Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Capt. Gopinath

I find door-to-door campaigning irritating. I hate the whole scam; the fake modesty, the circle of cronies, the paper handouts, those jingoistic promises, the khadi, and not least the look on the candidate that says "Look at me! I'm gracious enough to leave my crown at home". What irritates me most is that the candidates I have to choose from don't come close to representing me on any one of the issues that I care about.

Last evening, however, Capt. Gopinath dropped into our office like a waft of fresh air. He addressed us for an hour and narrated his progression from a serviceman to farmer to businessman and now to a politician. He had some fascinating stories to tell us. He gave us a fleeting glimpse of his beliefs too. I disagreed with him often. When he referred to India as a nation of "one billion consumers", I cringed and realized how far left I've ended up in my ideology. I cringed again when he referred to how we was inspired by China's model of development. In his defense, he quickly clarified that he does not condone the curbs on liberties. But mostly I agreed with him. That's not the point though. The encouraging bit was that throughout the hour he spoke my language.

It's a pity that he is not in my constituency. My instincts tell me he's going to lose in Bangalore South. That might still be the start of something.
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