Opinions

If there's Bua, Babua, Baba, why not Baby?


Politics in this country always had a familial ring to it – by which one doesn’t mean family-run or hereditary, but the fact that the stage is occupied by entities forming relations that could well be one giant, multi-season TV soap. There’s been Bapu, Chacha, Amma, Behenji and Didi, Pishi and Bhaipo (paternal aunt and nephew) joining the crew during the last West Bengal elections. So, when Rajnath Singh expanded the familial portrait to include Bua, Babua and Baba over the weekend, the political firmament now seems even more of a joint family than before.

Rather defensively, the defence minister stated that he didn’t ‘like calling anyone ‘Babua’ or ‘Bua,’ but then went on to state that Uttar Pradesh‘s people have decided that they don’t want Babua or Bua but Baba. While many have found this reference to suggest Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Adityanath, respectively, it could well mean anyone in the world of interchangeable family epithets. After all, the Mai-Baap state may see the electorate as one vast nursery of wards. But these ‘children’ themselves are growing up – slower, perhaps, because of the Indian parents’ patent style of mollycoddling – and have ‘teenage’ demands and aspirations that go beyond the respect they are meant to show buzurg log. So along with the choice of Baba, Babua and Bua, there may well be a Baby somewhere.



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