Indian politicians, cutting across party lines, cutting across States, have two, standard quotable quotes for the camera. One, “nothing is impossible in politics”. And two, “there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies”.
Ordinary, law-abiding citizens who have something called self-respect and self-esteem cringe when they hear such cliches but they know that this is just shorthand for the extremely malleable disposition that modern politicians are blessed with.
These pictures are proof.
For years now, Karnataka’s politics has been held hostage to the Holenarsipur-Ramanagaram-Kanakapura worldview of H.D. Deve Gowda and his sons, H.D. Kumaraswamy and H.D. Revanna. And the Bellary worldview of the Reddy siblings and their bumchum, B. Sreeramulu.
There is nothing the two sides have not done to throw mud and muck at each other.
And for a week now, an entire nation has watched agape as Karnataka’s reputation for decency, honesty and civility has been made mincemeat in the clash of the two worldviews, that manifested itself with the latest “rebellion” against the B.S. Yediyurappa regime last week.
On Judgement Day Monday, as the BJP’s members trooped out of the Vidhana Soudha after the “voice-vote” in favour of the BJP regime, guess who shook hands and pressed flesh like long-lost friends, and whispered sweet-nothings like lovers into each other’s ears in the full glare of the cameras?
Photographs: Karnataka Photo News