DailyPost 1971

Bharat is the uncovered part of India, out of limelight, from media or corridors of power, from education to research, from stock market to conferencing and seminars. We never hear or see of them, until something unusual happens, a road or rail accident, some VIP visit or a major crime, these are both high points or low points of their existence. The normal, usual, conventional administration takes care of them or an uncanny equilibrium is maintained. The local leaders traverse the area and leaders from the state capital happen to come on one of those odd occasions. The administration is at their beck and call. Opportunities don’t come to them, they have to look for opportunities, wherever they can find in this country, however perilous it can be.

Outside of a few big cities India does seem to exist. This can be called the Bharat part of India. All the razzmatazz from big bang fashion shows to the dazzle of start-ups don’t mean much. Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat will still take half a century to reach there. The areas under the throes of Naxalism and other such movements get into a geography even beyond this Bharat. Their existence is between the government forces and the naxals. They are rain shadows for both governance and the media.  The pace of development is undeniably a matter of major concern. In Baster area in Chhattisgarh, one can safely say that democracy makes its much awaited visit during the elections, one for the assembly and second time for the Lok Sabha.

Come elections and see how they all descend on Bharat. The large part of geography and population, whose only job is to run behind government servants of all hues and colors and elected representatives of all varieties; past, present and future. Come elections, they find the rulers vying to rub shoulders with the naïve and simple dweller of Bharat. Uninvited he might also enter your house, in a manner best of relatives and friends would have never behaved. You all of sudden become the center of attraction, and the media blitzkrieg starts targeting you. The new age YouTube channels to the established electronic media giants will land in your territory as per the election schedule. As if there is nothing report in the large part of this country in normal times, but for calamities and tragedies and endlessly during elections.

The normal administrative machine transforms into an election juggernaut, and with it the election paraphernalia is strewn all around to conduct elections, courtesy Election Commission of India, the Bharatvasi would get a feeling that he has finally arrived. That has never happened and it does seem to be happening in the foreseeable future. This is what we can call in Hindi, Mithya. The bigger leaders do helicopter hopping from one public meeting to the other, the lesser ones manage by road, but none would stay with you, in your humble abode, hutment or village. The evenings have to happen in the comfort of their hotels, guesthouses, homes, or any nice and comfortable place to stay. The media has its own style for staying and to interact and find out the mood and pulse of the people. Is there any pulse in the first place? The modes of transport of the descending folks also explains it all, air conditioned and dust free.


Sanjay Sahay

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