Fifth Column

2nd January 2000

My advice to you is to forget about it

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My dear Green Man,

I thought I must write to you now because these days everyone seems to forget you in the rush to congratulate Satellite and tell her what a great lady she is, but then, we cannot blame them for that, do we?

Green Man, we all agree that you would be angry and hurt about all what happened recently. After all, two months ago, no one gave you a ghost of a chance of winning against the so-called charm and charisma of Satellite. But suddenly, towards the end of the campaign you had convinced a lot of people that you would be the winner. And then, just as we were about to see a close fight Velu comes along and spoils it all for you in the last hour or two. I am sure you must be annoyed about it all.

Anyway, Green Man, my advice to you is to forget about it. Why, do you remember how Velu helped Satellite herself to come on top by doing away with Gamini? And then, five years later he is planning Satellite’s downfall! So remember, Green Man, even if he wanted you to emerge as the winner last week, in next to no time he would be conspiring against you too- and you don’t want that, do you?

These days I believe you must be in a dilemma. On the one hand your supporters are being victimized for supporting you. On the other hand, there is Satellite offering you what she calls her ‘hand of friendship’ and you must surely be wondering which way to go!

Then, despite the polite invitation from Satellite we have the likes of Seeni Bola appearing on television and condemning you and all the greens. Don’t you worry about Seeni Bola and what he says, Green Man, because it is only natural that people like Seeni Bola should oppose your joining hands with Satellite because they know that their importance will diminish if you join forces with the lady. Besides, he doesn’t have a cricket match to keep him in the limelight these days.

Even then, despite such tactics, most peace-loving people in this country would want you to take up Satellite’s offer, Green Man- after all, it is not everyday that she is in such a benevolent mood and what’s more it would give peace a real chance after such a long time. So, think about it, will you?

Then, of course we hear those ‘dissidents’ or ‘rebels’ of the green side calling for your head. You can’t blame them too because they are really ministers without any assignments though they are called ministers with ‘special’ assignments- in fact, their only assignment seems to be to annoy and irritate you! But remember, Green Man, you have a big job on your hands- that of keeping the greens together.

That would be more difficult than Satellite’s job of keeping all those minor parties in her coalition happy. But, it is an important task because a country needs strong alternatives to its government. The irony of all this, Green Man, is that your uncle devised this Constitution of his to help the greens to stay in power forever. Now, however, Satellite is in the hot seat and it looks as if she is using every trick in the book to keep the blues in power forever- and that might even include a Referendum, we hear. So, the lady is doing all that your uncle did- Executive Presidency, running for a second term and Referendum- and maybe even more!

But that’s the way it is, Green Man. You will need six years of patience, a lot of courage and maybe a little bit of luck but we hope you will be equal to the task- not because we like the greens any more than the blues but because we love our country more than either the greens or the blues. And remember, the entire nation is awaiting your reply to Satellite’s offer- and probably hoping it will be a positive one!

Yours Truly,

Punchi Putha.

PS- An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, they say. We all hope Satellite will realize that. Therefore, while we wish her a speedy recovery, we hope her vision also improves- in more than one way!

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