Saturday, May 27, 2006

Lalu Prasad - the man of the masses ..

This was a writing I did in September 2004. I thought reproducing it would be apt given the popularity of the Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav ..

Laloo - The Common Man's Minister ..

Laloo Prasad Yadav is slowly emerging as the hero of Indian
Democracy. The man of the people. But there are some who
may differ, who inspite of being after his blood all the
past five years had to return empty handed, only to see him
return to Parliament emboldened with not only better votes
and seats for his party, but also in the central cabinet
holding powerful portfolios. He sure seems to be Manmohan's
target man to get the opposition behave the way it should.

Some of his actions have been admirable and timely.

Replacing plastic cups for Khulhar(earthen pots) was such a
popular exercise, that it earned immediate recognition and
support among the masses and conveyed that he meant
business right from day one. Serious business. Getting all
upholstery from the handicrafts sector, he has given a
second life to the neglected and poverty stricken artisans
and weavers. An attempt to identify with the
underpriviledged and downtrodden in the society.

He is no doubt a man of the masses, the style and manner in
which he stopped a goods train in Bihar to check its goods
was something no other Railway Minister has done so far and
dare not attempt too. By that acion he has conveyed that he
can be strict at times too.

Ordering a Railway Enquiry into the reason behind the
Godhra train burning and asking the Committee to fix
responsibility on the concerned Railway Officials and to
propose ways and means to avoid such incidents in the
future was no doubt a masterly stroke. Many skeletons will
fall from the cupboard for sure. Surely the common man's
most important concern in rail travel. The day the
announcement was made after a cabinet meeting, the manner
in which Laloo stuck to his ground holding the card close
to his chest even after repeated cross questioning by
Rajdeep Sardessai in the X-factor programme on NDTV was

Second was the tainted minster issue over the fodder scam
for which he has been constantly opposed by the BJP.
Whether one is accused of swindling crores of rupees and is
elected by a vast majority by the people or one sways
communal frenzy and lets loose mob psyche by fiery
speeches, leading to the killing of innocents and again
getting elected to the Parliament, a criminal remains a
criminal. As the PM has remarked, criminals cannot be of
two classes, there has to be political understanding of
what constitues criminal behaviour and whether a criminal
getting peoples mandate can take a position of authority in

Third salvo was fired just days back, asking the Leiberhann
Commission probing the events that led to the Babri Masjid
demolition in 1992, to probe the role of Advani, Joshi and
Uma Bharati by asking the Time Reporters Anita Pratap and
her cameraman to testify before the judge as to what
transpired at the demolition time in Ayodhya. An event
which has sent shivers down the spine of the BJP leadership
and which has made them to immediately go into defensive
mode contemplating what bullet will come next from the gun
of this totally unbeatable man of the masses.

With the top league Universities of the world queueing for
appointments to get him talk at their universities on
public governance and even Bollywood eager to get some of
his glamour and glory, Laloo is now ruling at the top of
the popularity charts.

The BJP has understood that it was playing with fire when
it tried its level best some years back to get him arrested
and put him behind bars. Laloo is taking his revenge at his
sweet pleasure and leisure. Each time he gets to speak,
there are lots of people eagerly watching the movement of
his lips. And the BJP leadership already its back against
the wall for the destructive role it has been playing as
the opposition and earning the ire of the media and the
common man in the country is getting nervous day by day,
not knowing what this minister is upto next. It is
dumbstruck, how to silence him before he drops the next

Sure, he is a pain in the neck for many ..


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