Two For The Price Of One
The recent Karnataka elections were certainly the most keenly fought and high-profile elections of the country in recent years. There were many interesting and amusing episodes. However one that takes the cream was the sportsman like spirit taken by two of the nation’s political bosses, L K Advani and Manmohan Singh.
Due to mix-ups by their campaign managers, both had been scheduled to address public meetings in Hubli in the same constituency on the same date. The only suitable venue was the Nehru Stadium, and neither wanted a change of plans. The ground-level officials and politicians were at their wits end. Neither side was willing to change its plans as it involved the head honchos.
In an unusual camaraderie, the BJP grand patriarch took it on himself and spoke to the PM. It was agreed that both of them would hold the respective programmes within a gap of a few hours. The PM addressed the crowds at 10.30 AM and then there was a swift makeover whereby every flag, banner, festoon, and pennant were removed from the site.
The BJP paraphernalia was then put up and Advani addressed the people at 6 PM. Everything had been changed, expect for a large portion of the crowd, who had remained back for the bonus of hearing two stalwarts. Another good lesson in Indian democracy!
The Crown Of Thorns
Odisha’s newly appointed BJP Chief K V Singhdeo is having hard time in setting up house with his new team. It seems that the ghosts of the past are still haunting the state unit of the party and they will just not go away.
Singhdeo’s appointment had brought a ray of hope in the faction-ridden party; however, it seems that the old stalwarts like Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram are scuttling whatever little chances there are for reviving the fortunes. Each senior leader wants his pound of flesh. The lessons of the last elections have not been learnt.
At the recently staged dharna against corruption at the centre that was held in the Capital, the poor show was an outcome of the rifts. The party is carrying a lot of deadwood which needs to be jettisoned, but the big question is: “who will bell the cat”? The state goes to the polls along with the Lok Sabha elections, and battle readiness is required. The party and Singhdeo both made it clear that there shall be no truck with the BJD, but it waits to be seen what the high command decides. How Maharaja manages his flock will determine the fate of the party in the coming local bodies elections that will happen soon.
Ole Ole For Saffron Matadors
Bull fighting in Goa was banned by a Supreme Court order in 1993. Owing to the brutality involved in the sport, a blanket ban was imposed and strict implementation saw the sport dying out in the state.
Locally called ‘dhiro’, the age-old sports involved two specially bred bulls who head butted each other for hours until one gave up and slunk away. The sport was often held in dried-up fields after the harvests, and was witnessed by thousands.
BJP MLA Vishnu Wagh has called for a revival of the traditional sport, as a recent Supreme Court order allowed fights between animals, provided none of them is injured. He suggested that the bulls be dehorned before the fight so as not to get bloody injuries.
Even after the ban, ‘dhiro’ is going on unabated in neighbouring Maharashtra where policing is not strict. The MLA also said that it would be a good source of income for the government and could be seen from a tourism perspective too.