Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh turned 80 on Wednesday. The Sikh scholar, who in 2014 will become only the second PM of the country to complete two consecutive terms, however, is unlikely to remember his 81st birthday on a happy note. How PM Singh, who has found himself and his government tainted by endless charges of corruption, will spend the special day? Will it be an opportunity for the PM to renew his stance vis-a-vis his party and allies?
OneIndia constructs an imagined birthday party of PM Singh (we call him MMS here) at 7 Race Course Road, which is attended by several other leaders and dignitaries. The party started at 7.30 pm and all but Sonia Gandhi had yet not arrived. Here is what happened after the Congress chairman arrived.
Sonia Gandhi (with a flower bouquet in her hand): Hello Manmohan ji. A very very happy birthday to you!
MMS: Oh Madamji. Why did you take the pain of coming to my place? Had you said, I could have come over to your house and celebrate my birthday there itself.
Sonia: No Manmohanji. It's your birthday and it should be spent at your house.
MMS: Sure ma'am. As you say.
Lal Krishna Advani was standing nearby. Hearing the two Congress leaders' conversation, he came forward and said: Manmohanji. You are the country's PM. How can you tell your party chief that you could go to her place to celebrate your birthday? Be a man! Mard ban! And anyway, you are so much tainted by corruption and have been taking anti-people policies. You should resign. Today is an auspicious day.
MMS: Advani ji. Don't try to fool me. I know what you did as the Iron Man of India! You and your government could not even protect some innocent people who were being hijacked by terrorists in 1999. I have at least someone to fall back on if such crisis happens again.
And on corruption and anti-people policies, your NDA government also made a lot of mistakes and you just went on because you had Vajpayee. I am more honest than you and I do not want to become a macho but good-for-nothing Prime Minister.
Hearing this, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav spoke. "Manmohan ji, do you think you are a good-for-something PM? Have you said anything of your own till today? The other day, when you were addressing the nation, I thought you were sleep-talking. Did anyone strap you with the chairs and switched on a tape recorder?" he asked.
MMS: It will be nice if you don't talk at all Netaji. I was at least trying to win the confidence of my countrymen for our madam says whatever you do behind your back, always look into the eyes of the people and talk. That will force them to believe you. That's why I did not even blink once while addressing the nation. And Netaji, you make flip-flop every hour and I suspect you don't even know at night what was your stand in the morning. What is your current stand on FDI?
Mulayam: Well... I am for it.... err... no no against it... at the moment.
MMS: And what's your son Akhilesh's stand on this?
Mulayam: That I have to see. I think he is against it...
MMS: You have to see! I thought both of you belong to the same party!
At this, Mamata Banerjee intervenes. She came to the party at an 'invitation' of Mulayam Singh and not MMS, even though it was the latter's birthday party. "Don't try to divert the attention Manomohon babu! We don't want any FDI or foreign dalal indaastry here. We are always with our Ma, Mati and Manush. We will never allow their interest to be harmed! That is my last word!
MMS: Mamataji, who called you here? You said you did not get my SMS. I had invited you to my birthday party that day but you got so angry and pulled out of our government.
Mamata: No, today I have come to attend Mulayamji's party. Whose birthday party is today? Mukul, Mukul! Why didn't you tell me that the SMS was about Manomohon ji's birthday party?? I shouldn't have left the railway ministry. What will I say to the peepool of West Bengal now?!
Prakash Karat: See, I have always said how Mamata messes everything up. PM Singh, she has also stolen our leftism and we now belong to nowhere. Can you take us back into the government in place of Mamata? My party is furious with me ever since we left the government in 2008.
MMS: How many MPs do you have? And will you back FDI? Then only we can think...
Karat: I don't know how many MPs we have now. On FDI.. hmm... hmm... we have to see what's the position in Kerala and Bengal. Mr Yechury, are there enough of MPs?
Sitaram Yechury: Don't think so. But we have promised Netaji about the Third Front.
Karat: Oh yes yes. Sorry Mr PM, we can't help you. We are there in the Third Front.
MMS: Ha ha! Ho ho! He he! Can't stop... What this Third Front does? Is it a front of the frustrated?
Mulayam: Oh you can laugh out so loud Manmohanji? Anyways, you can't humiliate us like this. Our Third Front will show that India is indeed unity in diversity. We will have Left, Mamata...
Mamata: Grrr.... never Netaji... we can't be with the Left. If needed, we will go alone. We believe in the idea of 'Ekla Cholo'.
Advani: Thanks Mamata behen. Your 'go alone' theory will help us grow our strength in West Bengal. Just as the Congress's 'go alone' has ruined its base in important states.
Rahul Gandhi, who was not speaking till this point, was annoyed. "Advaniji, you are a senior person and know what you are saying. But don't say anything about the Congress. I am going to take up a larger role in the party soon and will show the country that we can win power with a single majority," he said.
Sonia: Rahul baba. That's not possible anymore. India has changed.
Rahul: No mom. I don't know. We will win UP, Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal... I want to become a Narendra Modi. He is loved by all. But I am only laughed at...
MMS: Rahul baba. I have been asking you to join the Cabinet for so many days now. It will be possible only if you join the government. You can become the PM also if you want. I have had enough. Isn't it Soniaji?
Sonia (in an angry voice): No Manmohanji. You have to carry on for the rest of the term. Why should Rahul take up your wrecked ship? He will take a fresh guard in 2014 and we will continue with our policy... What say all Congressmen?
All Congress supporters: Sonia Gandhi Amar Rahe!
Advani: Oh, you people are so confident about a UPA-III? That is not possible. Even there will be no NDA II.
Mulayam (grinning): And that leaves only me as the future PM of India. What say my Third Front friends?
Karat: No. We will remain in the Third Front no matter whoever comes to power. We can't go on changing our ideological position every now and then. Such games are played by Mamata.
Mamata: Choop korun (Be silent) Korat babu! We are always firm on our stand! Whatever you do, we always do the opposite.
Mayawati: I too think on similar lines. I am always against the SP. If he doesn't support FDI, I will support and if he supports, I will not!
Jayalalithaa: Same here. We will never allow the DMK to gain any mileage. They are trying to hijack my love for the Tamils. I want the Indian government to ban the DMK and export it to Sri Lanka. Only my concern for the Tamils is real. The others have double-standards.
TR Baalu: Manmohanji, have you called us to be humiliated here? We will pull out of the government if this continues. We have a bigger heart for we want a separate Tamil nation.
Pranab Mukherjee: I don't have any place on my office table at this moment. Resignation letters, Kasab's mercy plea, Durga Puja invitation cards... I appeal to all parties please don't resign at this moment. Let me clear the backlog.
MMS: Peace peace! I don't want people bash up each other at my birthday party. Sonia ji, should I address the nation once again to clear the air about our government's position now? Whether we are in majority or minority?
Sonia: No Manmohanji. Wait for sometime. I haven't yet decided what you should say.
Advani: Shame, shame!
MMS: Isn't it more shameful that in your party, it is the tail that wags the dog. In our case, it is the dog that wags the tail. That's for me, is fine.
Meira Kumar: Sab beith jaiye! Cake aa gaya... Manmohan ji, please cut the cake with Soniaji's due permission.
MMS: Can I Sonia ji?