E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Indra jumped off his simhasana as if struck by a million volts. He had just been told that somebody in the southern Indian state of Karnataka was out to usurp his seat in Amravathy.
“It’s not a joke. In his name some 30,000 temples in this place will start doing puja daily. That can only mean he is trying to topple you and take over. Even if he stops the mass puja due to objections, he reeks of incense doing hourly puja in his office, at home and on tours. In short, everywhere. Before doing anything, he does a quick puja. This includes daily chores like bathing, eating and sleeping and other things I cannot mention. That is very ominous.”
That was Deep Eye, Indra’s earth watcher.
“Indeed it is. It looks like he is eyeing my seat. How can I stop him? Can I give him say 100 elephants and 200 horses as a gift and make him my friend?”
Indra sounded desperate.
Deep Eye shot down the proposal: “With inflation reaching 11% there, prices of horse gram and coconuts going through the roof, how will he feed the brood? He will consider your gift an insult. It will create the opposite effect. He might start serial pujas. There is only one way. He is a Chief Minister, equivalent to a Maharaja. He is heading a rickety government propped by some independents. If we can get the independents away, his government will fall and you are then safe.”
“How can we get the independents to ditch the government? Can I send Narada to create some trouble?”
“That won’t work. There are persons who are equal to 1,000 Naradas down there. On the other hand, we should send Narada some other time to get some advanced training.”
“What can I give these independents? Ruby, Sapphire? Can I send Menaka, Urvashi and Rambha? Can I loan them my Airavatha?’
“I don’t know in which yuga, you are living in, Raja,” said Vishwamitra who joined in the discussion. “My divyadhristi tells me they have all these and much more. They have mines which are more than all these things put together. Some of them have helicopters which can carry your Airavatha!”
“Can’t we do something? Anything?”
The Deep Eye came in: “We can’t, Maharaja. I understand that as per the local custom, the two political parties usually take the independents to a ‘Resort’ and do ‘Political Churning’ with the help of local Naradas. It is somewhat like our ‘Samudra Manthana‘ done by Devathas and Rakshasas. I can’t guess who is who here. After continuous churning, the colours of independents change when more and more mines and lands are added to their kitty. When the independents are satisfied with the size of their kitty, the Government will fall and the new Government takes over. Till that happens your seat won’t be stable. Further, even when a new Government is formed, the same independents, now richer many times, will play a key new role. This goes on and on and is very popular in Karnataka.”
“It’s amazing to see the power of these Independents! We should have some of them here.”
Vishwamitra replied, “Raja, if we get them here they will create an imbalance of power that is hard to comprehend. First they will side with Shiva and later ditch him by joining with Vishnu. They will even combine with both and take on Brahma. They are capable of creating havoc in all the Lokas and Swarga will become Naraka in no time. But they will do all this by first invoking Gods’ names!”
Indra by now had decided what should be the next course.
He left for the forest early morning without telling any one. They searched him all over and finally found him in the Himalayas.
To a sobbing Shachi Devi, Indra’s wife, Vishwamitra comforted thus: “It’s too late. Nothing can stop him. He is praying all Gods to make him an Independent!”