29/12/2014 8:03 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

You Are Not Invited

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 13: Prime Minister Narender Modi, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, deputy speaker of lok sabha M Thambidurai, Sr. BJP Leader Lal Krishan Advani, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi after flower tribute to martyrs who sacrificed their lives during Parliament terrorist attack at Parliament House on December 13, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered the martyrs of the deadly terror attack on Parliament. On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed terrorists had stormed Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing nine persons. The five terrorists were also shot dead. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

"Obama Mehman, Pakistan Pareshan"

"Modi Hit, Sharif Chit"

While surfing channels, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon such brilliance on our Hindi news channels. The regional language ticker writers can convert any issue into a joke. And who can blame these rhyming maestros, when invitation politics is playing itself on the political landscape.

Many moons ago, there was a time when family members were slighted by not inviting them for a family wedding. Likewise, it all began when the Congress party decided to ignore the PM by not inviting him for Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday celebrations. Allegedly, it was a retaliatory step--a fitting response to the politics played by the BJP during Sardar Patel's birth anniversary. Or was it Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary? I don't know. What I know is that our politicians are watching too many serials. And I blame Ekta Kapoor for this messy state of affairs. Because the juvenile act of inviting all the parties except the BJP, seems to be inspired by Sasural Simar Ka or some such serial, where women plot vicious schemes to torment each other. A malevolent matriarch is not an exclusive preserve of television serials.

If you think I am taking through my hat, why do you think the 'rebel-with-no-cause' decided to share a platform with her arch rival Sitaram Yechury during the commemoration of Jawaharlal Nehru's 125th birth anniversary? Such was her rage against the Rightists that she found solace in the presence of Leftists! It was a crummy spectacle of all the kids joining hands to beat the class monitor with a secular stick. Several other cliches piled up like a tele serial where enemy's enemy becomes a friend. Lalu, Mulayam and Nitish, for instance. Much like the Jodha Akbar, a popular tele-serial, the Yadav's decided to cement their alliance when a Bihari daughter got engaged to a UP ke bhaiyya.

The plotting and the scheming are getting murkier by the day. Which is why, according to a fuming a 'rebel-with-no-cause' someone hatched a conspiracy to indict her right hand man. In retaliation, our didi refused to attend the all party meet, even though she was invited. Why, when folks are allegedly staging bomb blasts, even national security is off limits! Revenge, a cinematic motif played itself in the Parliament too, when the Quiz master from Bengal asked for a visa for the class monitor to enter the classroom.

And now, after the masterstroke of inviting President Obama, missiles are going to fly this Republic Day. That Obama accepted the invite with such alacrity has already created some heartburn. I am expecting another round of invitation vendetta. The pecking order, the seating order and the invites for the state dinner can be planned by the script writer of a television serial.

What if some sycophants organize a yagna to pray for a downpour on the Republic Day?

Because it is not important to succeed--it is important that others fail. In retaliation, what if the Congress President is not invited for the state dinner? What if only Shashi Tharoor from the Congress party is invited? The possibilities are immense.

For now, it seems that our 'man-of-action' is not bothered by the invitation politics. All good, as long as his love for his own voice does not turn a blind eye to all the other voices.

This article originally featured on Freebird.

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