The Common Man Bowls every Political Party

 

The Common Man Bowls all Political Parties in India

The Common Man Bowls all Political Parties in India

Found this brilliant piece of work by Neelabh on the the Times of India masthead today, and deservedly so. It shows the way elections in India are a completely unpredictable affair — no amount of opinion polls and exit interviews can help. Every constituency is unique, every booth different, every election machine throws up surprises. Every seat is hotly contested, my booth had around 8 candidates. There is a mad scramble for votes, hook and crook both have their own role to play.

And the election results are always a suprise especially in national politics. Voters in India are confused about what is good at the national level, whats good at the state level — and many times your choice vary quite a bit based on the scale of the elections, and the candidate in your constituency. Besides, I am not sure if many people actually know the difference between the parties apart from the symbols. It’s a game of partnerships, with powerful sects, groups, communities with mass appeal, and if you pull the right leader, you pull all the followers with them. 

At the end, it really is like the big fat bowling ball that is quite unpredictable, try as you might to place it. The pins, kings and men, can roll with equal probability, and the pins that stay behind become the kingmakers the next time. Horses are traded, donkeys get promoted to ministers, blatant foxes smile behind the curtains of power, a new set of people make money in the next 5 years, policies be damned!

Yes, elections in India are quite an entertainment, quite like the game of bowling!

Advertisements

Indian Politics ki “Jai Ho”

Can Indian Politicians ever stay away from capitalizing on anything that remotely smells of success? From India Shining (and subsequently whining) to Chak De Congress, Indian Politicians have always been lapping anything popular and successful in order to boost their political fortunes, in the hope that ordinary citizens will vote in elections the same way as they buy soaps (by watching commercials) and unfortunately many do!

This time around, Congress has bought the exclusive electoral publicity rights to the inspiring and lively Jai Ho song from Slumdog Millionaire for a whopping Rs. 1 crore from T-Series, and to prevent their arch rival BJP from using the song to their advantage. It’s a bitter rivalry brewing out there – Congress firmly believing that people will get duped into believing 5 years of hodge-podge rule has had a similar effect on India – a slumdog turning into a millionaire, and sing Jai Ho on railway platforms after Congress’ deafening victory in the political circus. Of course, the effect on India can not be predicted, but all the slumdog politicians will surely turn into millionaires overnight. Narendra Modi, BJP’s own bête noire, has pitched in with a new gem:

The credit for Slumdog getting Oscar awards should go to India’s ruling Congress party because without years of the Congress rule there would not have been slums in India

Not that the BJP is far behind in the circus. From going back to the Ayodhya Ram Temple chant to woo voters, to advertizements all over the internet for the only “stalwart in Indian Politics” – LK Advani, the BJP has been trying to do an Obama in India. According to “some” (mine) estimates, LK Advani has single-handedly managed to help the Indian online advertizing industry to survive in these tough times, since wherever I go on the net, his pic follows me like a pug.

It’s only going to be an interesting elections to watch – my personal prediction is a hung parliament (which I can bet my money on) and re-elections very soon. Last time around, the hand used the sickle to weed out the lotus, until it really seemed to falter midway, and the cycle had to carry it to the finishing line. This time, however, the elephant is marching to other states, trampling hands and lotuses, flowers, and sickles. It will be an interesting and worrysome experience to watch this elections. (link)

Jai Ho!

[Found a blog with lots of elections09 coverage]

Why Politicians make for bad Policy Makers?

I was reading this piece in Businessworld, and found a very succinct reason why politicians, who are so successful at stirring up local emotions, falter when they win the elections and enter the bigger stage (near the end of the article): [link]

Politicians grow up in stagnant little wells of local politics, where they learn to play with parochial prejudices. The prejudices are shackles in the larger roles politicians end up in.

Made a lot of sense to me!

Sometimes, some politicians are smart enough to figure out that in order to build up grassroots base they need to stir up emotions — and they do it just to win the elections, even though they know full well that its just a means to an end. What’s happening in Mumbai (marathi maanoos) and what happened in Gujarat (post Godhra) earlier, and often keeps happening in Bangalore (Kannada Rajyabhasha) are obvious examples of these.

I am also so thankful that our prime minister is a non-political person. At least he doesn’t do things for a political win — however, I wish he had some more politicial dexterity to handle his party, his coalition-partners, and the opposition better.

%d bloggers like this: