Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Welcome to the Gowda Circus

Mr. H.D. Deve Gowda likes to call himself the humblest farmer in India. His son, Karnataka CM Mr. H.D. Kumaraswamy professes to live by the ideals of Simple Living – High Thinking. His son, Mr. H.D. Nikhil Gowda obviously decided that he had had enough, living in the shadows of his illustrious forebears and decided to step out into the limelight in his own inimitable way.

And what a grand entry he has made – if you happen to stay in Bangalore, you must have noticed news about him and his deeds, screaming at you from the front page of news-hungry papers. From what we read of him in the newspapers – and never mind that it constantly changes course on a daily basis – we know this much – Nikhil Gowda is apparently a college drop-out. Thus, the academic route to greatness being closed on him, Nikhil chose to test his future as a politician by debuting on the surefire anti-social plank.

The event as it seems to have occurred, without the many twists and turns inserted later, is as follows:-
Last week on one of the weekday nights, Nikhil Gowda and some of his companions (I am starved of a better noun, for reasons explained later) decided to have a gala time, stooped in drunken revelry. When the party wound up at around the wee hours of the morning, Nikhil et al found out that they were so busy drinking, that they had forgotten that their stomachs had been grumbling for some time now. So they trooped over to Hotel Empire International on Church Street in Bangalore and demanded Ghee Rotis and Chicken Kebabs at 0330 hrs. For want of the financial muscle that Nikhil and his ilk can flex, the poor kitchen staff at the Empire International are not the ones who can party similarly. So they had done their bit for the night, closed the kitchen, swept the floors etc and had peacefully dozed off. Nikhil of course, would have none of it. He was the C.M.’s son – that gives him the right to kick people out of their sleeps at whatever time he wishes and order Kebabs and Sherbets. So it was that when the Empire staff pleaded helplessness, the Lord Nikhil Gowda decided to teach them a lesson for their insolence. He and his henchmen decided to vent their ire on the furniture and equipments inside the hotel premises and they ran amok. The hotel staff to their credit, showed considerable spine in fighting off the ruffians and in the course of this fight, Nikhil and his cronies, being outnumbered, decided on a quick retreat. Finding that physically they are not up to it, they decided to put their well-oiled connections to use. So the gang went to the nearest Police Station – Cubbon Park and filed a complaint of assault and bodily harm against the Empire hotel staff. And then they decided to get in touch with their underworld friends, whom they carefully groom for such occasions, and pressed them into action. Faced with the might of the professional goondas, the staff at Empire International succumbed this time and could only watch helplessly, as their place was thoroughly ransacked and some of their colleagues were sent to the cleaners. Incensed, their GM – one Mr. Junaiz went over to the same police station and filed a complaint against Nikhil and his cronies. He also claimed that the CCTV at his hotel had recorded the entire incident and this would be the clincher.

If you liked the above story, I guarantee that you will love the parts that will follow.

As expected, this incident created a storm – the Opposition parties conveniently forgot their own track record and lamented that complete breakdown of law and order in the city and decried the C.M. for encouraging his kith and kin to throw their weights around. Our simple living-high thinking C.M. however had a novel explanation for all this – he claimed that his son was not involved in this incident at all and it was all the handiwork of jealous opposition politicians who wanted to vilify him through his family. He lamented the fall in moral standards in politics that enabled some unscrupulous characters to use innocent kids like his sons as pawns for their political gains. Former PM Deve Gowda said that “Boys would always be boys” – as if that explained and condoned everything that had happened.

All this had happened in the morning after the incident. The media hawks would have none of this and ridiculed the C.M. To bolster his case, Kumaraswamy claimed to have overheard a secret conversation in the Assembly a couple of days earlier, in which two politicians were hatching a plot to unseat him through a scandal involving his family. Peculiarly, he claimed to have proof of this conversation – methinks, Kumaraswamy is perhaps one of these James Bond kind fellas, who moves around with tiny radio antennae fixed to his wrist watch, recording clandestine conversations – and more unusually, but in tunes with the recent trend of political dramas, he refused to make it public, saying that he will do so at the opportune time. The Empire International owners were also lent some friendly advice – pronto, Mr. Junaiz issued a press statement that the complaint he had filed in the Cubbon Park P.S. only named unidentified assailants, as in the dark, the hotel staff had not been able to identify the miscreants. The Police Station officials duly agreed with this version of the story. So what happened to the CCTV tapes and all the evidence – we were told that unfortunately the CCTV at the hotel had gone kaput that very week and had thus been rendered useless. How nicely convenient!!

More was to follow the next day. This time, Mr. Junaiz stated categorically that Nikhil Gowda was not involved as he had been a regular customer at the place and had he been involved, all the hotel staff would have instantly recognized him. He stuck to the anonymous goonda theory. The C.M. decided to do his own bit to clear the increasingly murkier air – he said that Nikhil actually had been sleeping in his house, when some of his acquaintances decided to pay him a courtesy call in the middle of a night and dragged him to some party – yeah, the C.M. claimed that his doodh peeta innocent bacha was dragged to a party. Actually, it was conveniently discovered that one of the guys named was somebody called Syed Ehtesham, who had a prior criminal record and also had some Congress connections (C.M. Kumaraswamy is from the rival JD-Secular party) – all fingers were immediately pointed towards him and this guy became the scapegoat. Kumaraswamy claimed that he had been planted by rival conspirators – Nikhil too, lost no time in disowning Ehtesham, claiming that he had not known him at all and they just had some common friends, perhaps. The Hotel staff was roped in to corroborate this story – Junaid claimed that Nikhil Gowda was actually standing outside when the entire melee happened and Ehtesham was actually the villain. It is more dramatic than the average Bollywood potboiler – methinks Junaid and his staff were struck by lightning and they suddenly remembered that the hitherto unnamed guys were Ehtesham and his cronies, while good boy Nikhil was just a mute spectator.

As I write this, public focus has been shifted to Suvarna Karnataka celebrations – Kumaraswamy has decided to don the mantle of guest editor of the Times of India in Bangalore for a day, where he has handpicked articles on subjects close to his heart (as claimed by the newspaperJ) – social justice, equality for all, development of the poor and the trodden etc – you guys know the list.

I? I just love this country. Where else would you get so much entertainment for free??


Atticus Finch said...

He he... Good one... Looks like the thulping you received during the Karnataka riots has made you rather political ;)

sbkt said...

You are just seeing a Sanjay in the making ;) . Boys will be boys - that was the best part.
Nature or nurture, both ways a politician's kid is screwed from the get-go.

Take care,

The Aimless Vagrant said...

Atticus - Ha ha - that has hardly got anything to do with Gowda and his ilk - though I must admit that given the chance, I wouldn't mind cracking the skulls of a few of them :))