January 24, 2020
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In Praise Of Farooq Abdullah

For not losing any of his boyish spunk, or the devil-may-care mien.

In Praise Of Farooq Abdullah

The YouTube video of Dr Farooq Abdullah doing a jig to a Bollywood number recently, with actor Ranveer Singh, has predictably gone viral. The 78-year-old former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir has evidently lost none of his boyish spunk, or the devil-may-care mien that comes naturally to those who wear their heart on their tucked-in polo tee sleeve. Whether spouting Urdu poetry or cracking jokes at social events where he is a popular invitee, Abd­ullah is an endearing if contrary figure who’s dismissed, perhaps a tad unfairly, as a lightweight politician. And his stance sits well with India’s official secularism to boot. At the event where he did the impromptu jig, he said: “India must stay united—Muslims and Hindus—if we aim to become a big power.” He speaks with the air of someone who has seen it all, as he has, but also with that particular mix of wit and twinkling, canny sardonism that’s fast becoming old-school these days.

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