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   I have been thinking, if Mr. Deve Gowda... (July 14, 1996)

I have been thinking, if Mr. Deve Gowda can be prime minister, anybody can be.

For instance, Rajesh Pilot can be and Rajesh Khanna. And Lalloo Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, N.T. Ramarao's widow and Ms.Jayalalitha. And, Ramakrishna Hegde himself. Yes, why not! If Deve Gowda can be PM, so can Hegde.

And, Sonia Gandhi, of couse, and her children. After all, theirs is the kingdom. And Maneka Gandhi. She would make a spirited prime minister. That's one thing for sure, headstrong and spirited. And you can bring back Arun Nehru from the past. After all, at one time, he was considered as the whiz fat man in the cabinet.

And Arjun Singh, who dared to want to be prime minister, and Tewary, who almost became one. And Sharad Pawar, who may still become one.

I have been thinking, if Deve Gowda can be the prime minister, the sky is the limit. There's Mani Shankar Aiyar, M.J. Akbar, Murli Deora, Arun Singh up in the hills of the Kumaons, and Jyoti Basu, who was offered, but not properly, and so refused. Unlike Mr. Gowda, who accepted.

And, look further, Manohar Joshi, who may get tired of interference from his supremo and decided to move on to New Delhi, and Thackeray himself. He may have refused to be the chief minister of Maharastra, which he could have been for less than the asking, but he may accept to be the PM, change the country, change the world. No, I shall not say for better or for worse.

If Mr. Gowda can be prime minister, any simple, humble farmer tilling his half-acre plot of hard and barren land can be. Go into the countryside, look around, there must be millions of farmers waiting to be PMs.

And Parvez Damania could be PM, the first Indian agro-techno from Amednagar, the broiler country. And Kapil Dev and Kiran More and Keith Stevenson and Sunil Gavaskar, though he will have to consider whether there is more money writing and commenting on cricket or in being PM.

And Rahul Bajaj and Rahul Singh and Narendra Goyal and whoever it is who owns the NEPC airline. And Raosaheb Oberoi and Ratan Tata and Nani Palkhivala. The last-mentioned would be convenient, he would also take care of the finance portfolio. And Manmohan Singh himself, why not! He did more for the Narasimha Rao himself did.

For that matter, if Mr. Deve Gowda can be prime minister, Mr. Narasimha Rao can be prime minister again. Or Russy Karanjia or B.K. Goyal, who will be appropriately bowed and suited when he meets President Clinton, or Kumar Ketkar, or Brigadier Grover, or Anupam Kher, or Mrs. Kher, or Jagmohan Dalmiya. There is always, of course, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and this time he can be prime minister for a whole year.

Meanwhile, we have Mr. Deve Gowda as prime minister, and the knowledge that if he can be PM, we can all be.

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