The question right now is not whether Roodal Moonilal has the charisma, is sufficiently iconic, to be the leader the UNC needs, but what matters is causing a repeat of what happened in 2010. You see, by that time and for some years before, it was widely felt that Panday had already ran out of high-octane premium gas and he was just making up numbers, going through the motion, by holding on to the party’s leadership. The conclusion was, he could not take the UNC back into government ever again – not because he was not competent – but because he was simply seen as passé cassava.
This is an ever-changing world where for example car manufacturers and phone makers understand this, understand that the fickle human mind is forever on the stakeout for something new, different, avant garde, and so they invest billions into research to have them be not just au courant with what’s on the market, but to offer consumers products that are futuristic beyond their wildest dreams.
This is not just about things, but a person’s popularity has stamped on it an expiry date and once people get fed up of you, of seeing and hearing you, you become to them stale news. Marriages often bread down irretrievably and end up in the divorce courts because some couples could no longer stand the sight of one another although previously they could not stand to be apart for a minute.
What then makes Kamla and her diehards feel that she is irreplaceable when husbands and wives change one another – sometimes not even for another – but just change – because there is a season for change.
Moonilal might just be able to reinvigorate the party by attracting persons who could no longer stand the sight of Kamla and are nauseated by her monotonous presence and want change, any form of change. Fact is, while Kamla is supported by sycophants who lack the common sense to see that it is just them who do so and they are not enough to win an election for her, another less unpopular leader than herself might be able to do in 2025 what she did in 2010 – i.e. be the breath of fresh air the UNC needs to resuscitate it.
If that person turns out to be Moonilal, then more power to him. Most people conclude, anybody else but Kamla. It is not that he is in the category of an ‘anybody’ as he is a survivor. However, and as a footnote, UNC constituency offices are generally staffed with deadbeats and geriatrics who could not offer the MPs and the party anything intellectual. Obviously, they are there to help keep the MPs chair warm – not dynamic or progressive. Moonilal would know if he is guilty of this regressive approach and should make it his business to reach out for young and bright and not mimic Kamla who felt she was all that was needed and so any crapaud would do to make up numbers and fill offices.
L. Siddhartha Orie