As a child, for the longest time I thought 4 Wheel drive meant you could steer each wheel separately. Everyone laughed at my ignorance when I told them this. But the joke is on them, because if you are in government, many such steering wheels actually exist. Whether 4 Wheel drive or 3 Wheel car crash. And while cars only have to pass crash testing, governments have to pass a floor test and hope the floor of their vehicles has sufficient clearance to survive opposition potholes.
“Satte pe Satta. Satte pe gaadi. Gaadi mein nikil apni sawari. Thode aghadhi. Thode peechadi.” Anyone who remembers these (misheard) lyrics from that epic movie and titular song Chalti ka naam gaadi would empathize with the current situation. Especially if you work with the ED – Entertainment Directorate.
Anyone who has done a college project knows there will always be one person who does all the work, one person who takes all the credit and one person who is there because odd numbers are lucky. Now whether you are presenting an assignment to your first semester college professor or to the Speaker of the House, you must remember that confidence will always score over content. Even if your enemies are shouting “No-confidence”. Send them a link to a motivational video and tell them your government is not an ordinary car. It is an EV. Entertainment Vehicle. And on sheer entertainment alone, it can run for a full-term fuelled by just news headlines.
I find it interesting that the term MLA is very close to the term MLM. Multi-level marketing. Which makes sense because in MLM, the select few people at the top make all the money, while those at the bottom are left selling the story to others to recover their investment. They have to publicly declare the story to be a solid present with a bright future, while in private they are examining how much savings they have left in their political bank account. And whether they can switch their political FDs to a higher return without incurring a penalty for early redemptions.
But things have become interesting because the Entertainment Directorate has summoned Instagram influencer @s.rot_123 for undue influence with fake followers. He has, however, insisted that all his followers are organic and he is confident of passing the algorithm’s political captcha test. His chief influencing officer has already surrendered his blue tick and the password to the official handle as a confidence-building measure. He will now tweet from his personal handle and troll his opponents on their coalition-driving skills.
Organic followers in this fake world are everyone’s desire. So much so that they have been sent on an all-expenses-paid off-site under the guise of “Leadership Development Programs". Like typical HR, the company first took its own delusion seriously and organized the leadership retreat in Surat. But an off-site without drinks is like a 5-star hotel without free toiletries to steal. Realizing its folly, the HR was inspired by the “Look East” policy and moved the off-site to a location mainly known for its cricket matches. Otherwise, most Indians would be hard-pressed to find it on the map.
But @s.rot_123 has nothing to worry about. The internet, just like voter sentiment, is fickle. Today’s hero becomes tomorrow’s pariah. The people demanding a floor test today find the ceiling falling on them tomorrow. People will say his company was always a one-hit wonder like the song “Died in your arms tonight” by the artist Cutting crew whose name almost no one remembers. Perhaps he was from Guwahati.
But remember, whether your entertainment vehicle is a one-man wonder or a 4 wheel drive, everyone will drive the car in the destination that they want. But when you are in a coalition, it is more like an Ola share. Which means unless you agree to pay in cash (and kind), the driver may just cancel the trip.