29 September, 2020

Laloo's Family Album

It was an occasion tailor-made for political showmanship. And Laloo, Rabri pulled out all stops.

Laloo's Family Album

It's been an old tradition for rulers in the subcontinent: marriages and deaths are very public events. More vivid eruptions of joy and grief than emotional cocoons where private space is a zealously guarded preserve. And when the father of the bride and ruler happen to combine in the person of Laloo Prasad Yadav the runaway winner for the title of India's politician extraordinaire the private and public merge into each other quite imperceptibly. The people, after all, must have their day. Which they certainly did on December 10, as the flower-bedecked, vapour lamp-lit, chief minister's house in Patna temporarily turned into the centre of Bihar's universe. It may've been reasonable to expect that, at least on the day of their marriage, it ought to be the couple's day. But then, not every first-born is named after the act under which her father was jailed during the Emergency. And not every systems analyst at Infosys marries into what is, for good or bad, unquestionably Bihar's first family.

And, for a while, it looked like a regular political rally (or ralla, to use Laloo's...



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