There was something very likeable in the manner in which Nitin Gadkari suddenly burst into song at the BJP conclave in Indore last week. Till then, most people in India had no clue as to who he was and what he looked like. But the song (zindagii kaisii hai pahelii haai/ kabhii yeh hasaaye/ kabhii yeh rulaaye (life is a riddle/ sometimes it makes us laugh/ sometimes cry) appears to have done the trick for him. He comes through as a disarmingly simple small town boy with few pretensions. He chose one of my favourite songs by Manna De and the entire media in Indore instantly warmed up to the man.
So here’s my list of songs for the top few BJP leaders.
Sushma Swaraj is often referred to as “behan hamari (our sister) and she loves to dress up and pose like a specimen of traditional Indian womanhood during festivals. Perhaps the Sushma item number should be the lady singing to all her Bhais “brothers’ in the BJP/RSS:
“bhaiyaa mere raakhi ke bandhan ko nibhaana/ bhaiyaa mere chhotii behan ko naa bhulaanaa (O brother, do fulfil the bond of rakhi/ O brother, don’t forget your sister).
Arun Jaitley is a cheerful soul full of anecdotes and witticisms. He is also particularly fond of recounting from where he acquired certain items like his favourite pen, watch, jacket, shawl etcetera. Lately he’s also become fond of old Hindi film music. I think the perfect song for him is the breezy Raj Kapoor classic:
meraa jootaa hai japaanii/ yeh patloon englistani (my shoes are from Japan. My trousers from England…)
L.K. Advani must see himself as the epitome of the BJP and he made it clear in the course of his speech at Indore that he believes he will continue to be relevant in the party. Since he’s an 80 plus veteran I think a memorable song from the old classic Baiju Bawra is appropriate. Here’s the love song Advani should sing to the entire BJP:
tu Gangaa ki mauj/ main Jamunaa kaa dhaara/ Ho rahegaa Milan/ Ye hamaara tumhaara (You are the flow of the Ganga/ I am the flow of the Jamuna/ our union will continue forever).
I must make a mention of Varun Gandhi. The young man has not really been given much importance by the party but sources say he continues to lobby relentlessly and sell himself. For instance at Indore several vehicles had posters proclaiming the need for Varun as a leader. Both mother Maneka and Varun clearly believe the young man is blue blooded and a cut above the riff raff in the BJP and deserves a better deal. For him the Shahrukh Khan song:
I am the best, I’m the best, I’m the best!
When he’s not threatening to chop off the hands of Muslims, I can easily see Varun strutting around proclaiming I’m the best/ I’m better than Rahul…
There is one song that instantly comes to mind when I think of Gujarat’s tough guy Narendra Modi:
mein hoon Don (I’m the Don).
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chauhan is a low key fellow in comparison and he has already picked his song which he sang at Indore:
tujhko chalnaa hogaa/ tujhko chalnaa hogaa (you have to keep going/ keep going).
And what better song for Venkaiah Naidu than:
kehtaa hai joker/ saaraa zamaanaa (the world calls me a joker).
Imagine the future of Indian politics if the BJP leaders should start bursting into song. Since their slogans are falling flat, perhaps they should take a cue from the new party president.