He loves to play the fool. He also loves to play to the gallery, though the carefully cultivated facade conceals a sharp mind. Not surprisingly, there is an entire section in cyberspace dedicated to Lalooisms and Laloo jokes. Sample this: how do the French describe a washroom? Why, La Loo, of course.
In college, he made the number of washrooms in hostels a major plank of his campaign in the student’s union election. “Look at the vice-chancellor. An old man, he lives alone in this palatial bungalow with as many as five bathrooms. Why does he need five bathrooms? Look at us, over one hundred students are also forced to share five bathrooms in the hostel. Is that fair?” No prizes for guessing that he won.
His father was a peasant and his elder brother employed as a peon in the Veterinary College, Patna. Till the day he was elected the Janata Dal leader in the assembly, and thus anointed the chief minister of Bihar in 1990, he lived in the humble peons’ quarters in the college campus with his family, though he had already been an MP and an MLA.
At Patna’s Miller School, his batchmates included Anil Agarwal, one of the richest Indians and the London-based head of the Vedanta Group. While there is no evidence to suggest they were ever close or even knew each other at school, Agarwal is a self-confessed fan of Laloo, who walked into business schools as a case study with his claims to have turned around the Indian Railways.
Another batchmate happens to be Bihar’s present agriculture minister, Nagendra Singh. He grudgingly recalls that he, among others, was often at the receiving end of Laloo’s pranks. The picture one gets is of a boisterous, impish schoolboy having fun.
A long political innings later
During one of the many student agitations in which the two were involved, Nagendra Singh recalls an occasion when Laloo instigated others to shower brickbats on the police. Soon enough, the police resorted to firing in the air to disperse the crowd. Laloo was nowhere to be found. But while the agitation fizzled out, anonymous telephone calls to the police and newspaper offices claimed that a student named Laloo had died in the police firing. The ‘news’ electrified the students, who rallied again for the cause. Nagendra Singh believes to this day that the calls were made by Laloo himself.
He was adept at providing one-liners, couplets and rustic humour that kept his audience in splits. “Jab tak rahega samose mein aloo, tab tak rahega Bihar mein Laloo.” We don’t know if there is aloo in ’em samosas anymore but Lalooisms live on. “What has the Congress government given the unemployed? Unemployment allowance? I will provide every ‘bekaar’ with a ‘car’,” was another. Of course, he evoked for Biharis the vision of Hema Malini’s cheeks, by promising to make the state’s roads as smooth as them.
The flowing rhetoric kept him in power till the infamous fodder scam caught up with him. The judgement in one of its key cases is expected this year, and judging by the previous cases, even Laloo appears reconciled to getting convicted.
If Laloo’s execution and integrity were even half as good as his wit, Bihar would have been a far better place (Any Samosa Chutney Left?).
S. Bengani, on e-mail
For all his infinite flaws, Laloo @ 17 deserved power and position more than a Sonia or Rahul @ 17. The tragedy is he himself does not realise this; it's sickening to see this erstwhile disciple of the JP movement worship Saint Sonia.
In the interest of fairness, can Outlook tell us what Soniamma was doing at 17?
Rakhal Ghosh, Philadelphia
Indians need to keep jokers in the circus and the sober in the parliament. Having the reverse has made us pay a heavy price. Law makers are there to do a very serious job, not to provide cheap entertainment. For that, we have TV.
Admi tho yeh masth hai - lekin neta tho yeh pasth hai.
3/D-32, if he doesn't bow to the royal family he will be in jail pronto!
For all his INFINITE FLAWS, Laloo @ 17 deserved power and position ,more than a sonia @ 17 or rahul at 17, since Laloo represents the Indian Republic in truer sense than the feudal prince(ess) that dot the Congress HC.
Alas the tragedy is even Laloo does not realize this and it is very sickening to see this erstwhile disciple of JP movement worship saint sonia. What a tragedy !!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Since his crusade started with ‘BATHROOMS’, it explains why his ideologies & policies STINK.”
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT