Now, political name-calling is taking a leaf out of 1001 Arabian Nights and getting it wrong. On Monday, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra referred to the Congress president Rahul Gandhi as Alibaba, who was surrounded by 40 thieves. “Alibaba chaalis chor, machaye chowkidar ka shor,” Patra said, at a press conference, hitting back at Rahul Gandhi’s frequent reference to PM Narendra Modi as ‘chowkidar’.
Patra said that Gandhi was, in fact, the ‘Alibaba’ who kept drawing money from the ‘scamster’. He was referring to Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland case as ‘Alibaba’s mama’. He cited a news report claiming Gandhi and his sister Priyanka had rented their farmhouse in Mehrauli, to a company owned by Jignesh Shah, an accused in the NESL payment scam who was being investigated for alleged corruption in a case under the then UPA government. But his analogy was way off the mark, considering it was meant to be uncomplimentary.
Whoever remembers the story of Alibaba and the 4o thieves knows that Alibaba was the hero of the story, who accidentally stumbled upon the secret cave of the 40 thieves and refused to be blinded by the riches in it, taking only what he wanted and needed to subsist; not just to see another day, but to also bring down the entire gang, aided by the trustworthy Marjina. Unlike his greedy brother Cassim, who ended up being drawn and quartered by the thieves because he was too greedy! Oops! There was no immediate response from the Congress to Patra’s allegations.