It was long overdue. Wonder what took it so long. A war of words between Sri Bal Thackeray and Sri Laloo Prasad Yadav. Anyway, here's the recent history. First Sri Laloo Prasad Yadav took the Shiv Sena to task for digging up the cricket pitch at Agra where India Seniors were to play Pakistan Seniors. Soon after, Sri Yadav was in Mumbai.
It was inevitable that after the recent violent anti-Bihari 'protests' in Assam, Sri Yadav's attention was to veer towards the Sena's "Me Mumbaikar" campaign.
"Don’t think Maharashtra grew on its own. It’s all our money here. If I get too upset, I will withdraw Bihar’s share from IDBI and RBI and leave this state to suffer ...Biharis are working as milkmen, as workers in factories, as paanwaalas. They are doing their own thing here. Where are they stealing others’ jobs?’’ he asked.
"In India, nobody can be prohibited from moving from one state to another. It is a free country," he added. And then came the clincher: "If they don’t allow Biharis to work here, I won’t allow any films from here to be shown in Bihar: "Yahin baithke dekhte rahein akele [Sit here and watch them alone]."
But then there was a catch. What about people like Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Nirupam who is originally from Bihar? Sri Laloo had a sublime suggestion: "He should be thrown out first. ‘‘But that doesn’t mean I will accept him if he comes to Bihar. Usko football ki tarah banaoonga hum [I’ll turn him into a football]." [Presumably, he meant to suggest that he would kick him around from state to state?]
Now could this be acceptable to the Hindu Hriday Samrat, the gentleman the English press calls, the Shiv Sena Supremo, Sri Balasaheb Thackeray? So out came the following statement in yesterday's Saamna. Rough translation follows:
A Bihari Bhainsa [buffalo], Laloo Prasad Yadav, came to Aurangabad and Mumbai and ranted like he usually does. He should not dare to do this again. He said 'I can go anywhere. I can do anything. Who will stop me in Mumbai?" I just want to tell this Bihari buffalo that if he is so courageous he should go and say what he ranted in Bombay in Assam, where innumerable Biharis were killed by the ULFA, more than 60 people died.
The buffalo made comments like those politicians who throw things like "sarv dharm sambhav," at us and make statements like "this country is not anybody's private property. The constitution has provided the rights to travel across the country, anywhere we want."
Laloo is the joker of Indian politics. Once he starts speaking in the Rajya Sabha, everyone is entertained. Laloo says that he is the second Shahjahan but he's just a wise guy who's too clever by half. He went to the state government's guest house and picked up a glass of drinking water and spat paan in to it. He always has someone following him with a spittoon but he soiled government property with his bad behaviour. This is his culture.
He also said a lot of good things about Pakistan's President Musharaf, some time ago. He really entertained the Pakistani Muslims during that Pakistan tour. But meat from President Musharaf's Biryani hospitality is still stuck in his teeth and a bone is stuck in his throat. So what else can we expect from him?
Meanwhile, news came that Patna University has selected Sri Yadav for award of honoris de causa in the coming convocation of the University on January 11. His supporters are energetically burning effigies of Sri Thackeray. Sri Yadav is making the TV-studio rounds, pointing out how the SaaND (the Ox) is Lord Shiva's vehicle, performing his rustic act for the cameras and saying profound things such as how difficult it is to be a joker.
As for Sri Thackeray's reference to a spittoon,Indian Express had provided the atmospherics on Sunday:
A television reporter shoots a question. Laloo Prasad Yadav ignores it the first time. "Arre paani nahi laye hain abhi tak," he mumbles annoyed.
One of his flunkies scurries to get it. Yadav spits into the glass. Red bits of betelnut spill out of his mouth into the glass and the water turns a deep pink. Now ready to face the camera, Yadav addresses the television reporter: "Haan kya keh rahi thi? oh baby...(What were you saying, eh, girl?)’’
Just then a cellphone rings. "Arre yeh baaja band karo (Switch off this music)," he orders. "Ekdam bekaar cheez hai. Dimaag kharab kar deta hai (These cell phones are useless)."