Today’s newspaper carried two news items of significance.
One was the chaos, a political party’s election jamboree which attracted over 200,000 sons of the soil from different parts of the state, caused. These sons of the soil were ferried to the venue located in central Bangalore in every available forms of transport, mostly hired busses and trucks. A small percentage came on their own out of love for their political leaders. For most it was a sort of all found holiday of sorts. The vehicles they came in were parked anyhow and everywhere. There was absolute anarchy on the roads of Bangalore and for many it was a nightmarish experience. School children were stuck on the roads without food, water, toilet facilities for over 8 hours and many had to walk back home. Naturally many complained. The leader of these sons of the soil party has this to say by the way of response. ‘Those who complain for this one day’s inconvenience are those who don’t go and vote and the children of these non voters suffered for one day, whereas the sons of the soil who came are the ones who vote and their children have to walk many kilometers daily to the school!’ You can surmise what is in store when the leaders of these sons of the soil come to power. They will make all the children of these non voters walk to the school, several kilometers every day!
The second was a huge half page advertisement with a huge photograph to remind us of another great leader who is no more. It is her birthday to day. I remember this great leader very well. Most of my active life was spent when this great leader was in power. During this period of her rule I saw the worst kind of poverty, indiscipline and corruption in my country. We are still one of the most corrupt countries in the world thanks partly to this great leader. Yesterday’s rally reminded me of the great leader’s days when New Delhi used to witness such rallies almost daily. I dread to think of the return of such leadership which appears very possible.