As the world’s biggest democracy goes to the polls, we note with satisfaction the maturity of debate engaged in by the big-names leaders and gawk in admiration at the forward-looking policies that some of our political parties have announced.
After all what could match the intellectual cut-and-thrust of Narendra Modi-ji, whose prime ministerial candidate is a sprightly eighty-two, calling the Congress Party a “budiya” to which Princess Priyanka Gandhi replies with a “Do I look like a budiya” and then the Congress asks for BJP to dump their leaders into the Arabian Sea. In response, Modi ups the ante by calling the Congress Party a “gudiya” (he may have been doing an in-reference to Karishma Kapoor’s movie “Paapi Gudiya” a rip-off of “Child’s Play”). Now I do not want to get into an argument whether advanced age implies weakness but for those of you who doubt the power of buddas to be bad-ass I give you the Terminator, the famous Budda Gujjar, the legendary superhero of the Pakistani Northwest.
Of course not everything about these elections is about subtle arguments on ideology. There are bold policy statements like the Samajwadi Party announcing its ambitious plans to do away two of India’s greatest competitive advantages in the global market — English and computers along with mechanized methods of farming. I fully stand behind this policy of the SP and as we speak, I am preparing to hand-write my blog on paper in Hindi and stick it on to the walls of second-class train compartments. Of course I am sure that the next time elections come about, the Samajwadi Party would have abolished mechanized transport and by 2012 I am hopeful that the use of fire would also have been banned by the fiat of the Mega Mamoo of India— Ak47 Dutt.
However for me, the abiding memory of what level this election was fought at would be Didi’s hand-chosen TMC candidate, the great songmeister , Babur Suman’s beautiful videos where we get up-close and personal with the scourge of Tatas and other assorted poonjibadis (capitalists)(really more up-close-and-personal than is apposite as we get an extended peek into his toilet and of him using it)
Of course my favorite election story [link courtesy: Rohit] this time is the story of Pinky (not her real name) who at the age of 20 is casting her first genuine vote, having already voted in five elections for the past ten years. Starting at the age of ten, she has voted– sometimes pretending to be a 50 year old and sometimes a 67 year old woman and not once has her false vote been discarded, so masterful is she in her “disguise”. This time of course a chief electoral bigwig promises us that this kind of false voting will not happen because of technology. However I wont be surprised if even after all the digital cameras and video equipment, Pinky goes and casts her vote as the chief electoral officer herself.
With such an assortment of voters and serious candidates and their bouquet of well-thought out policies and talking points, it is totally appropriate that the Election Commission has selected as this election’s theme song “Dance Pe Chance Mar Le” since with one of these brilliant men or women at the helm, India’s future now depends on “chance”than on anything else.
[In this context, a Must watch video]