Thursday, April 28, 2016

Commentary: Refusal to grow

Some people inherit power (if you are born in the right family), some people earn it through assiduous work (including wheeling-dealing and back-stabbing) and a select few have power bestowed on them. Manohar Lal Khattar became the chief minister of Haryana more as a shock therapy by Modi-Shah duo. In his initial days, he played the parrot very seriously, as is clear in this interview, commented in this post. 

Much water has flown down the Yamuna, but Mr. Khattar steadfastly refuses to grow. His recent interview amply showcases that. As is the style of journalists these days, Mr. Khattar was questioned in the best kid-glove fashion. But he still shines with his gems. Consider this – the skewed sex-ratio, one of the biggest blots on the state, started changing rather drastically once the BJP came to power. The ratio was 827 on 22nd January 2015. By December 2015, it crossed 900. By March 2016, it inched to 907. Now Mr. Khattar’s goal is to take it to 950 by the end of his tenure in 2019. An impressive increase of about 9% in the first year. And then the target dwindles to 5% in the next four years. Are the journalists so severely affected by Arithmophobia? 

Then Mr. Khattar goes on to claim that for ‘foreigners’, pronouncing Gurugram is easier than Gurgaon. First question is how did he find that out, and the next question is, so what? But the journalists change track and go on asking about Vadra. The answer to that is lackluster, to say the least, but the questioning changes track again. It is frustrating. 

What comes out of this interview is, Mr. Khattar has still a lot of growing to do. In content as well as confidence. Just to contrast, look at Kerala CM’s interview. This is not to state that Chandy is the benchmark or hallmark, but the way he handles much more troublesome questions is what is expected from a full-time politician. Mr. Khattar is probably aware that he got the CM’s chair solely at the whim and fancy of Modi-Shah duo and the chair can go any time. Only that would explain his utterings….

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