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Virender Kapoor | March 08, 2003
Nothing peps you up like victory. For proof, turn to the Congress.
That little win it managed in Himachal Pradesh -- all thanks to the Bharatiya Janata Party, mind you -- may have registered only a minor blip on India's political radar, but it has done wonders to the Congress's spirits.
Of course, anti-incumbency being a devil of thing to deal with, the party leadership realises it is got a major test coming in October when Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan go to polls. Which could explain why its victory celebrations were muted.
But that did not prevent the Mumbai Congress boss Murli Deora from taking out a half-page ad in newspapers congratulating his chief Sonia Gandhi on ‘our Himalayan win!'
Himalayan, did you say Murlibhai? As in, of the Himalayas?
Watch your back!
The BJP is okay about Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Delhi and Rajasthan. But it has sleepless nights over Uttar Pradesh now.
Though its national leaders produce instant bonhomie when they meet Behn Mayawati, none among them trusts the UP chief minister.
Can't blame them for that. Because, to Mayawati, everything is fair in politics, as long as she can stay in power.
A section of the UP BJP led by former chief minister Rajnath Singh had all along opposed an alliance with her. Now, after the BJP's terrible performance in the bypolls in Gauriganj and Haidergarh assembly seats, many more leaders feel the same.
Indeed, some BJP leaders even fear she will ditch the party on the eve of the General Election and field her candidates in all 81 parliamentary constituencies.
Portraits of controversy
Recently, freedom fighter V D Savarkar's portrait was unveiled in Parliament's Central Hall. It kicked off a big storm.
The Opposition first endorsed the move. But a few days later, it protested on the ground that Savarkar represented a pernicious philosophy and, therefore, did not deserve a place in the same gallery as Mahatma Gandhi.
The BJP was quick to rebut the charge, hailing Savarkar as a great nationalist and freedom fighter.
In the ensuring controversy several MPs noticed the incongruous manner in which the portraits had been hung. What was most odd was the arbitrary separation of the Nehru-Gandhi family, with the portraits of Rajiv, Indira and Motilal Nehru placed alongside that of Sardar Patel while Jawaharlal Nehru's hung next to that of Rajendra Prasad, Ram Manohar Lohia and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
By the way, whoever decided the placement of the Savarkar portrait did well, for it hung exactly opposite that of Mahatma Gandhi.
A historic twist
Remember P N Oak?
If you don't, he is the Sangh Parivar's resident historian who claimed the Taj Mahal was a Hindu mausoleum.
Though getting on in years, he has not lost his penchant for controversy. Now that the focus is on Iraq, Oak reminds us in his magnum opus World Vedic Heritage he has reproduced stamps issued by the Iraqi postal department bearing the portrait of ‘Lord Krishna playing on his horizontal flute'.
Oak says the Iraq's capital, Baghdad, is actually a corruption of its ancient name, Bhagwat Nagar.
Further, Oak points out, Iraq President Saddam Hussain's son has a very Hindu name -- Uday.
In light of all these, Oak has written to Hussain, telling him to return the country to its ancient Vedic roots and thus save it from destruction.
Hussain, we are certain, will listen to Oak.
Illustrations: Uttam Gosh