A friend of mine and I had an occasion recently to discuss the possibility of my standing for election to the Indian parliament. My friend was of the opinion that someone with my sense of humour should be able to bring some semblance of sanity to that hallowed institution. How hallowed it is can be seen from this video which is what triggered off the original idea of my contesting the election.
Lest my readers think that I have lost my marbles, let me assure them that I have not. I don’t belong there among those elected representatives from our great nation. Incidentally, the most violent of them come from the most violent part of our nation, still mired in poverty, ignorance and feudalism. I certainly do not belong there, nor can I ever hope to get elected from those parts. If I contest, it will be from a constituency that elects a different class of MPs.
The purpose of this post however is to take my readers into another dimension of our elections. Our contestants fight elections using election symbols.One of the biggest problems for many voters in India, where a large part of the population is still illiterate, is how to identify their chosen candidates on the ballots. The Election Commission, thus, has the laborious task of allocating separate election symbols for each party and the innumerable independent candidates.
So, in our discussions, my friend suggested that I shoud have a symbol that would clearly indicate that I was of a different caliber than the run of the mill, garden variety politico. We discussed a number of options and I finally suggested that it should be this.
Yes, a clown.
My friend, a very wise man felt that the election commission would not allow this to be allocated as it would be unfair to the regular politicos who all desperately try to project this image in their actions. I said that I should at least try and pointed out some other cases of impossible symbols being askded for by contestants and produced this one as an example. My friend strongly believes that it was a simple case of spelling mistake that has got blown out of proportion. He maintains that it was not an election symbol that was being sought but….
My friend is not hopeful. What do you think?