Politics over Diwali
Political parties began their war to lure the voters for the BMC election by placing lamps.
In 2011, during the Diwali festival, the ‘Saffron party’ – Shiv Sena party and the ‘Marathi Manus party’ – Maharashtra Navnirman Sena party played Politics over Diwali. They began their war to lure the voters as the BMC election was about to occur within three months. Both these parties had placed their lamps all around Mumbai, wishing everyone a Very Happy Diwali.
Speaking about the Shiv Sena Party, they had placed an orange coloured lamp with their respective Branch Head person’s name printed on it, whereas, on the other hand, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had placed a bigger, multicoloured lamp with Rajasaheb Thackeray’s name printed on it. All the lamps of both the respective political parties had got their party logo printed on it.
When I noticed the lamps placed by both these political parties on every corner on the streets of Mumbai, I wondered how much have had been spent on these lamps by both these political parties. Out of curiosity, to understand the politics over Diwali, I asked, Tushar Wadekar, a 26 year-old hawker who was selling the lamps on the streets of Dadar that what would be the cost of each of these lamps that were placed on the streets on Mumbai by both of these political parties? He said “Since the Shiv Sena party’s lamp is smaller compared to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena party’s lamp, it might have cost the Shiv Sena approximate Rs. 5000 per lamp, whereas, on the other hand, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena party’s lamps would have had cost them Rs.1000 more than the Shiv Sena party.” It seemed like a huge amount of money had been spent on the individual lamps to attract voters. Instead of spending so much money on the individual lamps, they could have had used it for a better purpose.
Hours later, I wanted to know what the common people think about this entire issue on Politics over Diwali. I decided to walk on the streets of Mumbai and ask some random people about the Politics over Diwali. I asked few random people on whether these two political parties are trying to lure the voters for BMC Elections. Majority of the people had noticed the lamps which were placed by both the political parties but they never thought about it as a political ideology. They thought that both the parties are trying to lighten the streets with their lamps because of the Diwali festival. On the other hand, very few people who hold their interest in Politics thought about the political agenda that both these parties have had been carrying a political agenda by placing the lamps all over the streets of Mumbai. Sumit Roy, 19-year-old student at K.P.B. Hinduja College said “Yes, they are trying to attract voters as winning the BMC elections is important for them. If they win the election, they tend to gain control over Mumbai and emerge as a power in the next Vidhaan Sabha elections.” I was shocked the way this guy had connected the importance of winning the BMC elections with the Vidhaan Sabha elections. In addition, Nakita Vadassery- a resident of Andheri said, “Both these political parties want to win and gain people’s sympathy. Both are using different strategy to gain maximum votes for their party for the upcoming BMC elections.”
The strategy used by both the political parties over the Diwali to win the BMC elections was unnoticed by the majority of the common masses. This showed how easy it is for the political parties to deceive the common masses or how dim-witted people are to understand the political agenda of both these parties.
Ruchi Nandu- T.Y.BMM