DailyPost 1881

If we try to find out what the Indian politicians cannot do without, public meetings would take the center piece. Close on the heels we would have yatras, a couple of the famed ones have changed the trajectory of Indian politics. The same on a smaller scale could be termed as road shows. Suffice to say, the physical contact with the people, they feel. is the most important political skill, they need to develop and more often than not, they live their whole career only on this solo skill. Public meetings, Yatras and Road Shows are three political items, which have their ecosystems, and their own processes to reach out to people. These supposedly tell you the mood of the people and they have within themselves the road to electoral victory.

No law has defined these items served regularly on the political platter, nor is there any compulsion for every political party to indulge in these. In reality these have become the lingua franca of political expression, both within the party, across parties or to the constituents at large. What sells is what is sold and this is a perfect example of that mindset and temperament. Why should you get into something when there is a well proven vehicle and an ecosystem to support the often trodden political journey? Political system does not believe in any innovation, creativity is their enemy, and anything that makes sense  has the capability to deliver political gains.

Politics is the act of affiliation and more so personal and that is the reason why such affiliations fructify in low hanging fruits and to long standing innings. This also decides the clique to which you belong, the stronger your close followers, the stronger you are and vice versa. And finally the calculation as to which political party would deliver better dividends. These affiliations have to be blatantly displayed at these political functions, so that slowly you gain limelight and you start having some standing of your own. These events do provide you with the opportunity to display “organizational skills”, your capability to gather a crowd and also the muscle power that you command in your geographical area, community and the like.

Besides, the muscle power, the money power can also be gauged via these big events. Political events, I presume, don’t happen with formal party approvals, budgetary allocations, and following the party financial code. So, it is a free for all story, the way these events are managed, financially can be called as death knell or final nemesis of financial accountability and propriety. With these events are added many complementary and supplementary items during elections; like managing regular convoys, organising large scale free food, booth management, dispensing of money, liquor etc. The welcome provided to a leader shows the power of the leader, the style in which you submit your  nomination papers and lots of other nuances added in the election scenario. Technology is still a long way off, to do away with these political bonanzas, conversely, it is consolidating it.


Sanjay Sahay

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