Its election time and its the only time the voters (are made to)feel like king. Its the time the politicians come back to earth after a 5 year trip to Mars. The folded hands, smiling faces, hollow
speeches all make their customary appearances. The silent brick walls have to bear with the ultimate shame of carrying some filthy politicians posters. Open jeeps make an appearance too with the neta holding the ear shattering mic. If the mic doesn't work properly, you can see the neta slapping the party worker standing beside him, as happened last week during Captain Vijaykanth's election rally. If you are unlucky enough, the shameless soul will surely land up at your doorstep for some small talk and a request for votes thrown in between. And then there's the usual distribution of money, sarees, tv, rice etc. Above all there is the dirty game of attracting voters using policies and manifestos aimed at appeasing certain communities. All the parties compete with each other in this regard.
The first such case is the announcement from the HRD ministry some weeks back that Madrasa education will be equivalent to CBSE education. Also, the Government came up with pension plans for Madrasa teachers. Barring a few well managed madrasas, a majority of them are ultra orthodox stoneageic institutions which impart only religious teachings. Science and maths are unheard in most of these institutions. Coupled with that is the proven cases of 'terrorism classes' being conducted in these elite institutions. After the recent spurt in terrorist activities, there were recommendations to keep an eye on what's happening in the Madrasas. And India's one and only truely secular minister Arjun Singh decided to do something on this. What better way to do it than continue in the same vein as his brilliant quota policy. If you thought only the congress does such things, think again. Yesterday, the left Government in West Bengal allocated more than 500 crores for the upgradation of madrasas in the state, a clear move to win some support from the minority communities. And, all this money is given by sacrificing the allocation for higher education. By equating madrasa education and CBSE education, Govt aims to bring the madrasa students to the mainstream. But isn't this a segregation of a different kind? Also, what significance does religious education has in the context of the nation? Are there any more such plans, for example replacing IAS with IRS, the Indian Religious Service and CVS, the Communal Violence Service?
No discussion on voter appeasement is complete these days without a mention of the honourable Varun Gandhi. He seems to think more on the lines of Hitler than the man in his second name. Hate speeches, a speciality of Hitler is adopted with all sincerity by the latest useless scion from the Gandhi family. He strayed into Aghoric territory when he talked of cutting the hands of members of certain communities. Such immature and highly unpardonable comments could've been dismissed as the ramblings of a demented guy. But, the BJP had other ideas. It played a clever game using him. Infact, it all looks like a drama carefully planned by some talented script writers in the party itself. After that farcical arrest drama, he's given the stature of a hero and above all a young national leader of the party. If all that is not enough, you have the party's manifesto which rekindles the old Ayodhya temple issue.
PS-Amidst all this was the funny shoe throwing incident by Dainik Jagran journalist Jarnail Singh at finance minister PC Chidambaram. It was almost similar to Muntazer al-Zaidi's attack on Bush last year. Jagdish Tytler, the Congress leader accused in the 1984 anti-sikh riots now walks free after being given a clean chit. And added to that is the election ticket being given to him. And when Jarnail raised a question on that regard, Chidambaram deftly got out from it. The rest, as they say, is history. I really wish Tytler was there to receive the shoe on his face.
Pic courtesy-IBN Live
your crusader Praveen