Our Leaders

We did not have this in Karnataka. Yes, we have had governments that were inept or indolent or corrupt and that was in itself our grief. But this Bihari style horse-trading, legislators packing off en-masse like goats, the complete and contemptuous disregard for their voters, this shameless scamper to make a quick big buck; no, it never happened until now.

The legislators have been living in two herds for two weeks. Each party a herd. One herd has been on a beach in Mamallapuram. Another has been in Goa. Both herds returned in plush buses to Bangalore for the finale. On their way, they went to the most sacred temples, seeking God’s partnership. Two days ago, on TV, the correspondent picked a senior legislator in the bus. In a statement with many long uuuumms and aaaawws, he said we wull defnetly give good gourment. The camera panned the bus. In the manner of their sitting, in the way they held their cell-phones, in the way they looked at the camera, in every action, they looked hideous. Greedy eyes, fat bodies, ill bodies, bodies sunk into seats, shallow demeanor, arrogant posturing, not one of them capable of rousing people to do good.

The legislative house is asleep. As we drove past the governor’s home yesterday evening, the evening after their hoped-for finale, there was energetic activity there that the legislature probably did not see in a whole year. Helmeted police stood taut in front of the gate. TV broadcast-cars were in a long line, with dish antennae on them, looking proud, important; these are recent gadgets here and we never had them in such numbers before. A young lady reporter, ID in hand, was in argument with the police, probably to go inside. Are these fellows worth all this attention?

Inside the house during the day, they had acted without dignity, making noise, being unruly. They had closed the day without resolution, staying the state without governance. In the governor’s house, they were seeking his decision to be able to sink the coalition that now sleeps in power and bring in a new one. Every one of them knows that the government they will form, they will bring down themselves in a few months. But they have unconcealed visions of looting a bounty within that time.