The speech writer is not yet a conspicuous backroom figure in Indian political arlours, as is the case in the US of A. Yet, many an Indian politician is now using the services of the brainy aide in addition to those of the brawny brigade. Probably the first time that speech writers figured in the Indian political scene was when Rajiv Gandhi made his entry with his band of baba log. Mani Shankar Aiyar was the brain behind such ear-catching phrases as “power-brokers”-used by Rajiv at the Congress centenary function in Mumbai in 1985. And, some time ago, Jairam Ramesh admitted on a TV show that he wrote speeches for Sonia Gandhi.
Well, the Bharatiya Janata Paty (BJP) leaders don’t want to be left behind. BJP president and UP strongman Rajnath Singh has found his Man Friday in Sudhanshu Dwivedi, an engineering graduate from Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agricultural Sciences who now teaches at a Lucknow engineering college. Dwivedi is also a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) cadet.
When Rajnath joined the Atal Behari Vajpayee government as agriculture minister towards the end of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) second term, he brought Dwivedi to the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) and then inducted him into the agriculture ministry as his adviser-on deputation, of course.
After the electoral defeat of 2004, Dwivedi returned to NAFED in Delhi but continued to contribute words and ideas for Rajnath’s use. Now, the arena of activity has shifted to the inner circles of the party. It is believed that when Rajnath threw his hat into the leadership-read prime ministerial-ring, declaring, “Yeh barat hai satta ki sundari ko desh ki rajdhani mein ley jaane ki. Aur iss barat ka main hi dulha hoon,” it was Dwivedi who provided the verbal fusillade.
Political lords need their knights and Dwivedi is turning out to be one such knight for Rajnath, who is aspiring to be the lord of the saffron party.
Vol 1,Issue 1 | April 2007