23/03/2015 8:03 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Missing Rahul Gandhi And That Roar In Parliament

Arvind Passey

The ruling party is missing that roar in Parliament, Rahul Baba... return home fast. The old and the young even in your party are seemingly directionless and have started flocking with a motley group of parliamentarians of whom you may or may not have approved.

I wrote about your roar and on some other observations about the parliament, on August 26, 2011:

They say Rahul Gandhi roared in Parliament today. A few news channels reported it as a ROAR. I'd love to ask the TV anchors -- 'Did Rahul ROAR in LS & sent the opposition scurrying for cover?' But then, because that roar hasn't been followed by more roars, I guess that 'roar' was probably straight out of Animal Crackers! Let me go further to say that if that was a ROAR, then Rahul should be the crown prince of Madagascar!

This brings us to the way things happen in parliament.

Yes, I did watch a part of the proceedings in both the LS and the RS... and was aghast to see the way the Lok Sabha in action has more of Meira Kumar whining: "Baith jayiye", "why are you standing?", "Go back to your seat"... until she adjourns it. Is the Parliament a circus where hand flailing, jumping up and down, and shouting boo-boo and hoo-hoo are a normal way of functioning?

Sometimes I feel if parliamentarians are asked to "stand on the bench" by Meira Kumar, they would - and actually love it! Do we take them seriously? A friend on FB remarked: "You do not need to as they have already been taken seriously by couple of lakhs of people when they got elected..."

I replied: "Yes, and it is these people who need 'Anna ki pathshala... the awareness needs to spread all over India. It is because the parliamentarian disregards the seriousness of an electorate that the public now clamours for reforms."

He persisted: "Which public are you speaking about? The urban lumpen middle class who do not even vote?"

I insisted: "The statistics of the past two elections speak otherwise... yes, they were quite the 'urban lumpen middle class' as you call them, but this profile has already undergone a serious intent make-over. Whatever is left will be completed by movements like the one we are witnessing. By the way, it wasn't just the 'urban lumpen middle class' but also the 'limpid squiggly upper class' and the 'sallow shallow professionals' who formed the non-vote squads. This phase is now over. Just wait and watch."

Our debate may subside, but the TV channels insist that Rahul roared in Parliament today... I believe that the roar was less significant than the uproar that followed.

Well, the truth is that I just discovered this short piece in a folder that I rarely ever check. It was in 2011 that Bhatta-Parsaul, the Mayawati government, Gandhigiri, and sleeping in Dalit houses found their way into news and then came Rahul Gandhi's roar in Parliament. I'm sure the roar was not to amend the Land Acquisition Bill that has lingered all these years to haunt the party again.

But let me not digress from Rahul Gandhi. He is nowhere to be found and even the police of the country are worried.

The police have gone about asking questions that could give really brilliant ideas to a film script writer. If the Delhi Police calls it routine, then it must be because they have been asking similar questions for tens of years now. Don't we all know how difficult it is to rewrite a questionnaire? Look at the forms and the formats in government offices anywhere... they still retain their ancient flavour. What's wrong with it? Don't we want to preserve our past? These people who find the questions and the methods of Delhi Police old and outdated need to be asked to learn record-keeping and they need to be sensitised to preserving heritage. No wonder we are becoming modern clones. But we're once again digressing from Rahul.

"It will be so romantic to find Rahul Buddha wearing tatters in the traditional vipassana way, telling the Parliament that he is a bhikshuk who needs the position of the leader of opposition given to him."

And, by the way, if Congressmen say that Rahul has gone to meditate, for God's sake, let him. Maybe he will return to finally declare that he is a changed man and wants to replace Gandhi with Buddha. Who is going to stop him if he roars: "I am henceforth Rahul Buddha." I'm sure everyone in his party will heave a sigh of relief and say, "Thank goodness for this this change. We won't get to hear any more RaGa jokes now." It will be so romantic to find Rahul Buddha wearing tatters in the traditional vipassana way, telling the Parliament that he is a bhikshuk who needs the position of the leader of opposition given to him. What a photo-op it will be for the PM in his auction-worthy suit to finally declare a leader of the opposition.

This is India. We love fantasising about our political leaders just as much as we love lambasting them for every little action or inaction. Do we really care if Rahul decides to remain absconding forever? I don't think we do... we'll soon enough find someone else who loves vipassana or goes to Bangalore to cure his coughing diabetes... or is it diabetic cough?

Our Assemblies and Parliaments shall continue to roar.