After the recent purge which turned ministers into 'ex-ministers' overnight there is a whole herd of new ministers living in the same tole as me. They will probably remain ministers for a maximum of another six months. After that they'll also become ex-ministers. But as long as it lasts, they are powerful men. Even if you didn't know the man from Adam, from today you better because he is the Hon'ble Minister. And everyone greets them, everyone felicitates them, everyone says hi.
For the next few weeks, the pages of the papers will be filled with congratulatory messages with pictures of the new ministers grinning away. The messages below will invariably read: 'We so-and-so humbly thank His Majesty for the infinite generosity shown towards nominating so-and-so into the important position as Minister of Such-and-Such and congratulate Minister So-and-So for being made minister.'
What kind of people spend good money to put these prominent ads in the papers? Invariably they are the minister's own extended clan, his community, his colleagues, his co-workers from previous jobs and an assorted number of people who in future will want him to make favourable decisions. So they are garlanded, feted, wrapped in khadas and given presents.
But no such thing when suddenly, just as dramatically as they were nominated and as certainly as night follows day, the ministers are sacked. Suddenly, the flag disappears from the flagposts on their front yards and they become nobodies again.
Logically, everyone who felicitates a guy for being minister by putting ads in the papers should also be consoling him when he is sacked. But that doesn't happen. Wonder why?