It looks like the winds are changing.
With election year approaching, and the two leviathans careening towards their campaigns, it is fairly safe to say few people who don’t carry cards or trishuls
for either party are keen to see a repeat of either 2009 or 2014.
The last four and a half years have proven Arun Shourie’s quotable quote that the BJP is “Congress plus cow”.
Perhaps it is time to look to new leaders.
And if the wedding of the year – well, the pre-wedding of the year – has shown us anything, it is that we should go west and look to the Ambanis to carry India into the future that is slouching towards our forests to be born.
Here are some of the reasons we should give Ambanis not just financial, but also political, charge of the country:
Yes, yes, it was a popular enough song. And back when it released, in 2003, we had seen very little of what the Gujjus really had to offer. Sure, there had been some riots. But then this was an era before the renaming spree, before lynchings, before dubious business deals and so on. In the last five years, the sons of the western soil have done their best to show us just what they have up their saffron sleeves. But to watch the Ambani clan on stage, dancing to that song from that film about whether tomorrow will be, tells us just how much more is in store. Can you imagine a campaign run entirely on this song? I, for one, cannot wait.
Religion as entertainment
So, the mother of the bride walks slowly to the sound of the conch. She carries a plate of offerings. You think she is about to do something matronly and religious. She does. And then she breaks into dance. Top that, I tell you. All the ministers who graduated from Ivy League universities in five days after decade-long television stints could not pull it off with such élan. We have established over the years that the most crucial contributions to our economy come from religion and entertainment. If the matriarch of the family can bring the two together in under five minutes, what further proof do we need of the clan’s qualifications to run this country?
Gigantic, umm, erections
Antilla was nothing. And that statue in front of which the mother of the bride did her devotional dance was nothing either. The family just built a whole city within another (and a very scenic other) city. If that is not Make in India, I don’t know what it is. And I’m not even referring to the effect a particular singing-and-dancing international sensation had on the guests and voyeurs at the wedding.
For all this, it was a pre-wedding bash. A pre
-wedding. If this was the trailer, what would the picture be like, we wondered. Well, a lot more sober, that’s what. And we all know that a career in politics is all about promising more than you fulfil. This family knows what a build-up is. Who better to lead the country, eh?
Game of Thrones
has nothing on these guys. They stitched together the most impossible of alliances.
Take Bhai. Did you ever think you would see him play a background dancer? And that too, to a song where he wasn’t also the lead dancer imagining how nice it would be to have forty other background dancers who looked just like him? And, on top of that, to a song which wasn’t even his? Which was, in fact, a Shah Rukh Khan hit? You pull that off, boy, you deserve respect.
And it didn’t end there. Shah Rukh Khan made an appearance too. Except he didn’t dance to his own tunes. He danced to Shava Shava
– remember, that ancient song from that ancient film which was shot a whole generation before his famous spat with Amitabh Bachchan? Remember, that song where Shah Rukh Khan was a background dancer for the first time in his career? Yeah, that one.
Most unbelievable of all, though, was the sight of Abhishek Bachchan being serenaded by his real-life wife. Even more unbelievable than Shah Rukh Khan being serenaded by his real-life wife.
But, well, if brothers can share the stage for a family pre-wedding, anything can happen, no?
More Columns by Nandini Krishnan:
Five statues the government should build
India's #MeToo: A moment of reckoning
Of Swachch Bharat and scavenging
LGBTQIA rights have a long way to go
V S Naipaul: The man the world loved to hate
The legacy of Karunanidhi
"Rapistan": There are no safe places
The "most dangerous country" poll should not make us defensive
The illusion of secularism
When hooliganism is state-sanctioned
Tarun Tejpal case: When the media plays jury
Karnataka: Death of democracy
India shining as ecosystems die?
Tamil Nadu: The land of the lawless
When death does not deter
Power play at a time of crisis
A country in denial
The gods have left the temples
What cricketers' reactions to ball-tampering show
Even Chhota Bheem knows our data was never private
No Confidence Motion: Why is the BJP nervous?
Do we really have the right to die with dignity?
Democracy has no place for mobs
Women will drive Ayyappa away, but not violence?
Nandini is a journalist and humour writer based in Madras. She is the author of Hitched: The Modern Woman and Arranged Marriage.