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Tomatoes, red cheeks and the bizarre statement of a BJP leader
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was promising the 'Achche Din' from various podiums showing 'Lal Quila' and other places of historical importance in the background, he was making witness to these structures which, till this day, deliver the sermons in stone.
PM Narendra Modi did not tell then that the required time to bring the 'Achche Din' were to be pulled up endlessly from a darker well. The impression was things would turn bright the moment 'Ma aur Bete Ki Sarkar' left and the new 'Savior of the Nation' gets catapulted to the Delhi Throne. Nothing happened so far and nothing seems to be happening in the very near future. The situation has gone from bad to worse.

Battered by opposition's onslaught on steep surge in prices of essential commodities ever since Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, Narendra Modi is following the giant footsteps of Narsimha Rao, the original Moni Baba, and his later successor Dr. Monmohan Singh who has given a new shine and height to the art of silence.

The PM has stopped reacting even if the minorities were victimized and slaughtered; he didn't speak when one of his close acolyte declared for the Kashmir freedom in a bonhomie tea-party, in a country, with whom we had fought several wars, with the most dangerous terrorist and enemy of India No 1. It is menacing situation and BJP leaders are now offering embarrassing statements totally out-of-box, bordering on bizarre.

The latest is BJP Rajya Sabha MP and former party state head from Madhya Pradesh, Prabhat Jha. On Tuesday when asked about steep surge in tomato prices, he offered a weird statement. He claimed that only rich people eat tomatoes and not the common man.

"Only those who have red cheeks like tomato eat this priced vegetable." On the prices of potatoes and onions, he said that prices of these commodities haven't reached Rs 100 a kg. Potatoes and onions are still available at Rs 30-40 per kg in markets. He was talking to the media at his official residence in the state capital on Tuesday evening.

What would you call it? Joke, 'foot-in-mouth' disease, insensitivity, ignorance or arrogance- individual and collective!

And the red cheeks remind me another Indian politician- Lalu Prasad Yadav. This irrepressible and mischievous politician had famously promised to make the roads in Bihar 'as smooth as Hema Malini's cheeks.' Bihar is known for the potholes and not the silky roads. Anyway, he coined a metaphor that entered the lexicon of political hyperbole.

Years later, the actress smiles when the topic of Mathura's roads turns up, and I recall Lalu's famous words. "I, myself, have to do that now for Mathura." However, a poster was seen in Mathura last week promising reward for anyone who had seen Hema Malini in Mathura recently.

In the moments of comedy, the clown of the circus turns the audience in tears with a serious act or narrative that changes the mood. As a humble scribe and a student of history, I recall the incident of history when within a week the blond beautiful silky hair of French Queen turned grey after the French Revolution.

Most of the French historian believed that Queen Marie Antoinette was kind and noble and gracious of the peasants. So when reacted about the plight of hunger of poor French- 'Why do they not eat cake.' I haven't yet come across any book that demarcated Frenchmen 'under the poverty line' or 'over the poverty line' of Queen Antoinette era. However, she was speaking about some particular people for whom she had felt warm kindness.

People, down the ages, called her 'out of touch' and 'ignorant' but no one blamed her to be cruel. Nation agreed that she was innocent. She probably didn't think much of it before saying; she was not callous. Those humans genuinely antagonized by her comment attributed these words to her 'nonsense'.

Some, sympathetic to queen, claim that when grain is milled, the chaff is saved as cattle feed. It is pressed into blocks. The blocks are called "cake." She might have referred them in her unguarded moments. 'Unkind' or 'arrogant' were not the words used for her by worst of her critics.

Let me wind up this article with a famous joke. Being asked why his tooth is broken, the guy explains, "I was at the breakfast table and I meant to say to my wife, 'Please pour me a bowl of Wheaties,' but I accidentally said, 'You ruined my life you stupid.'

So, what Mr. Bhagwat has to say about this Sabhyata and Ittihas?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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