Comments on election campaign
Oxford Bookstore, at Churchgate, has a chai bar – and it serves strong eye opening dhaba chai, called truck drivers chai, for an astronomical figure of 30/- Served in the cutting chai glass with a silver glass / cup holder. It’s also the cheapest on the menu.
The kind of chai that Rahul Gandhi probably had for free in Orissa last night, while campaigning. The tv crew did not show him paying for the tea. While I am sure that the tea stall owner served it on the house, he was definitely not inivited – it was his choice to have a cup of refreshing tea in the middle of the night – to stay awake probably. What if he had paid for it? Would it be considered as cash for vote? Imagine a close up of Rahul fishing out some money(if he carries any), or his security paying the tea stall owner in cash – without any background context. What if there were such footage of him without any background context? What if this video was submitted to the EC ? All that is hypothetical – but the issue remains, inspite of the stringent code, politicians find a loophole somewhere somehow. And if it was an attention gainer, it worked. He does need that, as the rather strong Patnaik presence almost makes it a dynasty versus a dynasty. Likewise in Andhra.
Yesterday Mayawati was in town. And the traffic jams, the swaggering city youth, the rush of north Indians ( yes, the city vote is polarized between north Indians, mumbaikars, and south Indians) to the city grounds were not the only indications of her presence. One had to put up with her rather loud Hindi expletives and gaon ki bhasha – ‘watch your language ma’m’, is all I have to say to her!
BSP is no longer using the caste card – but the brahmins are and irrespective of their origin(north, mumbaikars or south), they are likely to vote enmasse for bjp-shivsena). Brahmins have one ‘-ism’ that they espouse – that of ‘casteism’ and being an upper caste, they consider themsleves as demi-gods.
There are a few demi-gods contesting this election as well – Chiranjeevi aiming to replace NTR, is the big divider of the Andhra votebank. Jayalalitha, another demi-goddess, is almost supporting Vaiko by her serious consideration of the Tamil Eelam movement. Obviously, the LTTE movement has now threatened the Tamil populace in the south. A dormant volcano which must die a quick, painless death.Another demand for a regional identity – tamils probably feel ‘nationhood’, but they should not love themsleves so much that they isolate themsleves from rest of the Indian people. They are a part of the Indian Union, the sooner they recognize that being Dravidian is super, but not superior, they will have matured to the level expected of them.