Kerfuffle over reshuffle

The big bang reshuffle that took place on Sunday is only a whimper. 

 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announcing the new Cabinet members said:

“I would have been happy to include Rahul in the Cabinet, but he has other preoccupations in the party.”

Nobody quite knows what his other preoccupations are, but there is no doubt that he does not wish to be ‘gainfully’ employed.

This reshuffle is less about the ‘youth’ being readied and more about giving a new spin to the status quo. Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ajay Maken, Veerappa Moily, Kamal Nath are pretty much to continue with the tried-and-tested method of Congress working style, which they have inherited or been close enough to learn.

The fact that three men who were or should have been out of favour are to play important roles is revealing: this is politics of cock a snook. 

Salman Khurshid gets the important external affairs portfolio just days after the controversy over his Trust being involved in illegal funds. (Made famous by another minister saying that a 71 lakh fraud was too little.) He made it worse by threatening Arvind Kejriwal. One thought Khurshid was at least suave enough not to stoop to this level. Perhaps, in the MEA he might learn diplomacy. 

Song for him: 

Andar se koi baahar na aa sakey, baahar se koi andar na jaa sakey
Socho kabhi aisa ho tau kya ho
Hum tum eik ghapley se tung ho aur mauka mil jaaye

Shashi Tharoor was ousted because of his IPL franchise deal a few years ago. This is another suave guy who also happens to generally convey a clean impression; he uses social networking rather well for this just as he did to make those frank comments which conveyed a westernised attitude that of course we Indians could not apparently palate. Anyhow, he kept himself busy and managed to be the good Kerala boy who will perform in HRD. 

Song for him:

Baar-baar haan, chup ho jaao wahaan
Apni tweet ho, media dosti yahaan
Manish Tewary is one more of those supposedly posh types who takes on the opposition on television debates. He is aggressive, assertive and manages to say a lot without conveying much. He will be busier than he usually is doing the usual things with Information & Broadcasting and trying to add varnish to a few flaws.  

Song for him:

Hum bolega tau bologe ke bolta hai
Eik memshaab hai, shaab bhi hai
Memshaab shab chalaati hai, shaab chal jaate hai
Duniya chaahe kuchch bhi boley
Hum kuchch nahin bolega

There are discussions about whether this was part of the Rahul Gandhi agenda or not. It does not matter. You can bring in anyone at this stage. It is a stopgap arrangement for the elections in 2014. The important thing is that the new faces will not have enough time to prove themselves – the standard power without responsibility.

There is no guarantee that after making changes in their ministries they will be rewarded later. They are essentially expected to give the impression that they are Rahul’s men. Nothing more. Nothing less. 

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