Congress”, rued the same guy a day before his meeting with Mr Shah.

“But when we were vehemently opposing left in Tripura, Congress here had become its natural ally. This has prompted us to look for other destination and TMC gave us the much needed solace”, said the Tripura MLA who was painstakingly counting hours which was inching towards his stepping into Amit Shah’s Akbar Road residence. “Mamata didi who once could not even hear the name of left parties, now has no problem to been seen flanked by left leaders in any Delhi podium. When she was convinced that Bengal left is no more a threat for her she is comfortable with left leaders outside Bengal in the guise of containing the communal forces, lamented the disgruntled MLA over a cup of black coffee and another cigarette.

“But for us left is antithesis; so what do we do we in Tripura and what do we tell our supporters when they see Left-Mamata camaraderie in TV screen, he asked to himself.

Sonia Gandhi is unknowingly sabotaging the grand old party projecting naive Rahul. Rahul is completely a mismatch. He does not understand politics. So when even if he speaks truth, no one buys it. On the other hand, there are millions to die for Narendra Modi’s perennial bluff. This was the state of mind of the Tripura leader before stepping into the saffron citadel.

You tell me, what Modi did in his four year’s stint except for changing the nomenclature. Nirmal Bharat became Swatch Bharat, Planning Commission became NITI Ayog so on and so forth. But everyone is buying this narrative, continued the panicky leader.

Why is he along with five other joining BJP, then?

“My sole objective to join BJP is to dislodge left from Tripura. Manik dada (Tripura CM Manik Sarkar) washes his kurta with mineral-water, wears chappal worth five thousand (and) his spectacles are worth 65,000. But he has orchestrated a false narrative portraying himself as practising probity with the help of some friendly media-persons; should not he go this time,” again he asked to himself, looking at the spiralling smoke blending into eternity.

However, this leader was in all praise about Himanta Biswa Sarma. He was a man with a big heart. We both were in Congress and he also has Congress DNA like me, said the leader with a wink.

Under dynamic and able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, we will take Tripura to the path of prosperity by winning the next assembly poll, said the same leader flanked by Sunil Deodhar and Himanta Biswa Sarma outside’s Mr Shah’s residence.

He could not see into the eyes of this author who was present outside Amit Shah’s residence that day.

Partha Jyoti Borah is a senior journalist based in New Delhi.