A maverick with words and the bat – during his cricketing days – Navjot Singh Sidhu’s political career is like an interesting seesaw T20 match, just that, in his case, the 55-year-old plays the batsman, bowler, fielder and the umpire.
“Wickets are like wives – you never know which way they will turn,” is one of cricketer-turned-politician’s famous lines, which has now come to be known as Sidhuisms. Little did he know that just as in cricket, politics too has its own twists and turns.
“Digging for facts is a far better exercise than jumping to conclusions,” he had said; but his journey from being a Rajya Sabha MP for the BJP to being an MLA for Congress from Amritsar East has all along smacked of political opportunism. As Sidhu said, the door of opportunity is opened by pushing; the former cricketer knew this too well.
His another Sidhuism, “Flaming youth cooks its own goose,” seems like a quote apt for his political career, though he is now on the wrong side of 50s.
Having quit, Sidhu also brings to mind another line, “There is no point in aiming at the target if you are loaded with blanks,” which seemed like he was taking on Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh for talking about wrong things at the wrong time.
His hug-for-peace gesture with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony in Islamabad was more like BJP leader LK Advani praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Advani lost his BJP chief post and became an outcast in the eyes of the RSS. But Sidhu took on the criticism like an “optimist who believes that bullshit is a fertilizer”.
However, the cricketer who “doesn’t judge the horsepower of a vehicle by the size of its exhaust pipe,” had no clue as to what hit him when the BJP turned him an anti-national overnight.
But as “a bad day, which will never have a good night,” troubles mounted for him within the Congress too. With wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, another Navjot Sidhu, his line “A hair on the head is worth two in your comb,” came true and problems just became two-fold.
First, Mrs Sidhu as Punjab minister of tourism and cultural affairs was the chief guest at the Dussehra event where a train ran over 55 people and injured over a dozen. “There are two things beyond your control – the weather and your wife,” Sidhu may have famously said about the English weather, but his better half became the target of this one.
Mrs Sidhu was then run out by Captain, when she was refused the Lok Sabha seat from Amritsar. “A good lather is worth half the shave,” he had said, but for feisty Sidhu, it was the tipping point. “If history isn’t good, burn it,” seems to be exactly what the former right-hand batsman did.
“God is always on the side of the heavier battalion,” seems right as the odds are steeped in Captain’s favour. With the Congress in the middle of a churn, Sidhu sent his resignation to Rahul Gandhi on Sunday, maybe, not realising that he is no more the president of the party.
In Sidhu’s case, it seems, “The world’s all about mind and matter; I (Sidhu) don’t mind and you (Congress) don’t matter.”