Do you recognize this guy?
Of course, you do. That’s R K Laxman’s common Indian. He has very little to his name. He carries with him a small bundle with few material things. The real weight on his shoulders is the disappointment of 70 years of independence.
R K Laxman’s common Indian was never angry, never impatient. He had an expression that was made up of equal parts of amusement and curiosity. Mostly resigned to the fact that some people in India are unshakeable, like the sky.
Last night we saw some other expressions on different faces.
When I saw that face, my first thought was: if R K Laxman was around today to make a cartoon out of this picture, what would he draw? He would doubtless insert his common man somewhere. And what expression would he draw on his face?
When you grow up in India, you know you cannot ask certain questions about certain people. These are questions that we dare not verbalize even today. You’ve read the newspapers. You know all the keywords. But will you dare ask the questions to big people? Not me. I am a common man. I know better.
What I can do however is smile. At how the high and mighty have fallen. We all know what’s eventually going to happen. The high and mighty will resume their high and mighty lives and you and I will keep living our common lives. But in the meanwhile, we can break character for a few moments and smile.
You know they are saying P Chidambaram wanted a clean lockup without rats.
Are you smiling yet?
Be it for so little as just one night, we the common Indians slept better than Chidambaram did. How does that feel?
That’s P Chidambaram we are talking about. The head caretaker of the UPA castle.
Now the ecosystem is very good at protecting their own. But rarely do you see all members of the Dynasty personally batting for someone in public. Generally, they seem to consider such things as beneath their royal dignity. But it’s different this time.
Between multiple tweets about the supposed achievements of Rajiv Gandhi, look what Rahulji managed to squeeze in.
Because this is no ordinary stool pigeon we are talking about here. This is the head caretaker of the UPA castle. If he goes, who could be next?
Dare I say…?
The sense of disorientation that shook Lutyens yesterday was something to see.
Enjoy the Whataboutism. By the way, how long before some renowned ‘divider’ in media tries to size up yesterday’s arrest in terms of caste or regional faultlines? Let’s see who does it first.
And this is Nistula Hebbar, political editor of The Hindu, apparently losing control over language.
As I said, enjoy the disorientation.
But who knows, maybe Nistula does have a point? Perhaps R K Laxman’s common Indian was meant to be a troll after all. Long before that word was coined and the internet came to be.
One thing I can tell you for sure is that the common man today is smiling. Morning walkers embracing, strangers hugging each other. Hope it lasts.