Election Time

The civic elections are taking place in Pune right now. It’s a big deal. Political rallies are taking place all over the city and Tadiwala Road is no exception. You can’t go two minutes without seeing (or hearing) an autorickshaw kitted out with loudspeakers, blaring out pre-recorded campaign slogans or giving a mobile platform for one party or other.

Shakuntala – one of the DISHA team – is standing as a candidate. I hope she wins. Her compaign HQ is set up just outside my building. Perhaps if she’s successful we can arrange an Evita-style reception from my balcony…

Many of the rallies pass along the path outside my flat. Of course, as soon as they see Shaku’s HQ they up the volume. This gets a little trying after a while.

All this excitement will continue until 1st February, when the voters go to the polls. Afterwards there’ll be a few celebrations, and then perhaps things will get back to normal. And believe me, ‘normal’ is still pretty interesting around here.

I was in Mumbai over the weekend and they’ve taken the dramatic step of banning liquor sales during the election period to try and cut campaign-related trouble. A newspaper report I read on Saturday quoted an anonymous political leader saying they’d prepared for this by stocking up on booze in advance in order to keep party workers going during the gruelling campaign. I wonder if they’ll win.

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