As kids, we used to lust and lust after imported Walkie-Talkie dolls. In those days, such items came from Japan, not China. The dolls were blonde, good-looking, spoke English and wore Western clothes. Sachin Pilot is Ashok Gehlot's Walkie-Talkie doll. A desi, Made-in-India doll. He is not blonde but speaks "good English" and is "handsome". Khallas! He is done for. There is no place for such men in today's Rajasthan. Bechara Sachin - is it his fault he was born to good-looking parents and sent to a good Air Force School where he was taught good English? His English must have been pretty damn good, for he got into that snob citadel, St. Stephens College in Delhi, and worse, went off to Wharton later - where his good English and good looks must have been noticed and admired. Tauba! This is seriously not okay. As Ashok Gehlot has pointed out, being handsome and speaking good English "is not everything!'' Anything but, Sir! This is a huge disqualification! We don't want educated people in government to begin with. Especially not those who speak good English. Bad English chalega. That's another matter. But please - definitely not the good variety. As for good looks - see, we prefer our netas to resemble toads and croak like them too. Sachin Pilot obviously had far too many strikes against him. Ashok Gehlot is absolutely right - this new generation has not been through what his generation has - they've been to good schools, good colleges, they are educated, articulate, ambitious and capable. Tch! Tch! Yeh new generation ki badi galti hai, sirji...
What do these padhey-likhey fellows know about the real world of netagiri? Kuch bhi nahi. Jaaney do.
Chalo, Sachin has been sacked. He ejected from the cockpit. But the poor chap's parachute didn't open on time. Like some media-wallas headlined their report, Pilot was unceremoniously 'derostered'. Now he finds himself in no man's land. The old 'dhobi ka kutta' story is playing out with Gehlot smirking, gloating and going to town about the new generation, which is so faltu, those good-looking men only know how to give good sound bytes, but, as he asks pointedly, "inside their hearts, - kya hai?" Sir, try the latest version of choli ke peechay with a gender twist - Kurtey ke peechay kya hai, Kurtey ke peechay? Come on, Gehlot-ji, the answer is the same...dil hai, dil. Solid dil! You also have a dil, na? After 40 years in politics, maybe that dil needs a little dhak-dhak. A strong jolt. Because, truth be told, Sachin Pilot's generation has oomph. And the required qualifications to lead a young country like India. Itna toh sach hai. The guy is pretty cool - a commissioned officer in the Territorial Army vaghera. Aapney bhi kuch aisa kiya hoga.
Big point is this, Gehlot-ji - agreed, Sachin Pilot ruined his chances to oust you and become the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, settling instead to accept a Deputy Chief Ministership. You are now saying he is a misfit because he's handsome and speaks good English. Hello! What about your boss and Sachin's ex-boss: Rahul Gandhi? He is super-cute. And speaks good English. His sound bytes are priceless. Have you peeped behind his kurta and looked inside his dil?
Now what? Are the few Congress loyalists still hanging around, going in for a major image makeover? Will they stop speaking good English? Avoid sound bytes? Play down their looks? Poor Shashi Tharoor - now we know why he isn't taken seriously by the High Command. This also explains why Babyface Jyotiraditya Scindia and a few other Peter Pans in the Congress party had to beat it - Rahul Baba must have been feeling maha insecure. Even though he's the one with the dimples! Uff, too much competition in the Congress beauty pageant...
Oh well, there's always the BJP for the also-rans.
(Shobhaa De is an established writer, columnist, opinion shaper and social commentator, who is considered an authority on popular culture.)
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