Trivedi ji, it’s time to change the astrologer!



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Brood less, smile more and serve all! This is what greets you when you click on Mr Dinesh Trivedi’s website.

With a complacent smile and a broad shining forehead, the 61-year old nonchalantly faces a volley of questions thrown by journalists. His answers are calm with dollops of idealistic adages like, country comes first; God is great; I don't fear God also; I have done my duty, now it’s up to God, etc. etc. God does seem to be an integral part of his life!

Having presented his maiden budget without fearing the subsequent conflagrations, Mr Trivedi stands in a tough spot where anyone would hate to be in. In a bid to roll out a fiscally pragmatic budget, Trivedi dared to do what no one else did in a decade. He hiked the rail fares by 2 paise to 30 paisa/km. A paisa, that is a hundredth fraction of one rupee, has now shattered Trivedi's rail career in hundreds of pieces.

As apparent, Trivedi seems to be unfazed by the entire unpalatable cacophony at higher echelons of his own party.

Being abandoned by his own people doesn’t seem to agonise Mr Trivedi. What else can you expect from a person who once wanted to shun all the luxuries of this materialistic world and become a monk, being inspired by a poster of Swami Vivekananda?

Maybe it’s his truthfulness (read straightforwardness) that stood as an impasse and an impassable junction between him and his designation. Trivedi also seems to be a devout member of his party and can’t help singing hymns in reverence of his ‘great’ Mamata di though he is also the one, who said, “The Railways was in big mess. I have pulled it out of ICU.”

He is also the one who said that it was a misconception if people thought the Rail Ministries was being run from Writers’ Building. All this time he didn’t seem to fear the people up in the hierarchy. So, when during the entire budget speech he chanted didi’s name at regular intervals, thanking her for all her greatness, people might have thought - - another sycophant or hypocrite?

Somehow, I tend to believe in this man’s integrity. Yes, for all who didn’t know, this MP from Barrackpore, who managed to garner prudent, clever and intelligent Bengalis’ votes, is actually a Gujarati!

We shouldn’t forget that he is also the same man, who offered to step down as minister in 2011 in support of Anna Hazare. Enough asceticism, I must say. But he surely won accolades when he filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking to make public the contents of Vohra Committee’s report with details on political-criminal nexus. The petition became a historic one as it resulted in a judgement that mentioned RTI and Lokpal Bill.

Given all these accolades Mr Trivedi has in his kitty, it seems he had Congress’ trust. Also because you never forget your first love, Trivedi too, might have a soft corner for Congress as he made his political debut with this party in 1980s. After which he also did party hopping at decent intervals by switching over to VP Singh’s Janata Dal in 1990 before coming under the umbrella of Mamata’s TMC in 1998.

But before he dived into the political mainstream, it seems that Mr Trivedi too, led a happy man’s life. Armed with an MBA degree from Texas, he worked with Detex Company in Chicago which ensured that money kept rushing into his wallets. Enough money for a good life!

It is said that when he was leaving Chicago, his boss tried to make him change his decision saying that the position he was holding was a much coveted one and even tough for Americans to get, but Trivedi had decided he didn’t want a green card and headed to India.

A trained pilot who is at the helm of train affairs, Trivedi perhaps seems to be in a wrong place. He is a person trained in flying planes as much as in playing the Sitar – don’t you think he deserves a career more pleasant than politics?

Yesterday, when he raised his hand in denial to a question, I couldn’t help notice few gemstones adorning his fingers. A blue sapphire on the middle finger, an emerald on the little finger and a coral separating the two, perhaps to stave off the tantrums of mangal graham. With a wife with a PhD degree in genetics and son pursuing Aerospace engineering in America, Mr Trivedi is blessed with a wonderful family. So, I guess, the stones on his fingers are especially to take care of his professional life! His resignation means that all these charms haven’t worked. So maybe it’s high time, he shifted his loyalty to a new astrologer.