Remember last year when reporters of the Samajwadi Times and other Lutyens outlets descended on Lucknow to cover the dashing young dynast of Uttar Pradesh? The ‘progressive’ Chief Minister had just signed the dotted line on an alliance with India’s great political dynasty, which made him one of the two most ‘acche ladke’ in the country.
The ‘reporters’ who came from Delhi were left swooning over everything. Some of them got to know the family so well that they could tell which member was visiting the palace by looking at the hyper-expensive car that was parked outside. From going on bicycle rides with the young Shehzada to reporting on their family’s favourite foreign vacation spots, the media brought us all the “news” that was worth covering.
Who had the time to cover an old man, a former tea seller, making his way through the state of Uttar Pradesh, through cities and through the countryside, leaving delirious cheering crowds in his wake, whipping up the wave of a generation?
And then it was time for the voter to speak up, leaving the Lutyens brigade red in the face. For a while, the embarrassed media joined forces with defeated politicians to talk about nothing but EVMs. But elections have consequences and eventually, there was a Supreme Court order booting out Akhilesh Yadav (and all former UP CMs) from their government bungalows.
This is how the Achche ladke left the bungalow built at taxpayer expense.
Remember folks, this is one of the pools of PM candidates supported by our intellectual class. When those Lutyens’ types gather for their evening cocktail parties, they pray that one of these guys should become India’s Prime Minister. You must have seen the talking heads on TV, the screeching about intolerance, about how “democracy is unsafe”, etc. THIS is who they are really fighting for.
They don’t care if Akhilesh Yadav comes to power tomorrow, strips our country of every resource and takes it away. Because these people will earn a commission out of the plunder.
In these photographs, there are two clear messages for the people of this nation. See those ruins? That is emblematic of the state of the nation when Modi came to power in 2014. Imagine the pettiness of the people who would rip out taps and wires and tiles before moving out of their government bungalows. Can you imagine what they would have done to the nation and its finances before having to give up power in 2014?
Now you know how the Prime Minister felt when he spoke about the mountain of NPAs that had been left behind by the Sonia Gandhi years. The economy had been left in such shambles by Sonia Gandhi that disclosing the full extent of the damage back in 2014 would have led to all remaining investors and businesses fleeing, deepening the economic gloom.
I am glad that photographs of Akhilesh’s ruined bungalow have already flooded the media, within a day or so of his exit. Or else, 6 months later, you can take for granted that these ruins would have been blamed on poor maintenance by the Yogi Adityanath government.
The second message for the people is that these ruins are the *real* manifesto of the secular/federal/whatever alliance that is taking shape for the 2019 elections. This is their real agenda, to suck up the resources of this nation like a sponge and carry it away with them.
I request you to close your eyes and imagine what would have happened before ‘Achche Ladke’ Akhilesh had to vacate his government bungalow. The young Shehzada and his men searching every nook and corner, searching for things that can be ripped out and carted away. Maybe they did this exercise not once, but over and over again, so that they don’t miss one little tile or wire that could be worth some money.
Was the loot loaded into one of the expensive cars that Samajwadi Times reporters were swooning over? Probably not. It is more likely that they used a truck. How big was the truck? What do you think?
Remember, this is their philosophy of governance. In the event of an inherently unstable khichdi government, the loot will intensify, with each person picking up and running away with whatever they can lay their hands on. Of late, the power of opposition unity has brought major cheer to our secular class. When they smile about their prospects in 2019, remember that this merry looting and pillaging is what they are picturing in their minds.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.