TANDAV: THE GAME OF POLITICS
By Neel Anil Panicker
“How do I know you will not change your mind and not make me the Defence Minister”?Radley Shyam Gupta smiled from across the table. The octagonal glass top of the mahogany table caught the faint deviousness in his sly smile, but the same missed the otherwise practised eye of the sixty three year old dhoti clad man who sat opposite him.
The two term former Prime Minister, and leader of the single largest party of the country decided to dig deep the dagger that he had drawn.”Tell me Avadhesh, have I ever made a promise that I not made good?”
Embarrased to the core, the younger man squirmed and shuffled his feet under the table.The wily eleven time Parliamentarian gazed at his party colleague as he mentally counted to 10.It was not just a way of relaxation recommended by his doctor to ‘keep your blood pressure under control’, but also something Radhey used to do when he wanted to bide time before he went in for the kill.A full 45 seconds of pregnant silence later, he made his final move.Uttered in his trademark soft, confiding style, a comforting tone, Radhey Gupta—placing both his hands on the table, spoke, “My dear Avadhesh, if your father had not died suddenly, trust me he would have become the Defence Minister. Now, being his son, you are his natural heir, and who am I to deprive a son of his inheritance”?The emotional rhetorical fatherly words had the desired effect, and the young man broke into a wide eyed grin.A few minutes later as he excused himself and left the room, the veteran politician that was Radhey smiled.
And this time he did not make an effort to hide the malevolence of his heart.