The Constipation of the Lotus Eaters

Kalinga Sendha | A Study In Bullshit Happening In Odisha

There are no words to compliment a party of two-leggers, at least in my bovine vocabulary and worldview, when it loves our Species more than probably its own. And I’ve always been amused and awed by the Bharatiya Joomla Party and its hysterical antics. Whenever I park myself near their office bang on Janpath or on the occasion of their senior party functionaries visiting the Ram Mandir, I always crane my furrowed neck to take a good look. And so far, to be honest, I’m not impressed.

The Bharatiya Joomla Party here is in a state of flux. Not anywhere close to the mark of the battle cry of 120+ given by the party honchos, the state cadre is disheartened, disillusioned and a mislead lot. Despite its fair showing in the panchayat elections of 297 ZP seats when the party was supposed to witness a resurgence and be the prime challenger to the Queen’s Party, in the months thereafter, the debacle of Bijepur and lack of a strong booth level network has left even the staunch loyalist to believe that they are not going anywhere. “So the 120+ is a misnomer, the ground level perception is even one third of that will be a Godsend.” Says a grassroots cadre, face well covered in a gerua gamcha.

The top echelon in the party is lacklustre despite its reputable credentials. The suave young leader who commands the bandwagon is among the Navaratnas in the Sultanate. Bhramendra Headman, the once firebrand student leader from the State University, has built his career thanks to his illustrious father and Delhi connections, but mostly outside the state. Though he tries to project his clout and influence at the provincial level, running a spectacular carcade and rush of supporters with him and putting a significant number of journos in his bag, he has so far miserably failed to put together even a credible artillery against the formidable bulwark of the Queen’s political fortress.   

Though he is by far the most visible face of the party in the state, and dutifully spends half of the time in the State in addition to his important duty as Jaleni Mantry, we heard the top echelon is clearly not impressed. There’s been hush-hush murmurs going on about a rival candidate—the dadhiwala organizer, the Adivasi leader replacing him, but these canards have mustered no strength.

But not any longer, in the past couple of weeks the lotus pond seemed the bathe in an almost divine light. Seemed as if Goddess Saraswati has alighted and will lead the party to new heights of glory and success with her august presence. And strangely, as in case of the other rivals, there seems to be little dissent as if all were eagerly awaiting this moment.

This all started after the perceived-to-be able lady administrator Avayavita declared her intent to quit her plush job and take a plunge into politics.

 Though the Memsahib has made a quite name for herself in popular education and urban management sectors where she bossed over few years ago, it’s no secret that the lady and hubby were no longer commanding a clout thanks to the all-powerful Queen’s coterie.  So nobody really noticed when she took off to Dilli at the slightest opportunity to push files and shop for fancy Emporium sarees—that’s the thing to do for any Memsaab on deputation. That she shopped around for an alternative career too instead of a US Study Leave or Cushy NGO posting was news to me; so I really had to mind the TV news more.

 Memsaab Avayavita joined the Joomla Party before the president profusely thanking the Headman and the people of the state clearly stating her intent to serve the poor and downtrodden. So far so good, but the buzz went around that she has been the “chosen” CM face for the party in 2019 and will be given the premier Rajdhani MP seat came as a surprise to me.

 I stared at her beaming face once, then the Headman’s…to see some hint of disapproval on the latter, but found him nodding and smiling like the enigmatic Krishna.

Now readers, sometimes I do forage on the leftovers strewn behind Lingaraj Temple which are laced with weed and my judgment is cloudy on days like that. But the wisdom shines through like hot knife through butter. Now as I reasoned, for the Joomla Party it could be to gain a few seats more as the Headman was low on acceptability… it could even be at his behest. And two, since he himself sees for himself a better role in the Sultanate, the mantle here could be given to madam. And what better way for Memsahib to wash dirty linen in public about the Coterie which sidelined her?

The Joomla Party also didn’t try to ebb the tide recently, when two seniors Jitoy Bigpot and Phillip Voy let their resentment about being sidelined be known in public and quit the party. While Bigpot would have been happy to win against the Queen’s Party with just a MLA ticket, the grapevine went around that the Headman never wanted any other biggie to grow in stature. Voy who had been trying to work for the people in his area claimed projects were thawed because of the Headman’s influence.

So folks, what could be smooth motion for the Lotus Eaters is right now a little too constipated. I recommend Cuttack-famous Akbari Kahn Kada Gudakhu as a possible cure, probably the manufacturer should consider selling a saffron flavour soon.