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Karnataka polls: Siddaramaiah goes for the kill with 'Tipu sword'; but does Adityanath have a surprise in store?

Kejriwal read the tweet once again and twirled his moustache with a satisfied smirk, as his car rumbled its way from Bengaluru airport to the home of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The Delhi chief minister was visiting his Karnataka counterpart to thank him for inspiring him with the idea of hanging Tipu’s portrait in the assembly in the national capital.

File image of Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah. Image: Twitter

File image of Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah. Image: Twitter

When the car finally came to a halt, surviving potholes the size of babies’ swimming pools, the AAP leader congratulated himself on the uneventful journey. And his smile widened when his eyes fell on the newly painted sign on Siddaramaiah’s home: ‘Tipu Nilaya’.

Inside, a posse of guards draped in the finery of Tipu’s soldiers escorted Kejriwal to a massive door with a plaque on it that read: Tipu Hall. As the door opened, drums were beaten and bugles blared to welcome the guest. Above all this ceremonial din could be heard the noise of Siddaramaiah swishing a sword in the air. It was a mock attack against a man dressed like Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa.

"Hello Kej, I am so glad you made it at the right time," Siddaramaiah yelled, pausing in his assault and turning to the visitor.

"The pleasure is all mine, Sid," Kejriwal cooed like a teenager on his first date.

The Delhi chief minister’s mouth hung open in awe as Siddaramaiah inched towards Yeddyurappa’s look-alike and shook the sword.

"I have vanquished him," announced Siddaramaiah, watching the man pretending to squirm in agony on the Persian carpet.

"You ... got ... a ... sword?" Kejriwal said, pausing after each word to regain his lost breath. He accepted tea poured in an antique jug by a burqa-clad maid.

"Yes," Siddaramaiah said. “And this is not just any sword. It’s Tipu’s sword—authentic stuff.” He held it aloft perhaps with more pride than the erstwhile Muslim ruler might have ever had in owning it.

All this came as a surprise to Kejriwal, who nearly dropped the tea jug.

"Bought the sword from Vijay Mallya who had bought it at Sotheby’s in London," Siddaramaiah explained.

Kejriwal remembered reading about Mallya's acquisition.

"This sword kills two birds with one stroke. One, Muslims are mighty thrilled and they can’t wait to vote en masse for the Congress in the coming elections. Two, I can use it to make a fine chop suey of Sangh Parivar ruffians. State Congress leaders will later take turns to use it to finish off the saffron guys. There is no surer way to win this election."

Kejriwal’s face lit up. "Sid," he said, his voice trembling with excitement, "nobody was ever born on this planet, who was equipped with more political sagacity and electoral cunning than you."

Siddaramaiah beamed. "What you’ve heard is just the tip of a sword. I have other plans. I want to celebrate the birth anniversaries of 50 other Muslim rulers of India and spend the entire state budget to acquire their personal possessions. On my list are Babar, Humayun, Aurangzeb, Muhammad bin Tughlaq, Ibrahim Lodi, Ghazni Khan, Shah Jahan, Safdar Jang, Ghaziuddin Haider, Hyder Ali etc., etc.”

Kejriwal smiled and then was lost in thought as he remembered a tweet.

"You must remember Sid," the Delhi chief minister said, "that, according to Yogi Adityanath, Karnataka is the land of Hanuman and that hero-worshipping Tipu is nothing but a bucket of buffalo dung."

Siddaramaiah nodded.

Yeddy gets Hanuman’s gada

"Sid, you also know that Yeddyurappa recently got himself the mace that Lord Hanuman had used to make khima of Ravana’s soldiers in Lanka. He got it by digging up land at the bottom of Anjaneya Hill in Koppal in Karnataka. He says it’s a perfect weapon to bludgeon Congressmen with."

A naughty smile crossed Siddaramaiah’s face as he said, "Yes, Kej. I know all about it. We’ll demand Lord Hanuman’s Aadhaar card to prove his Karnataka address. And as for his gada..."

Siddaramaiah placed a hand on Kejriwal’s shoulder and walked him to a cupboard at the far end of Tipu Hall. After looking to his right and left and over his shoulder to make sure nobody was watching, he pulled open the door of this cupboard. Perched on a shelf inside was a gigantic mace.

"This," the Karnataka chief minister said, "is the real gada used by Hanuman."

"What about the one found by Yeddy?"

"Oh, that’s a fake one. I thank actor Prakash Raj for it. Prakash dug up at Anjaneya Hill before Yeddy did, took out the real gada and put in its place a duplicate one that had been used in some Kannada films. Yeddy fell for it—gada, line and sinker.”

"And what do you do with this real gada?"

"I secretly do pooja for it with tulsi leaves, milk, honey and marigolds thrice a day to bring good luck to myself. I am a Hindu, aren’t I?"

"You are a genius, Sid," Kejriwal remarked.

"Yes, I know," Siddaramaiah replied and slapped his thigh.

###

"This is the real sword of Tipu Sultan," Yogi Adityanath announced, waving it in the air. Yeddyurappa’s eyes nearly dropped out of their sockets.

"And the one Siddaramaiah has got, sir?"

"Oh, that’s a fake one," the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said, sitting back in a plush sofa draped in genuine tiger skin at his official residence in Lucknow. "I got to know well in time that Siddaramaiah was buying the sword from Mallya. I paid Mallya Rs 10 crore more and got the real one. Mallya then sold a phony one to the Karnataka CM."

Yeddyurappa bowed in respect, and the Yogi went on. "I am going to address a massive rally in Mysuru, for which you will organise 10,000 truckloads of people, on the last day of the campaign. Then I will produce this sword and publicly smash it into several pieces to prove Hindu supremacy over the erstwhile Muslim rulers of Hindustan.”

"You are a genius, Yogiji," Yeddyurappa remarked.

"Yes, I know," the Yogi replied and slapped his thigh.

###

This is a piece of satire.

The author wrote a weekly satire column called True Lies in The Times of India from 1996 to 2001. He tweets at @sprasadindia


Published Date: Feb 07, 2018 18:09 PM | Updated Date: Feb 07, 2018 18:48 PM

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