Case for a second opinion, Mr Mankotiaji


Dear Vijay Singh Mankotiaji,

Welcome back to public life, if ever you were out of it. In the cold and often insipid political environment of Himachal Pradesh, you have always ensured midsummer sweat to your political opponents, but now that you have none after quitting active politics, your demand, following a high court order, for judicial probe into how a multi-million dollar hydropower project was contracted to a particular firm, has once again filled the air with speculation regarding your next move. No one, of course not Virbhadra Singh, has forgotten the CD episode.

Your beta noir may still pretend to ignore your presence, but we should admit your statement has given us the second opinion (not to be confused with the third alternative) on state politics. “I demand a judicial inquiry into the allotment of the hydropower project to Brakel. Both the governments, previous and present, have compromised the conditions to favour the company. They are in a dock,” you had mentioned.

It has often been said within and outside political circles that the Congress and the BJP are the two sides of the same coin, but hardly has it ever been laid threadbare, except in the realms of pseudo-secularism, at least not in Himachal Pradesh. Knowing that the hill state has hardly ever been in a mood to explore the possibility of a Third Front, despite all your efforts off and on, people are expected to get used to ‘consensus politics’ of the Congress and BJP. Your intervention now has just given them the second opinion about how the state is being run – beyond the verbose Left explanations that are hardly understood by the bourgeois population. And there are reasons to believe you, provided
you decide to remain politically neutral, which again is quite uncertain given your maverick past.
For a moment if we hypothesize that you still harbour dreams of becoming a towering leader within the state, you may not yet feel disheartened. Even if the possibility of yet another Third Front in the state seems too remote, and provided you do not again find common cause with either of the two ruling clans, there’s still possibility for you to leave your mark.

Now that you have already embarked upon a noble cause to expose the true working of the ruling class, we hope you will emerge the natural leader for the civil society organizations in the state, who, though quite active, lacked the glamour quotient (read a public face).

Politics in Himachal has hardly ever been an ideological battleground, or even one based on local issues. Off and on you did try to raise a storm in an otherwise placid seafront. Your opponents ridiculed you, while the voters abandoned you. That certainly did not put you to shame; instead you have again decided to fight back, perhaps this time without a manifesto, but not a cause. You have chosen the right issue, and the green brigade is ready to stand guard. The Green Party may soon follow… to give you yet another beginning.

Yours sincerely
Satyakam Bharti

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  1. Apart from the revered monkeys of Jakhoo and dispised monkeys of the fields…there are 3 more kinds in HP…(remember Gandhi's !) … The 1st kind is the 'green; brigade which only 'listens' to the 'high command' ; the 2nd lives in the past , the 'maroon' brigade with eyes close to the future and the 3rd though they are not all 'married' remain generally mum! There's hope if Major saab is trying to awaken those speechless souls.

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