PACHU MENON, MARGAO
If the praises heaped on Rahul Gandhi by Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo and Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai for his humane gesture in visiting ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is anything to go by, we are about to witness a new chapter in statesmanship in Indian politics where animosities and personal tiffs between leaders will henceforth be an exhibition of political acrimony reserved exclusively for the press and media. In fact, as the saying goes, there has never been anything personal about the orchestrated political arguments between the leaders of various factions that the citizens of the country are used to – it’s just part of their business! However, considering the political scenario in the country over the past five years where the BJP, with the overwhelming dominance that it has been enjoying, has spared no efforts to belittle the Congress at every available opportunity to the extent of carrying out public tirades against quite a few Congress stalwarts, past and present; it does appear that the rivalry at times is being carried to unhealthy ends. Otherwise why should there be accusations and clarifications on as simple an act as a courtesy meeting between an ailing Chief Minister and the Congress president! Do the simmering relations between the BJP and the Congress in this election year warrant the sort of paranoia that is in evidence which question motives behind such dignified deeds! If on the other hand, the Congress president, as insinuated by the ailing Chief Minister, had intentions of politicising the visit to score brownie points, one could well say that graciousness and compassion as vital aspects of a moral upbringing are sadly lacking in the present corps of politicians. ‘Playing politics’ has become a catchword in today’s competitive world and only those who can adjust themselves to the intricacies of the game can survive the rat-race that exemplifies life today. But when one relates politics with governance vis-à-vis the struggle for power, a feeling that players would go to any length to achieve their ends does throw a degree of uncertainty over the whole issue – the means employed that is. In that context, the sparring between the ailing Chief Minister and the AICC president over the latter’s ‘empathetic’ visit through the public exchange of letters does raise visions of another political grandstand.