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   There is some confusion in the public mind... (October 8, 1990)

There is some confusion in the public mind as to who, according to Mr. Devi Lal, is rural and who is urban. With his permission, I will try and clarify.

Mr. Chandra Shekhar is rural. He has a farm, where he regularly retires to sulk, he has a farmer's legs and hands, he has a basic honesty that does not allow him to be discreet, he is opposed to the new industrial policy, he wears a dhoti and kurta.

Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde is urban. He dresses swanky, if slighty funny, he dines and wines, plays golf, society women adore him. He resigns like an urban gentleman, instead of waiting to be sacked like a kulak. I do not know if he has a farm, but if he does, it is a farmhouse.

Mr. Mahendra Singh Tikait is rural, one hundred per cent. He is the great leader of the farmers. He smokes a hooka, goves press conferences while siting on a coin rope cont. when he comes to Delhi with his people, he converts Delhi into a village. And Delhi was a village, only ten years ago, it is not so now.

Mr. Arun Nehru is absolutely urban. He has been a successful corporate executive, though only in a paint company. And I suspect he became a successful executive by bullying his clerks and hunior executives.

Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, the UP chief minister, is rural. He is at home with villagers, he is not at home in Lucknow, he is a wrestler, a sport much followed in UP and Haryana villages, and has wrestled in villages, and has wrestled in village akhadas. He is the kind of rural person who could one day becomre the first vilage prime minister of India. And the country could be none the worse for it.

Mr. George Fernandes is urban. A trade unionist, a labour class urban, but still an urban. The base he once had and lost was urban municipal employees, restaurant employees, taxi-drivers. He could not then and he cannot now organise a farmers' rally.

Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav is rural. He must be even having a village post office address. But unlike Mr. Mulayan Singh, who is a progressive rural, Mr. Laloo Prasad is not; even after eight children, he had to have a son.

Mr. Ajit Singh, the industries minister, is beither rural nor urban. He began as a typical case of a son of a farmer who, after much hard work and saving, sent he son to the US for studies. In the case of other such sons of farmers, they go on to become great scientists, technologists, and the pride and joy of their community. He came back to become a politician.

I leave it to Mr. Devi Lal to classify him Ė rural or urban.

 
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