Gritty woman, greedy MLAs


Last week’s assault on Rumi Nath - Congress MLA From Assam’s Borkhola constituency, reeks of the unthinkable. In this day and age a woman is brutally attacked by a mob because of a combination of these factors: because she dares to walk out of a dead marriage. Because she has the grit to call it quits and decides to leave her husband. Because she falls in love with a Muslim. Because she dares to re-marry her Muslim friend. Because she does so all in the open and does not keep her friend in some closet - which, mind you, is a rarity in itself, so far as the politicians of this country are concerned.

What if Rumi Nath was not in the thick of politics and maybe just a plain and simple housewife? What would have been the very turn of events if she‘d dared to walk out of a dead marriage and re-marry a man from some other community? Well, no need to sit and introspect the various possibilities, for there’s only one possibility that looms large: she would have been simply hacked to death or raped and dumped just about somewhere. Or labeled and with that sidelined.

In fact, what’s painfully surprising is the fact that even in Rumi’s case there’s a strange quiet from her Congress Party’s top brass. No, haven’t heard Sonia Gandhi utter a word or two on this incident. And strangely the rest of the women politicians are also sitting quiet, relaying that perhaps what Rumi did, rather undid, should not get their approving nods. Why! Simply because there’d come about a dent or two in their spruced up images!

What’s wrong if Rumi followed her heart. And did so, so very openly. She seems stark in her views and this is what our men and women couldn’t really digest. She comes across as a strong personality, which again paved way for this hell to erupt. Topping it all the very fact that she decided to re-marry a Muslim. This was that proverbial last nail. Those big bodied commissions and committees set up for the minority ‘welfare’ and all that comes along with this sarkari term, ought to indulge in the biggest welfare for the minority communities by removing those biases, those twisted notions and prejudices that still hang out and bring in divisions of the worst kind.

In fact, women like Rumi are rare and there ought to be support for her, for her love, for the baby lying nestled in her womb. I just wish more and more women follow their heart and find compatible companions.


Akhilesh Yadav looked great cycling down the narrow pathways and lanes and by-lanes of Avadh, with that winning not just votes but hearts too. But perhaps he did all that cycling to win those elections. Otherwise, why this obscene U-turn? Instead of gifting cycles to those MLAs of his state, he is all set to gift them big-bodied cars.

It's shameful. To drive those big-bodied cars when your population is sitting along parched lands, semi starved and almost dying. Yes, if monsoon does not bring along showers this week, there’s every possibility of crops failing and with that drought and famine not too far away. And with that in the backdrop can you imagine the ruthless cum bizarre sight - MLA
of Uttar Pradesh driving around in their air-conditioned cars along the parched lands of their constituency. Shame on these political moves.

If Akhilesh Yadav has to gift cars let him gift the small and affordable Nanos to his men. Or let them go cycling. Don’t tell me that all those cycles - used using the campaign - are lying in some old garage or shed. Pull them right out from those sheds and gift them in bulk to those advisors hovering around him and giving him these third-class bogus suggestions.

In fact, to compound the situation, his Samajwadi politicians well positioned in Mumbai shouldn’t come up with further suggestions that drivers from Salman Khan’s clan be engaged as drivers!


There could be worrying days ahead for PA Sangma’s daughter - Agatha, who happens to be a minister here at the Centre. Minister of State for Rural Development, Agatha could be sacked or sidelined, as her father in all his enthusiasm for the presidential hot seat has been coming up with accusations against his rival Pranab Mukherjee who is Congress’s blue-eyed candidate.


The Ambassadors’ Club (HarperCollins) hit stands last week and as expected this volume carries a bunch of ambassadors’ tales, edited by former diplomat, KV Rajan.

I wonder why don’t our diplomats write these tales before they retire and with that sit in oblivion. Is it they can’t cope with their retirement blues? Or is it because post-retirement they can write candidly and not in keeping with those self imposed or State imposed dos and don’ts. Whatever be the case, most of these men write along the expected safe lines and rarely do they come up with any of those daring offloads.

Humra Quraishi is a columnist and author.
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