It was the end of the beginning for the two grand political alliances. They were readying to cut and merrily appropriate to themselves the largest slice of the Mahacake
Both the alliances exhibited a unique combination; The eye-sight of a grand eagle, the swiftness of a hawk, the patience of a vulture and the walk of a prize peacock.
In the run-up to the finish they were more than ready to hunt collectively and devour individually ! Little did they realize that what they had gleefully imagined to be the end of the beginning was actually the beginning of the end
Two flash announcements had rung the death knell of over 40 political alliance-years
2 major alliances had suddenly become 4 not-so-major contenders to power. Worse, a 5th entity found a spot in all renewed calculations, confabulations and compulsions. All 5 political entities woke up to the cruel reality; on the eve of elections everything had changed and after the voting nothing might be the same
In a moment the all-powerful regional Satraps became like that famous humpty dumpty who sat on a wall …. humpty dumpty was awaiting an imminent fall ! The focus had shifted. The race was no longer to be the next-in-line to form the government but merely to emerge as the single largest party
Mahacake had become MahaTurkey. Butterknives made way for carving knives.
To ensure a moment of glory in a short lived electoral history almost every Brutus set out in search of his Caesar.
Leaders big & small, entrenched & imposed, affected & defected, zip-zapped from one electoral constituency to another out-performing, out-gunning and out-shouting the other.
Now, every vote mattered and to get that one vote a heady mix of truth, half-truth and lies was served to a susceptible but suspicious electorate via personal contact, road shows, mass media, social media and all other conceivable channels. Media too joined the jamboree.
If the politico Brutus’ were out in search of their Caesar, media was not too far behind in playing Shylock to the hilt. They were out to increase TRPs and as a consequence, advertisement time slots
The resultant decibel levels were deafening; incentives offered, overwhelming; overall effect, frightening
Fortunately, this time around, the voter is better-informed, thanks to some news channels, digital media, social media etc. Ironically, the less transparent the politician tries to be the more people can see through the antiques. In full public display were the politicians’ shades and colours, careers and compulsions, skeletons in cupboards and/or unaccountable accumulation of wealth
The voter is more likely to catch this political bird of prey with it beak open, feathers ruffled, wings flapping, speaking one way while looking the other and feet tapping.
The very same vane glorious leaders with the eye-sight of a grand eagles have become blind as bats; the swiftness of hawks looks like the flight of a overfed rooster; the patience of vultures is replaced with the nervous movements of crows and the walk of the prize peacocks has become the dance of the pigeons!