Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Go on Das'ji

To be in Bihar and to not be part of any political activity is like living in the holy city of Ujjain and yet failing to take a dip in the Kshipra.

Voluntarily or involuntarily, as the election time approaches you find yourself being attracted to any of the many types of informal, formal political gatherings. Such meetings take place at every conceivable place. Outside home under a mango tree, in the road side teashop, in a temple and sometimes even outside a crematorium. If you have an opinion to share you will find an ear to listen.

Maheshwar Das who retired as deputy SP one months back now finds himself in the illuminated company of politicians who stay in our residential colony.

Dasji, my immediate neighbour is contesting as an MP from the well known Hajipur seat of Bihar. Hajipur is just 15 kms away from Patna and is currently represented by Union minister and Lok Jan Shakti party supremo, Ram Bilas Paswan.

Hajipur has been Paswan's citadel for years and he has created a record of winning that seat by a record margin in the previous election.

It is a reserved seat and my friendly Dasji is pitted against Paswan and Ramsundar Das who is representing (JD)(U).

Dasji a dalit, has started his political move on the right foot as he has managed to secure a BSP ticket. 5 years ago this would not have been significant news, but now with Maywati’s enhanced status it is something big if not spectacular.

Interestingly until he got his nomination, Dasji used to pat my pet German Shepard, Bela, by calling her Mayawati. but ever since he got the ticket everything is back to normal. Though Bela does occasionally misses the tag of being a 'dog' representing the oppressed mass.

Now I leave it upon the readers to apply their own sense of imagination as to what is the significant behind calling my revered Bela as Mayawati.

On the first day of his campaigning I too jumped in the cavalcade of his white Boloeros covered in marching elephants embedded on Blue flags ( representing BSP) as we rode towards Hajipur, the land of world famous small Bananas.

Earlier our former civil servant wanted to wear a black bundy ( jacket) over the traditional white kurta, but he was consented to change his mind by my father and he amended it for a more cooler brown one and we proceeded.

Cries of "Jahan hai Das-wahin hai Aas" filled the air as we crossed the majestic Gandhi Setu connecting Patna and Hajipur. Seating in the back seat I could clearly see the elation on Dasji 's face as he enjoyed every bit of attention that he was getting. Ahhh...the charm of being a leader.

We addressed two political gatherings on the first day and I was not surprised to see a sizable number of people everywhere we went. Probably it was the curiosity to know the unknown or it was the Mayawati effect or most probably the political atmosphere that drew the people out in the basking unforgiving sun.

People with folded hands with glitter and hope in those small eyes gathered around us and their love was reciprocated by folded hands and a bowed head. Dasji at his modest best.

I have heard and read about the concept of giant killers. An unknown-unheard candidates arises from nowhere and trounces a more powerful opponent. Whether I will witness the same in Hajipur will become clear in the third week of May, but if you ask that whether I want to witness another instance of giant killing then my honest reply will be, yes...why not!!!

Go on Dasji...

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