On Saturday, the Bigg Boss house welcomed two people from opposite ends of the political spectrum. The first was Vikas Fhatak AKA Hindustani Bhau, an Indian YouTuber whose ‘nikal l****’ launched a thousand memes.
The second entrant was Tehseen Poonawalla, a Congress ideologue/supporter/enthusiast who is very well-known for articulating his views on social media and mainstream news shows as well. He is married to Monica Vadera, who incidentally is Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra’s cousin. That'd mean that he is former Congress president Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law.
Poonawalla arrived on the show saying contestants needed a leader like him. Earlier in 2018, he had a show on TV called Bhai vs Bhai where he would faceoff against his brother Shehzad. Shehzad was a member of the Congress party who quit citing nepotism and is now a vocal critic of the Gandhi family.
Tehseen also is a vocal critic of the party but believes Rahul Gandhi is the right man to lead the Congress. In the past he has slammed the party and Rahul Gandhi’s close coterie for their ‘anti-national’ views. He had written that both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were nationalists and it would be impossible to imagine them ‘standing next to Kanhaiya Kumar’ as Rahul did during the JNU incident.
He had also famously targeted Congress data chief Praveen Chakravarty and written after the 2019 election: “Well, the black swan just got fatter and is sitting on your head. Where did this data come from? He said Maharashtra was the angriest state. Well, the Congress got wiped out from Maharashtra.” His take-no-prisoners approach should serve him well in the Bigg Boss house.
He had written about Rahul Gandhi’s aides: “In simple plain speak, the office of Rahul Gandhi (RG), as it’s often referred to, has juvenile, immature, and non-serious people who have no political understanding and are out of touch with realities. I often refer to them as a bunch of clowns, who bring entertainment to our lives, but beyond that have no contribution and are not taken seriously even in the political circles.”
He has also been deeply critical of senior Congress leaders like Ajay Maken, Mani Shankar Aiyar and Jairam Ramesh, laying the blame of the party’s electoral reverses at their feet. He famously compared Maken – the former Congress Delhi chief – to a bhatura, saying he was hollow from the inside but tempting from the outside.
Poonawalla is also a lawyer and has filed numerous PILs in various issues ranging from the Kashmir curfew to the Rafale deal. He was also one of the staunch voices behind MASUKA – Manav Suraksha Kanoon – which is a draft bill to begin a legal conversation against lynch mobs. The body wants to define ‘mob’ and ‘lynching’ and wants it to be made a non-bailable offence.
Incidentally, Home Minister Amit Shah recently said that there was no need for a separate law for lynching and the current laws were good enough to deal with the issue when implemented properly.
No matter what happens, one can be assured that Tehseen Poonawalla’s time inside the house will not be without incident, given his track record so far.