Column: Dam Babu, in search of relevance, eh!

By Raja Mohanty

Great! Once again, we heard Dr. Damodar Rout, crying rather stating softly, ‘no more interested’ in electoral politics.

Really! But, he will be with the people and continue to serve them. Oh, once again the same old quote from a seasoned politician, who is in his twilight zone.

But, this is the oft-repeated line of the ‘wannabees’ or already in politics politicians. But, form Dam Babu, why then now. When you are in the ‘home stretch’, in this case read the final phase of his political quarter-mile race.

That is ‘the’ million-dollar question, but for whom. His supporters, who are diminishing like his already diminished hairs on his head, of which he got a good taste in the last election. Or, for those so-called intellectuals who were part of his political growth chart but certainly not for the hoi polloi. Probably left with no alternative he just parroted this line.

Anyway, Dam Babu is Dam Babu, after all, he is known both for his barbs and also foul cry, ‘I tell you so type,’ in media. Editorial word limitations actually forbid the writer else a few MBs would have fallen short narrating about Dam Babu’s histrionics. He knows what actually or exactly his mind is thinking.

In fact, there is no take away from this statement. Given his on-camera body language one feels it was made in desperation or dejection or both. The realisation has crept in at last that he is in the proverbial home stretch. Let us wait and watch.

But, very cautiously he ranted against his current party, which according to Biju Babu ‘killed Gandhi Mahatma’ he once stated. He was not supposed to be in the party, as per his own admission, but political exigency or read ‘survival’ necessitated.

“I went to the meeting uninvited. No one asked me anything. I did not say anything and so on,’ lamented Dam Babu about his status in BJP. His demotion from last time he was star campaigner to no more was nearly the final nail in the coffin, one felt. But, there was no heavy-duty salvo against the party. In all likelihood, the BJD experience, the tragic consequence of firing in all cylinders, was always playing in his mind. So the refrain.

But he reminded, citing Naba Krishna Choudhury’s example, in politics age does not matter. That is actually one interesting takeaway from the whole confessions.

Age really does not matter in politics. His own ‘killer of Gandhi Mahatma party’ is full of such aspirants. So, why not to harbour such ideas. But, what seems, in all likelihood, for the next five years there won’t be any vacancy for him. Will he have possibilities, if BJP makes it to the hoisting? That is not at all a million-dollar question. For BJP there are younger and powerful aspirants in the queue.

For Dam Babu there does not seem to be an opportunity in the party despite the example. The real million-dollar question is ‘does he have any other option left or open at this juncture.’

The greatest of the greatest optimist will say, in this case, ‘politics is not a game of chances.’

So, what one can expect from him now. Nothing. Own party and fight no chance. Some hope after five years, no chance, he will be well above 75 years.

What is left for him and for us? Searching for relevance through such interviews! Feel free to express if anything left in the drama.

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)