The polling officer got a little surprised by the insistence. When It comes from one of the trio in the family, it is always an order. The polling officer had to muster all her courage to ask Rahul to extend the first finger to be inked as proof of having cast the vote. Nothing unusual about it; in all national elections to the four tiers of self-government, the same rules apply; you vote, get the first finger inked, proudly come out of the polling booth, close the rest of the fingers, raise the inked finger for everyone to see and have your moment of glory as people click their phones. Yes, this was also a national election, but not for the humdrum of electing any tier of the governement, first or fourth. Those elections are for the hoi polloi. The men or women who matter never stoop to vote in those elections. Imagine getting into a queue where your subordinate’s kaamwaali is standing two steps ahead of you and you wait for your turn. Those who matter have always made sacrifices for their subordinates’ and their kaamwaali’s nation; after all these powerless underlings know of no other nation and their destiny is linked to this motherland. But if you are a diamond merchant or owner of a famous brew brand, you can always take shelter under any other sky. Also, making sacrifices for these people’s nation has its boundaries; you don’t stand and wait in queue behind them.
Rahul has never waited in any queue. As a famous Bollywood star once said, where he stands, the queue begins behind him. The word “behind” is very crucial for a leader; a matter of life and death for a dynast. As long as loyalists are behind, your “behind” is protected. There is one proof of the death of a dynasty, there is nobody behind to protect the “behind” from the kick that invariably comes with the loss of loyalists. This election was not for any mundane purpose of electing some tier of the government, all these tiers being so inconsequential that Rahul could tear up even a formal cabinet decision as “complete nonsense. It should be torn up and thrown away.” This election was being held because the Dowager Empress had asked the prince to become the King, and he did become but found to his dismay that his subjects, of all people, were frowning at his holidays during which the dyansty’s empire had suffered some minor setbacks. No Prince worth his dynasty brooks dissent and revolt is capital offence. Unfortunately, in these decadent times, the profession of the executioner is waning and you can only murder someone politically. The Prince did try that but political martyrs, unlike the beheaded ones, rise even before they are fit to be interred in a grave. The revolt grew and finally the Dowager declared that they shall elect a King as long as the dynasty remains the kingmaker.
Those who think that to be an impossibility have stopped reading after reading about the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution and the French Revolution and need to go back to school. Now the revolutions have nothing to do with countries; these have more to do with those who matter. There are revolutions in MNCs, there are revolutions in parties, though not necessarily political, and of the gravest consequence, there are revolutions in fashion. But we digress, In parties, that contest elections but are not necessarily political, any idea coming from the top is revolutionary. So, stop scratching your head about the Dowager’s decision to allow elections as long as the dynasty remains the kingmaker; it is a revolutionary decision. It will have profound consequences like having an elected minion beholden to the dynasty and he will take all responsibility for all decisions taken by the dynasty, an impermeable shield created by the master stroke. Henceforth, when Rahul spends too much time on his holidays, it will all be the fault of the beholden elected leader.
To cut a long story short, the Dowager Empress declared that the election is open for anyone to contest and there is no favoured candidate of the dynasty. A trusting loyalist sesquipedalian who thought that since using long words is his profession, being a tall leader would be his natural obsession, immediately threw his hat in the ring. Another gullible foggy head, who thought that having led a province for a long time had made him eligible to be a tall leader, too joined in. This Old Man who had so far not been on the Sea, had weathered a few desert storms and thought now he was equipped for the tempest from the Italian coast on the Mediterranean. Little did these upstarts know what a surveyor would have told them in a minute; that “long” is different from “tall”. The long lies limp on the ground till an invisible, magical hand makes it stand tall, this being the Indian Rope Trick that had impressed even the British. The tempest blew and the Old Man was rocked on the rocks not even having yet caught his Moby-Dick. The Dowager, not willing to take any more chances, pushed to the front a diehard loyalist with another pious declaration that the dynasty is neutral. This was in keeping with the old dynastic tradition as Nehru, the Socialist Patriarch of the dynasty, a self-proclaimed neutral between capitalism and socialism, rode the proverbial two boats resulting in the equally proverbial disaster for the nation.
Coming back to the tête-à-tête between the Prince and the trembling polling officer on the election day, she did not have the courage to ask the Prince a second time to extend the first finger. Rahul gave the middle finger to the pedestrian rule and she timidly inked that middle one, trembling even more while imagining the consequences of what she had done. Rahul came out of the booth, his triumphant smile and the raised, inked middle finger for all to see. There was no applause; a hushed silence descended on the gathered loyalists who had patiently stood behind Rahul for their turn to vote. As the cameras clicked and flashed, the delayed applause broke, they made a fast work of the voting process, all getting the middle finger inked. Messages were flashed across states about the choice of the Prince. Those who had already voted, rushed to some doctor to get a bandage on the first finger and came back to the booth to vote again and get the middle finger inked. Double voting is an internal matter of the party and it is not in public interest that the ignorant public should take any interest in such sensitively important matters.
As the thousands of delegates raised their inked middle fingers before the cameras, a British correspondent asked Rahul about this revolutionary change. He was candid; the party has been accused of keeping the interests of the family “first”, before those of the party. Henceforth, the dyansty will be in the “middle” and the party shall revolve around it. As he saw the reporter scratching his head trying to make sense of this explanation, Rahul again raised the middle finger at him. Rahul was not around when the Patriotic Indians made sacrifices to kick the “behind” of the British. Yet, today’s action shall earn him the sobriquet of a “Freedom Fighter” for the Party and for the nation.
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