16th May, 2014, the day when all of India will know whether I have lived up to the ‘dynastic’ expectations that the country had of me; the day when the whole world watches the results of the world’s largest democratic vote in 2014; the day when I will know what direction my life will take over the course of the next five years at least.
I have always wondered whether I would have been happier being born into a normal apolitical family. I have had a tough time being the great grandson of the first prime minister of the country, grandson of a woman who probably was the toughest prime minister the country has ever seen and the son of a father who was the victim of a political assassination and a mother who has widely been recognized among the most powerful women in the world.
As if these familial achievements were not enough, my elder sibling have time and again proven that she has the charisma that my grandmother possessed and is very easily able to relate to and connect to the electorate. Her ability to strike an emotional chord with people old and young, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, across class and caste barriers endears her to them a lot.
As for me, I still remain confused. Try as hard as I may, I am unable to get my point across in a cohesive manner; so much so that even my own party cadre doubt whether I have what it takes to lead them. Almost all my speeches are dissected word by word and unnecessary interpretations and layers are credited to them even when I don’t intend them to be so.
As if this weren’t enough, the constant jibes by almost all the opposition leaders, especially the personal ones relating to my half-foreign lineage, my ex-girlfriends, my educational background are also very hurtful. While I am Ok with history and people judging me by my deeds and achievements, I find it very unfair that people judge me based on my personal life.
After all, even the prime ministerial candidate of the principal opposition party was married once and abandoned his wife without any care or concern for her future or how she would fend for her own. Has the media or opposition party-cadre ever wondered why I don’t bring that up in any of my election rallies or media opportunities? No, nobody ever bothers with the fact that unlike my detractors I play a ‘decent’ and ‘clean’ game, and don’t resort to attacking my opponents personally, under any circumstances.
The last 18 odd months, when the election campaign has begun in earnest have been really tough. As if traipsing around the whole country from urban to rural constituencies have not been enough, the constant media attention which highlights and magnifies all my mistakes and the pressure of living up the ‘family name’ have taken its toll on me. I look and feel much older than the young sprightly 44 yr old that I really am.
Minor gaffes such as the usage of ‘escape velocity’ in the context of caste being a deterrent to progress, poverty being a ‘state of mind’, ‘yoga’ and ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ being the true representatives of India, etc have been spoken about in almost all media circles as evidence of my immaturity. In my defense, these were extremely potent examples and anecdotes used in the context of the overall speech. Quoting them in isolation just makes them sound unintentionally funny.
In any case, the only hope I have is that the people of this great nation have judged me based on my potential and what I am capable of. The polling has concluded in all the constituencies, the counting commenced and the results will be declared today; the 16th of May, 2014.
Today will decide how history will remember me; the leader of the single largest party or ‘shehzada’ as one of the opposition leaders likes to derogatorily refer to me as.
This post has been written for the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts where the idea is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided.
Today’s prompt was “If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be, and why?” and this post is my attempt to be the leader of one of the main parties contesting the Indian elections 2014. There are enough and more clues in the post to figure out who I am trying to be.
The reason I chose this personality for this prompt was because at times I felt that this guy got a bad deal from the media in terms of his words being taken out of context, his intentions being questioned, etc. However, please note that this post is NOT to be construed as an endorsement of my political views in any form or fashion.