Jul 132009

I have met Sushma Swaraj once. She was in brief political exile, and had agreed to inaugurate my television channel. I say mine, as though i owned it – I didn’t :) but, it was mine in that a whole lot of my dreams and aspirations were tied up with it ! But,  I digress. We had requested her to symbolically launch the channel. She agreed – very graciously. She was witty, intelligent, fun, classily dressed – without intimidating you, warm, and decent.  – just the kind of person you would want your favourite periamma to be :). She cut the proverbial red ribbon – and declared the channel launched & she left.  A nice lady.

But, then i saw her political avtaar. Just post the BJP defeat last time around, she sort of lost it. Kaikeyi rather than kaki :( threatening to shave her hair and sleep on the ground in white. My grandmother – was appalled. How can a sumangali behave like that she asked – emphasizing the disconnect between Hinduism & Hindutva.

In the fallout post the last elections, she has been flip flopping around like a gold fish out of water – trying to provide a voice of reason to the outside world – when the men in her party disappeared to wallow in self pity and self indulgence – instead of acting like an Opposition. But, she has still not got the hang of things :

“Congress first plasters a city with posters and hoardings of its leaders. Then it takes these chocolate faces to the city. Obviously, glamour has its own attraction among the youth and they join the party.” Swaraj, who became a minister in the Haryana government at 25 years of age, said BJP had always encouraged young leaders. “But we did not sing about it. We treated it as natural. Congress flaunts these chocolate faces while our young leaders are not even noticed by the media,”

Auntyji – your young leaders are ignored by your own system. Where are your young spokespeople (unless you include yourself – after all you are younger than Mr.Advani & Mr.Joshi). Maybe, you need to appoint young BJP spokespeople to shadow each of the main ministries and get them to come and debate policies in the public space. There is no point in having these leaders, and get us the public to see the same worn, tired, defeated faces.

When 70% of your Target Audience is below 35 – pray why will you not make a song and dance about young politicians. Age may have virtue in our tradition – but after a certain age, the elderly leave it to the youngsters and enter vanaprasthna . Besides with the elderly of the BJP behaving like peas porridge in the pot, 9 days old – its is hardly surprising that the youth prefers chocolate.

An advice to Mrs. Swaraj – Shrillness & sarcasm don’t really suit you. Go back to being nice and warm and decent. That may actually attract more votes !