At 8.21 pm yesterday, Tejasvi Surya was advising people on where to get the best ‘pani puri’ in Bangalore. At 2.48 am began a torrent of 14 tweets as the prospect of becoming the youngest MP in the 2019 elections dawned.

In the intensive geriatric care unit that is Indian politics, nothing is more soothing on sore eyes than the sight of a young, eager face.

And so it is with the BJP’s inspired decision to field Tejasvi Surya, a 28-year-old lawyer, from one of India’s allegedly most educated constituencies, Bangalore South, overlooking the claims of Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, the wife of the deceased Union minister, Ananth Kumar.

His Congress opponent B.K. Hariprasad is 65.

Like all who have been bred on the staple diet of the Rashtriya SS and its call centres—Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Yuva Morcha, Bajrang Dal, IT Cell, etc—Tejasvi Surya checks all the boxes of hatred, resentment and bigotry, although he can pack a pinch of panache.

Or not.

His Twitter handle has a picture of him with the scholar and writer S.L. Bhyrappa, the only intellectual in the right pantheon in Karnataka.

And he was the lawyer for Postcard’s chief fabricator Vikram Hegde when he was arrested.


Tejasvi Surya (extreme left) with his buddies at a pani puri stall in Girinagar, Bangalore

Still, the emergence of an articulate, educated man being chosen to contest a “prestigious” Lok Sabha seat is not something to quibble over.

And last night, after the formal announcement came, Surya showed his youthful exuberance in a series of 14 tweets starting at 2.48 am and ending at 3.57 am.

That’s usually the time, most Indian politicians ask for their hot-water bottle to be refilled—or have to be escorted out to the loo.


Photographs: courtesy Tejasvi Surya/Twitter

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