Friday, 12 August 2016

No free lunch in politics

(Political satire)

There is no free lunch in politics. Sonia Gandhi gave Prime Minister's post to Manmohan Singh in 2004. Since then he has been paying price in installments, even after retirement.

(Photos downloaded from internet)

As always, I am behind you

In 1997 two computer scientists, David Wolpert and William Macready, developed  ‘no free lunch theorem’. According to this theorem, for certain types of mathematical problems, the computational cost of finding a solution, averaged over all problems in the class, is the same for any solution.’

In a layman’s language, there is no 'short cut'. Everyone who gets something, has to pay for it, today or tomorrow or day after.

It is very much true not only in economics and business but also in politics. In my opinion, politics is the most lucrative business. If someone makes you partner in the business of politics, he or she is not doing it for free. You will have to invest your share, the currency may differ though. It is also possible that you are given opportunity to pay in installments.

No one knows it better than the Cambridge and Oxford educated economist turned ‘politician’ Dr. Manmohan Singh. He is politician in a special sense. When he entered politics, he was not a politician.  Narasimha Rao inducted him, via Assam,  in the Finance Ministry in 1991 though we do not know whether out of his free will or due to someone else’s will. Perhaps those five years in the North Block aroused ambition in the worldly-wise    doctor to cross the road to enter the more coveted western wing of  the South Block. So in 1999 he tried his luck to enter  the Lok election but the wiser voters of South Delhi advised him to stick to his adopted home state, Assam and  enter the South Block though back door.

In 1984, when President Abul Kalam asked Sonia Gandhi to suggest a date on which she would like to be sworn in as the Prime Minister of India, for reasons known only to her and her close confidants  - others are still theorizing – she pushed Dr. Manmohan Singh. It was a win-win situation for the leaned doctor as well as his new employer who once wanted to earn livelihood as an interpreter but was destined to employ ‘rulers’ of India.  Only some academics felt uncomfortable because for the first time in the history of parliamentary democracy in the world, a nominee who was not even member of the lower house, became Prime Minister.  Fortunately, the real world does not world according to bookish knowledge. He proved so loyal and useful that he was rewarded one more term.

As expected , the ‘lunch’ was not free. Everyone shining in reflected glory started collecting his share in the price the wise doctor was ready to pay without asking how and how much. Whenever necessary, he extended his helping hand. Sometimes he extended  both the hands because the amount of money was so large  that all those who were collecting had to use their both hands as well as the hands of their friends and associates.

When he was nearing 82 and knew that the ‘lunch party’ he had been enjoying for a decade was coming to an end, he announced that he expected, in fact he sounded sure, that the next rightful occupant was Crown Prince Rahul Gandhi of the dynasty popularly known as ‘Nehru-Gandhi’ dynasty. To be fair to Dr. Singh, even earlier he had said more than once that he would consider it his privilege to work under the able leadership of that great born leader.

Unfortunately, Narendra Modi spoiled the game. He jumped from nowhere and the ungrateful people of India ignored the advice of the learned doctor as well as the clarion call of Sonia and Rahul.

Post-election, people expected  Dr. Singh to lead a retired life, except occasionally pleading ignorance to whatever happened during the period he happened to be residing at 7, Race Course Road.

But the validity of  the  ‘no free lunch’ theorem  has to be proved in politics and the cost is proving very high to the nearly 84 year old doctor. He would have never expected  the cost of lunch would be so hot, literally. He is seen being pushed by Sonia in the scorching heat of Delhi to court arrest to ensure that one day Narendra Modi vacates  the South Block as well as  7, Race Course Road for Rahul Baba.

If  he did not join protest march and court arrest before becoming a minister, he has to do it now.

Some uncharitable fellows have compared the duo to two characters of  a folk story. This is called rubbing salt in the wound.

Let us pray, Almighty God gives the octogenarian doctor strength to bear Sonia’s push and Delhi’s heat for a long time to pay the installments.

Who knows, one day Madam may ask him to sit on hunger strike.

Devendra Narain

May 9, 2016

Disclaimer: Photographs downloaded from internet.