Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Chief Minister's Independence Day speech

The Chief Minister’s Independence Day Speech

I was summoned into the office immediately. Leaving my hot cup of tea behind, of which I had only taken a sip of, I picked up my notepad and pen and made a run.

“May I come in sir?” I said knocking at the door of the Chief Minister.

“Come in” was the reply.

Sir, you called for me immediately, anything urgent?”

“I’m supposed to give a speech on account of Independence Day tomorrow, and I’m lost for words. I need a speech that would speak of the work we have done and the challenges that lie ahead. It should sound assertive and have all the qualities of a good speech. Elections are due soon. We got to leave a mark from here itself.”

 Looking at my startled face the minister said, “Brij, I’ve said what I had to say. Ask any questions if you need to.”

The minister’s line made blood rush to my cold feet and got me into action. I glanced at the clock right above the seat of power – 7:12 pm. I had had a tough day, and this is not what I had asked for. The only thing I wanted was to spend the last few minutes in peace before my work day ended so I could gather some strength to face the rain that had been tormenting everyone throughout the day. The next day was a holiday thanks to Independence Day, but at the moment I had to write a speech to earn my independence.

 Mustering up a bit of courage, I asked, “Sir, I’m sure you and your government must have done a lot during this period.”

“Obviously; so many schemes implemented, food security bill, pension plan, kept the citizens safe, always thought of the poor and needy, what else do people want?”

“Sir, then why don’t we speak of them at length? This would bring the focus on all these schemes and help you win praise.”

“We can’t go into the details.”

“But why sir?”

“The deeper we go the deeper the opposition shall dig. They have already asked us for exact figures. There's talk of even roping the CBI in this. There are several areas where the numbers are inflated. With the news of the rotten food grains reaching everyone’s ears, it has made matters worse. It shouldn’t happen that we dig our own grave.”

  “If not social schemes we could speak of the security measures in place. After 26/11, there hasn’t been any significant attack.”

“Brij, you and I know that it would take astute planning and preparation by our ever-so-friendly neighbours to come up with another one. That would take some time. Obviously, without even us doing anything we would be safe and not have any major attack compared to 26/11. In spite of the great intelligence, we boast of; the recent bomb blast attacks did happen. Thankfully what has sustained is the notion we have drilled into everyone’s minds that everyone is safe. But with no coordination between the police department and the intelligence agency at times even I feel I’m not safe. Thankfully I have Z+ security and the chair of the CM, or else you may never know.”

Read the complete story in State of the Heart.

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