It’s ironical that Pankaja Munde preferred to post selfies during her visit to drought hit areas, indicating her priorities, says V GANGADHAR.
In ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ poet S.T. Coleridge focused on water and the Ocean and came out with this immortal line ‘Water, Water Everywhere, Not a drop to drink’ which stood the test of time. The line is often twisted and insulted particularly by young college students standing outside gates of Women’s colleges and repeating ‘Water, water eyerywhere Not a drop to drink.’
In the poem it was sea water. In today’s life it is heat, hot summer and the long drought which had blighted Marathwada region of Maharashtra state years. There is no narrator here, it is a viewer, a young woman, who did not have any water worries but bore the burden of providing water to lakhs of her people. There in water in sight, she wanders in the raging heat armed with a ‘selfie’, a modern scientific miracle. It does not quench her thirst but provides evidence to the people her efforts in locating water for the people.
The modern Marathi heroine who does not look as though she is suffering from water, food or shortages of any kind and takes for granted that as a member of the rare specimens (politicians) her very presence would drive away the drought and bring an abundance of rain. After all, local and state people strongly believed she was an incarnation, a divine blend of human and the divine. Didn’t people in the villages worship and perform pujas whenever she or her family members visited the region?
This was the amazing character of India from the times of Ramayan and Mahabharat to the era of Amitabh Bachchan and the kith and kin of Gopinath Munde. Their great qualities are often revealed during times of crisis like famine, drought and flood. So what if we had donated the priceless Kohi-noor to the British Queen we still have our incomparable political leadership which is confident of tackling any famine or water scarcity y allowing the political leaders take selfies and leaking them to the media.
This is what Maharashtra Water Conservation Minister Pankaja Munde has been successfully doing, her deeds are acclaimed and may fetch lead her a Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.
Indian political parties and their leaders had stressed more than 80 per cent of Indians depended on agriculture and COWS Munde was the guardian minister of Beed, Latur and Beed which continued to be drought-affected. Unlike his daughters Gopinath was behind his times and not selfie-conscious.
Do posterity was denied opportunities viewing him taking selfies of his kith and kin, cloudless skies, leafless trees and waterless rivers. The Mundes like true Maharashtrians did not bother that 70 per cent of water in ‘their’ districts went for sugar cultivation. Like the Teliya Rajas (Oil Kings) of Saurashtra due to their abundant ground nut crops, Maharashtrians were happy to be recognized ‘sugar barons’ headed by Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar and Gopinath Munde, and now Pankaja Munde.
Sugar is sweetness. The Mundes, though Pankaja had defected to the BJP and bought over with the plum sugar portfolio will be in the limelight and a heavyweight BJP star.