The King maker is the king
Deep in the Himalayas, there was a beautiful valley. To the world outside, it was known as the kingdom of peace, riches and beauty. However, inside only the people could tell you how peaceful it really was.
In this kingdom lived a wise man called Gramin. He was a rich man. He could predict futures and decide fates.
In this kingdom, there also lived two princely families. One which ruled the throne and the other, the king’s brother. Both the King and his old brother had a son each. Both were keen on becoming the next king.
The King announced his retirement. And also declared the road to the throne open for both cousins.
He said that gods would be consulted before they decided on who would be the next king.
Both princes went to Gramin. Both appealed to him. Gramin promised to pray for both. In return he garnered favors and made money.
The day came for choosing the king.
The royalty and the who’s who of the kingdom gathered in large numbers, waiting for the king’s decision.
The King however said nothing. He sat there quiet and brooding.
One of his courtiers asked him:”O King, have you decided?”
King: “Who am I to decide?”
Courtier: “Your Majesty, it is your right and duty to leave the kingdom looked after, once you step down. Make your decision, your majesty!”
King: “However, all of you and both the princes seem to think that someone else will decide that.”
Courtier: “Eh? Excuse me Your Majesty, we do not follow what you have just said.”
King: “Alright then, I have decided in the favor of the Kingmaker…!”
Courtier:”The Kingmaker? But your majesty, we have no such post or person.”
King: “You are mistaken. We do have a Kingmaker! The Gramin! He is the person that all turn to for advice. The princes too went to him. His prayers decide on who does what and what happens in this kingdom. Today morning he came to me and told me that if he so chose, he can make a peasant the next king. Both the princes will do as he says. If he chose, they will leave the kingdom fearing that some harm may befall them. He will choose the king, his fate and the fate of the kingdom, he said.
Further, he said, ‘O king, give me the princess’s hand in marriage so that I too may be royalty. Or give me the wealth of you treasuries which I so desire, so that I too may be rich beyond dreams. And give me the gardens and the rivers, so that I can have a tiny fiefdom of my own.’
Well, I thought about it and realized what he says is true. The entire kingdom relies on him. And yet, he has little wealth as compared to me.
He is the Kingmaker, more powerful than me, the king. In that case, let him be the King!
Let the Kingmaker be the King. Let him enjoy the rights and take responsibilities for the duty of the vast kingdom.
My decision is made. Let the Kingmaker be the King!”
The courtiers agreed.And gave in to the demands of the retiring monarch.
The proclamation in the town square read:
“The King Maker is the king!”
The Kingmakers are indeed the kings.
In India, we have too many kingmakers, ranging from Sharad Pawar, Nitish Bharadwaj and Karunanidhi to Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and Jayalalitha!
However, I am sure they will remain just that – kingmakers. And they will always be more powerful then the king.
Luckily we do not have a monarchy. But we have the kingmakers. And the Kingmakers are more powerful then the king!
In the coming days, we shall witness the kind of bargaining and selling of power that only a hung assembly and coalition politics can bring about.
Here’s hoping that the kingmakers do not ask for their own fiefdom!