A lot of people are wondering what Mr. Rajiv Gandhi will do now that he is longer the chairman of the non-aligned nations. Actually, there are a lot of things that he could still do. Here are a few suggestions:
He could make off-the-cuff remarks like Pakistan has bungled the hijack rescue operation and that the hijackers were talking in Urdu, according to his sources in Harare.
He could go on goodwill tours to Australia, Mauritius, Cameroon, Afghanistan, China, though not right away.
He could hold negotiations with Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, or refuse to hold negotiations with them.
He could summon all the Congress-I chief ministers to New Delhi one by one or all together. Or he could let them come on their own and either meet them immediately, or let them wait for three days and then meet them, or not meet them at all.
He could visit Bombay and stop all the traffic on the roads as his convoy passes through. Or he could make one more round of the countryside and the tribal areas, thus also assisting Doordarshan to make a sequel to its original films on the prime minister's tours.
He could juggle about with his cabinet, making the home minister the minister for commerce and the minister for commerce the minister for external affairs and the minister for external affairs the vice-president of the Congress.
He could add to Mr. Arun Nehru's portfolios…or subtract. Or he could sit back and let the Indian press and its special correspondents in the capital guess who is the current No.2-Mr. Arun Nehru or Mr. Arun Singh or Mr. Arjun Singh or what's-his name who was a pilot in the Indian Airlines with him and then brought into politics to look after (nurse, I think, is the correct word) the Amethi constituency.
He could lose his temper occasionally with small gram pachayat officials or with Mr. Gadgil, the TV minister.
He could order the suspension of a few more Air-India pilots.
He could inaugurate shibirs, conferences, seminars and read speeches in his slow, steady voi8ce (close your eyes and listen-you eyes and listen-you can hear Rajiv Gandhi talking). Or he could give interviews to various foreign magazines.
He could grow trees (by symbolically planting a saplint), wave out to children allow rakhees to be to be t9ied on his wrist, wear the turbans of the different regions of India.
So, though Mr. Gandhi may no longer be the chairman of the nonaligned nations, he has still got a lot to do. And Mr. Mugabe is welcome to be the chairman.