Napoleon, the DMK man in the Union cabinet, is clearly not a man out to conquer the world. All the ex-filmstar from Tamil Nadu (who holds the low-key MoS for social justice portfolio) wanted was a chair at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was allotted one too, as it was for disabled people who come under the purview of his ministry. Unfortunately, he left his chair for a minute and by the time he returned, the Prez’s son, motormouth MP Abhijit Mukherjee, was plonked on it. And he was quite abrupt about not giving the minister back his kursi. So minister Napoleon had to do without a chair. Thankfully, the gentleman that he is, he didn’t create a scene. Alas, the same cannot be said for our ‘dented and painted’ First Son.
A.R. Rahman, the music maestro, was in Hyderabad recently to promote the Mani Ratnam film, Kadal. At a time when hate speeches headline the news, Rahman uses his music as a platform for peace. (Remember his famous Oscar line, “All my life, I had a choice between love and hate. I chose love.”) Once he was through with the promotional tour, Rahman took off to his favourite destination, the famous Pedda dargah in Kadapa. As part of the Urs celebrations, he even put together a qawwali performance there, for an audience of about 1,000 people. Thankfully, except for a couple of ministers, there weren’t too many netas blocking the view. So local fans were an ecstatic lot.
Now it’s common knowledge that MNS chief Raj Thackeray tries his utmost to copy late uncle Bal Thackeray’s style, be it in mannerisms or dress (note Balasaheb’s earlier pictures before the shawl, rudraksha and giant tiger in background phase took over). Even the party symbol of his MNS, an engine, was actually one of the symbols the Shiv Sena tried out in its formative days. So it was hardly surprising that just two months after the Sena supremo’s demise, the MNS seems to have decided that it was time to take the party rivalry to the next level. Last weekend, posters started popping up of Raj Thackeray with the face of a roaring lion as backdrop, a carbon copy of the roaring tiger which Balasaheb was partial to. When asked about the new tactics, MNS officials were tight-lipped, refusing to comment. But it’s clear that Raj has decided his roar is a lot better than Uddhav’s. Or is it?
January 14 being Makar Sankranti day, the Congress was on fast-mode at the party HQ in Delhi. So the usual offer to the hacks— tea and snacks—was missing. In fact, even water was “unavailable”. The BJP, in contrast, was having its ‘Makar Sankranti Utsav’ at its official base around the corner. A joke doing the rounds: perhaps there was no tea because the Congress peons had all gone to take a dip at the Kumbh.
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