As you like it
When the honourable Bangalore North M.P., (Dr.?) Sangliana defied the Whip issued by his party, BJP, and voted in favour of UPA government in Parliament last year, he was indeed perfecting the art of a political acrobat, balancing on the highwire of political opportunism and juggling with his options. He has turned out to be one of the deftest and most agile of all performers in the circus arena of the Indian political system. People like him, with their (often corrupt) sleight of hand and without moral scruple, appearing on one side of fence today and on the other tomorrow, he or she, wears a coat of as many colours as did the biblical Jacob, an can change it as often and as quickly as the chameleon in the tree, according to the prevailing political climate; and always in search of camouflage which is provided by influence, or power.
What Sangliana did was like the vigilant chameleon – who rarely moves a muscle or bats an eyelid – it is usually more a matter of changing colour than position; a matter more political form than substance. It was a question of not of principles, but persons; that of allegiance to cliques and coteries, not policies or programmes, and a loyalty not to party but to power.
It was therefore no surprise to me that Sangliana (Dr.?) defied the Whip. In Indian politics, the opportunist and the turncoat are familiar figures. They make their exits and their entrances on the political stage, sometimes hiding in the wings, sometimes the centre of attention, usually with one script in public and other in private, but the sheer nakedness of it exhibited by a ‘true Christian’ like Sangliana was unique in the Indian political history. One man plays many parts, as Shakespeare puts in As You Like It, an appropriate title in Sangliana’s defection. With an eye on the main chance, and, often, a hand in the public pocket, the floor-crosser and the opportunist wheel and deal in the marketplace of the bargaining process in search of privileges or office, playing havoc with all known landmarks of political left, right and centre.
What’s so new about Sangliana’s defection and indiscipline? My answer is simple. Sangliana claims to be a true Christian and he should have proved himself to be different from the other defectors, past, present and future.