Sunday, 7 August 2016

Rahul Gandhi plays Santa

Rahul Gandhi plays Santa, not Santa Claus

  Before the last general election to the Lok Sabha, the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had said that he had 'no doubt that Narendra Modi as Prime Minister would be a disaster. On the other hand Rahul Gandhi has all the qualities to be a good Prime Minister.'

 I beg to differ with the 'learned doctor'. Whenever I hear Rahul Gandhi’s speech at a public rally, I am reminded of a famous Santa-Banta joke. This happened today also when I heard on TV his speech at an election rally in Bihar where he was in august company of Tejashwi Yadav, one of the contenders to succeed RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav who says that his primary aim is to save the country, Bihar in particular, from ‘communal forces’. It is another matter that the people who know him believe that presently his two primary aims are to save himself from going back to jail and to keep his party relevant in Bihar politics 

I do not know who is the original author of the Santa-Banta joke I am going to share with you but I am very grateful to that person.

One day Santa decided that his buddy Banta and he should settle in Canada. When he asked Banta to get ready to move to Canada, Banta expressed his reservations. He told Santa, in Punjabi of course, ‘but how will we manage  there? Neither you nor I know English.’

Santa smiled at Banta’s ignorance. ‘You don’t know English but I know. Don’t worry, I will manage.’ He assured his friend.

It was a news to Banta. ‘Really? Can you talk in English? Tell me something in English.’

‘Do you know English? Can you understand what I speak in English?’ Asked Santa.

Banta confessed that he could not.

‘Then, what is the point in my speaking anything in the English before you? I will speak only before someone who knows English.’ Santa told his ignorant friend. Banta was satisfied. Santa asked him to make preparations.

To cut the long story short, both of them went to Canada. With the help of relatives who had already settled there, they were able to establish themselves. Santa bought a car. One day Santa and Banta were going in the car. They were on a highway. Santa was driving. Unfortunately, his car hit another car just in front. He applied brake with full force to stop his car which was hit by another car coming from behind. In the chain reaction, several cars were hit. There was a traffic jam. The traffic cops arrived. One of the cops asked Santa to produce his driving licence. Santa was unable to understand anything but could not show his ignorance. Banta, sitting next to him, became nervous. He asked Santa to speak in English to apologise to the cop. Santa assured Banta that he would speak in English and handle the matter.

Santa opened the door of his car, came out, looked at the cop and the long row of cars behind his car. The traffic cop again asked him to produce driving license. Ignoring him, Santa climbed on the bonnet of his car and from there on the roof of the car. Not just the cops but everybody present there was staring at him. From the roof of the car, Santa started speaking in English at the top of his voice: 

‘To the Headmaster
 Bathinda Public Schools

Respected Sir,
Most humbly and respectfully, I beg to request you to permit me to remain absent for one week. Sir, you know, it is harvest season. I have to go to the village to help my father.
Yours most obediently
Santa Singh’

Everybody heard him in pin-drop silence. The poor traffic cops did not know how to react to the unprecedented situation. Ultimately, they waved at him to go. A triumphant Santa got down, entered the car and looked at Banta with smile. ‘Now you know that I can speak English.’ Banta was mighty impressed that Santa’s English had made everybody, cops included, speechless.

The Congress scion, yet to be officially announced as successor to Mama, has also memorised a few short sentences which he uses at every political rally, irrespective of the occasion. Folding sleeves of his white kurta he tells his audience:

‘Modiji kabhi chai becha karte the. Pradhan mantra banana ke bad pandrah lakh ka suit pahante hain.’         
‘Yeh suit-buit ki Sarkar hai.’
‘Modiji ko garibon ki koin chinta nahi hai.’
‘Modiji garib kisano se jamin chhin kar amiron ko dena chahate hain’

(Earlier Modiji used to sell tea. After becoming Prime Minister he wears suit costing Rs. 15 lakh. It is government of the suited-booted (rich) people. Modiji is not worried about poor people. Modiji wants to snatch land of the poor farmers to give to the rich.)

Whenever Rahul Gandhi plays Santa, all Bantas look at him with great admiration. They appear quite impressed. They have to do so for their own survival. After all, next to Sonia he is the only hope of the Congress.
Devendra Narain

September 19, 2015
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