Some months before the Bharatiya Janata Party's national executive in Goa last week, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) decided to undertake an internal exercise. It asked some of its members to evaluate Narendra Modi and his standing in BJP.
The tension between the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Modi in Gujarat is the Sangh family's worst-kept secret. Several members of the Sangh in Gujarat and Modi have also clashed with each other. RSS wanted an objective evaluation of the man.
One of those who submitted a report likened the Gujarat chief minister to Angushtha in the Mahabharata. The story goes that when the Pandavas were exiled for 12 years from Indraprastha, they retired into the forest.
In the course of their wanderings, they reached a place that was inhabited by a rakshasa called Angushtha. He was so known because of his size - he was as big as a thumb. But his strength lay in the fact that he would come out at night and prey on human beings by provoking them with annoying remarks and gestures. If they got irritated, he would grow in size. When there was nobody to annoy, he would shrink to his original size.
The five Pandavas drew up a roster for guard duty at night. The first night, Yudhisthir was Angushtha's first victim. Despite his known equanimity, Yudhisthir could not prevent himself from being drawn into a sniping match with Angushtha. The same fate befell the other Pandavas. Angushtha, meanwhile, continued to grow. Finally, it was Krishna's turn for night duty; the five brothers warned him that Angushtha would come to irritate him as well.
Angushtha arrived on cue and began jibing at Krishna. All Krishna did was smile. The more Angushtha mocked him, the more widely Krishna smile. Angushtha began shrinking in size as his barbs drew no response from Krishna. Finally when he reached his original size, Krishna just picked him up and put him in his pocket.
The next morning the Pandavas asked Krishna if Angushtha had come and plagued him. Krishna took the rakshasa out of his pocket and asked, "Is this him?" Krishna's dismissive remark left the Pandavas wondering why they had been anxious about such a tiny problem.
Image: Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi distributes books to children during three days launch of school enrollment drive in the rural areas at a village of Sojitra taluka in Anand district of Gujrat on Friday. (PTI)
Text: Business Standard