Understanding some electoral catchphrases with a two-year-old
Shantanu Datta | March 14, 2014
Let's analyse the elections, I told Tuki. Yeah, let's analazyzize, she shot back, pumping her fist in the 'cholbe na cholbe na' fashion that is so unfashionable these days. So we decided to do what we are best at: we began analysing, complete with a bowl and scowl – a bowl of potato chips to give us that gravitas of analysing and decoding couch potatoes and a scowl on the respective foreheads to give us the gravity and brevity of a real-time analyser.
But ouch, there’s no couch in the room that has the TV, and no TV to slouch on in the room that has the aforementioned couch. So we dumped our analysing selves on the bed and began our job to save the nation. “In short,” I told Tuki, wearing my scowl and growl on the long sleeves of my shirt worn under the short-sleeved sweater, “we are checking out the dance of Indian democracy.”
“Right. In short,” Tuki told me, wearing her scowl and stifling her howl since the bowl lay empty before her (I had by then finished off all the chips) on the long sleeves of her sweater worn over the short-sleeved tee, “we are checking out the dance of democrazy.”
See Tuki, it’s c; not zee, I emphasised. Wrong, it’s NDTvee, not Zee, she emphasised right back to me.
Okay, let’s not analyse too much of each other’s nouns, pronouns, pronunciations and denunciations. We are analysis therapists, not speech therapists, I said, setting the agenda.
Right, she said.
Spoiler. Now that’s one word we needed to analyse, I said. Everyone seems to be using it.
What is a spoiler, Tuki asked.
You, for instance, I meant to say, but I did not.
A spoiler, they mean, is someone who might spoil the chances of others with his/her microscopically significant but holistically insignificant presence in a seat. She/he might not win enough votes numerically but will win enough votes arithmetically to spoil the chances of the winning candidate.
So no one wins in that case? Match drawn, Tuki asks.
Of course not. Someone has to win, but the winning one does not win.
Right, but how do we know who is the winning one unless the game is over, Tuki asked.
Well, we believe the candidate who should have won should win, and not someone who eventually wins has won because everyone ganged up against him/her.
So who’s the spoiler? Will there be one spoiler or multiple spoilers or everyone but the should-have-won-but-did-not-win candidate is a spoiler, she asked.
No, there is one spoiler who creates multiple effects. Ahem, I mean the spoiler has foiled the chances of the winner, I said, trying to sound authoritative.
But the winner did not win, she replied incredulously, which means the winner is not a winner.
But the winner would have won had this spoiler not spoiled his/her chances, I said, exasperated by now.
So analysts mean everyone but the candidate who should win should sit out and let the winner win on his/her own, she asked. Is that dance of democrazy?
See, Tuki, C. C C C C. DemocraCy. And let’s analyse some more to get to the bottom of the dance step, and separate the chaff from the wheat – or hip-hop from huff-huff.
(All dialogue in this column, except the proper nouns, are imaginary.)
The work on Sunder Nursery, a lush green refuge from urban chaos in central Delhi, started in 2007, when the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) undertook a conservation and renewal proje
Twenty-six-year-old Surender is a ferryman in Varanasi. Surender and his family own three boats and their livelihood is dependent on taking tourists on a joyride on the Ganga. Recalling the time when he used to ride a boat with his grandfather, Surender says, “At that time Ganga water was so
The storm is yet to die out over the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited`s (MMRC) taking over 30 hectares of the famed Aarey colony, a green belt of mumbai, when another application has come in from MMRC demanding another 12,000 sq metres of land. The colony in Goregaon, inaugurated in 195
For years we had a tradition in Mumbai, particularly for all the trunk roads, to be avenues (boulevards). Though we continue to have trees in some parts of Mumbai, the fact is that we appear to have given up on this. Having trees and plants on streets and roads not only provides shade but also absorbs poll
As media reports spoke of ATMs across the country going dry, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the government even as the finance ministry reviewed the situation and blamed it on “unusual demand for cash”. “Desh ke ATM sab phir se khali, Benkon ki haalat kya kar da
Gandhi was, as usual, busy on several fronts in April 1918. The previous year had witnessed his frst major satyagraha after returning to India, in Champaran. The previous month had witnessed his frst major political campaign in the chosen hometown of Ahmedabad, intervening in the mill-workers strike. B