My morning walks in the BTM layout joggers park have been uneventful over the past five years. Five rounds of the park was all it took to rejuvenate me and unlike other parks where you tend to have over friendly joggers come up and start asking questions about yourself, it’s each one for himself/herself here. Besides the usual walking crowd the most that you could have in terms of outsiders was a van selling homoeopathic products and services and the ‘health’ juice guy. Throw in a couple of coconut sellers and the picture was complete. That is until this morning.
At around a quarter to seven, a huge Pajero followed by a Maruti Omni turn up in the park and out tumble a bunch of ladies and young girls. Now this was quite a site. Being a conservative family-oriented neighbourhood, this sudden change was met with wide eyes and you could say popping eyes as the fairer sex that tumbled out of these vehicles happened to be really fair and good looking, with model-like attributes.
I kept walking trying to be as discreet as I sneaked a peek at this bunch. As I completed my third round out popped a hand with a flyer that showcased Capt. Gopinath, the independent candidate for Bangalore South. So that’s it, these were the campaigners for India’s low cost aviation pioneer. The simple flyer asked us to vote for communal harmony and progress and had the guys email ID and website address.
While visually striking I don’t think this campaign will cut ice with a lot of the electorate in Bangalore South. Reasons –
- This constituency has a large conservative and old Bangalore community. Any sign of modernity is looked upon with suspicion even by the so-called progressive classes.
- While the idea of having young, beautiful girls is not bad when you consider that BTM layout has a huge chunk of young people living here, most of these youngsters are from out of the state and wouldn’t even be registered here.
- The have-nots in the constituency (and there are a lot of them) would consider it a visual spectacle, somewhat like a K-Jo movie, far removed from ground reality.
- As far as I know, from newspapers and the media, Gopinaths campaign has not followed inclusive politics. He surrounds himself with highly educated, page 3 types and the odd token poor guy, who actually looks like a token character in the gang. Again this is not gonna cut ice with the crowd.
- You need at least a few street smart guys around you when you campaign. A balance of street smartness and refinement could go a long way in being accepted. Actually, what the hell, be realistic, you need rowdies to help you sell in politics.
- Too many rumours are floating around of this candidate being propped up to fulfil the whims of a political master. Definitely would hamper his chances.
This is my take on this particular campaign. My feeling is that too many independents around are going to screw this election up. The two party system in US, where there is a clear winner works best for me. Hold on, that doesn’t mean I like their complete election process. Who can forget the 2000 US elections and Florida?
So that’s my take. Pardon my tastes, but I prefer the rustic neta to the highly polished superficial ones, especially when considering the fact that these elite guys are in it only when someone pinches their ass.
BTW Prasad Bidapa campaigning in Bangalore South. There’s gonna be a lot of swish swish sarong swaying (yeah, the guy calls a mundu a sarong), air-kissing going to happen… ha.