The funfair in the run-up to the 2014 general elections has begun, although 80% voters donít understand what goes on inside New Delhiís Parliament House. But they enjoy the whirlwind arrivals, departures, verbal electioneering wrestles, sometimes interspersed with splashes of black ink, and they vote. The new game now is railway station tea seller vs political dynasty prince.
Letís take an analogy of this choice before the voter. If equated to moving vehicles, it could be bullock cart vs Rolls-Royce; in food, itís chana (lentils) vs caviar, in water, itís the gushing street pipe, where somebodyís stolen the tap vs Evian coming direct from the Alps. Being a creative person, allow me, my reader, to paint a 2014 election canvas without any bias between saffron versus tricolour. Their free-for-all includes words of legacy, authenticity, personal relations and quotations from history with right or wrong facts. The missing substance is who will do what for the electorateís development.
Saffron: Suddenly, hand gestures are going up, reminiscent of how Barack Obama would breeze into American electioneering with both hands waving. Indians habitually use the right hand, culturally considering the left hand not auspicious. Whether or not thereís regional nuance here, the saffron candidate has adeptly started the westernised left hand greeting cult. Why not? After all, urban Indians are heavily inspired by jeans and Maggi noodles, so why push back remembering Indian traditions instead of adopting the globalising new? Saffron may not get a western country visa, but huge western investment has entered Gujarat. FDIs are given every facility to flourish in business. Since Britain gifted us independence, this is the first time a state chief minister is canvassing so forcefully as his partyís PM designate by showcasing his stateís achievements. Identifying with the common man, heís declared he sold tea to passengers at his home railway station, and then repartees on fellow politiciansí jibes for saying so.
Tricolour: Thereís a huge treasure trove of nostalgia/memories here, great-great grandpa, great grandpa, grandma, father, mother as national leaders. Like the bubble gum effect, where you chew and mouth-mash, the real juice goes away, but the rubbery remnants can be stretched endlessly, or even blown up into airy balloons. The tricolour legacy can stretch way back to the pre-independence leader advocating satyagraha. When people not so conversant with history, that the tricolour dynasty shares the same surname as the Father of the Nation by sheer coincidence, see