Curious case of Biplab Deb

There are some people who are foolish, others who are ignorant and yet others who are prejudiced. But it is rare to see foolishness, ignorance and prejudices combine seamlessly in the mind of a person. Tripura Chief Minster Biplab Kumar Deb stands out for his recent statements which are marked by one or all of these, and the nation has been surprised, entertained and outraged by them. One great revelation is that the "internet technology and satellite system existed in India lakhs of years ago" and the proof is the running commentary of the Mahabharata war given by Sanjaya to the blind king Dhritarashtra. That is an addition to our understanding of the past after the prime minister told us two years ago that plastic surgery and genetic engineering existed during those great times. If this could be dismissed as a hyper-nationalist boast, the comparison of Diana Hayden with Aishwarya Rai showed prejudices of a different kind, based on the complexion of the skin, religion etc. This shows that a gold standard of Indian womanhood and beauty, which is made in politics, exists for some people. That should discomfort women and many who fail to meet these standards.

It is only two months since the young leader assumed power in the state, ending decades of CPM rule there. In this short period, he has caught the nation’s attention with his views on a diverse range of issues. If some are shocking others are intriguing. The remark that civil engineers are better equipped than mechanical engineers to become civil servants is still looking for logic. Did he actually think that the civil services were originally meant for only civil engineers and others are now denying them their rightful opportunities? It is difficult to imagine all possibilities of ignorance in the minds of politicians, many of whom do not easily deviate into sense.

Biplab Kumar Deb campaigned on the issue of unemployment and won the elections, promising jobs to the youth. But he now offers better options to them than jobs. Starting a pan shop or rearing a cow would give greater returns than a job, and he has actually worked out the returns. So why look for a job? It is for the electors to take a view of this, but what view can be taken of statements that the Amazon is in Africa and Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang was a journalist? Biplab Deb has said much to embarrass his party, which is not easily moved by oddities, gaffes and offences. Deb was once a comedian and humorist. Is he a comedian turning into a politician or a politician turning into a clown?

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Curious case of Biplab Deb

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