United Birth­day Party

Some have their cake and eat it, oth­ers are left hold­ing the lad­doo

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - Sa­[email protected]

Politi­cians love their birthdays and so do their sup­port­ers. On their birthdays, ne­tas re­ally take the cake. Lalu Prasad usu­ally cel­e­brates his birth­day with sec­u­lar cakes – his 55th birth­day cake was shaped like a church, masjid and tem­ple show­ing that on sec­u­lar­ism Lalu likes to have his cake and eat it too.

Mayawati cel­e­brates her birthdays with gar­gan­tuan cakes, though an equally big vote share would have been the ic­ing on the cake. How­ever, given how caste pol­i­tics is play­ing out, these days she has to be con­tent with bites of the creamy layer.

Jay­alalithaa once cut a birth­day cake shaped like Par­lia­ment re­veal­ing that any­one who didn’t take her se­ri­ously on na­tional pol­i­tics was as nutty as a fruit­cake.

On Naren­dra Modi’s birth­day a Surat bak­ery baked a 700 foot long cake root­ing for cor­rup­tion-free In­dia and in Delhi, BJP party MPs cut a 370 kg cake to evoke nul­li­fi­ca­tion of Ar­ti­cle 370. How­ever the sit­u­a­tion in J&K is def­i­nitely not a piece of cake. Some­times rulers have been heard to make state­ments that sound wor­ry­ingly like French queen Marie An­toinette say­ing if the peo­ple don’t have bread, they should just eat cake.

The piece de re­sis­tance at Modi’s birth­day was the 569 kg lad­doo. This was some con­so­la­tion to those who, af­ter be­ing hit by the eco­nomic down­turn, are left clutch­ing a lad­doo. Modi also of­fered a Nar­mada aarti even though a few years ear­lier he had tweeted his be­liefs on never cel­e­brat­ing his birthdays. Since then much wa­ter has flowed un­der the bridge. On Rahul Gandhi’s birth­day his Congress fans al­ways line up fer­vently out­side his home even when he’s not there and is far away on hol­i­day. Rahul ear­lier had al­ways cel­e­brated his birthdays away from In­dia but Congress still wished him happy re­turns. To­day Rahul cel­e­brates his birthdays in Delhi but has shown no signs of any happy re­turns as Congress chief.

This year, when RPI leader Ram­das Athawale wished Rahul on this birth­day, he how­ever said he could not come to the party and pre­ferred to stay with Modi’s party. Some­times ne­tas take birth­day par­ties more se­ri­ously than their own par­ties.

Why do par­ties cel­e­brate the birthdays of the politi­cians they adore with so much fan­fare? Be­cause political birthdays are a cake-off com­pe­ti­tion and those who do the best birth­day seva hope to get the most mewa. If you’re a pow­er­ful politi­cian, then duniya ke­hti happy birth­day to you.

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