In the no-confidence motion that was moved by the BJP in the august of 1998 against the coalition govt of Mr. Gujral, Mr. Mahajan got up to address the lok sabha to present the case for moving the motion. Normally the leader of the opposition delivers the speech but considering the gravity of the situation and the enormity and uncertainty of the task( incase the opposition was to fail to garner the required votes at the last minute), the strategist that Mr. Mahajan was, he took it upon himself to deliver a speech of his life.
I watched it live and I would be lying if I said I remember the whole speech but there is one particular remark of his that I remember even today. And this is the only quote of any politician that I ever remembered because the impression that this young politician created on me was so huge that I felt the need to mould my diction on his. The finest orator in my time, this is what he said in a situation so tense which just goes onto show why someday he would have reached the highest pedestal.
“My friends of the opposition, it is not my style to duck questions and I don’t believe in hitting under the belt. So, here is why I believe we should be handed over the reins of the government fairly, even though we have the mandatory numbers but not the law in our favor, because last month when I was in China on a political visit and I was asked by my counterpart of the Chinese delegation to tell me about the situation of democracy in India.
I had no choice but to tell him the truth, rather shamefully because we claim to be the best and the largest democracy in the world, that we (BJP) are the single largest party in the country and are in the opposition. The second largest party (congress) is outside the government but in. The third largest party (JD = SP+BSP+LEFT+XYZ+ABC) is inside the government but out. The 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th largest parties (TDP + DMK + PMK + TMC + TC + whatever parties) are the government and they run our country. This is the state of the affairs of the country my friends and there is nothing that I want to add in our defense to introduce the no-confidence motion”. All this and more with probably not more than 10mins of preparation.
Most of you reading this may shrug to say so what. But ppl, if you are as passionate as politics as I am and know what it means to maneuver at that levels (I certainly don’t mean I Do!) I would like to add that this man had the balls to and raise and fight in any given situation and boy was he fearless.
I never voted in my life because I never found a man who could set the bar high enough for me to jump of the wall. I believed this man could. I would have voted for him if he would have been on the ticket. He spoke about the representation of the majority being snubbed that day in 1998 and it still exists even today. Every where and all the time. We could have used this guy!
He’s no more and my search will go on…
Rest in Peace, Pramod Mahajan. Too bad that India could not see you SHINING.