In politics, 'Independent' means 'Positioning'

'Some cynicism is in order, but, net-net, methinks we should wipe the smirk off our gobs, and take note of these comets with the glitzy tails. Urbane independents have usually been misfits, but it could be different this time. Not because the likes of Meera Sanyal, Capt Gopinath or the ophthalmologist Mona Shah, who is also eyeing Mumbai South, are different but because the times manifestly are. Even if they lose their deposits, they will have deposited a new, non-ignorable agenda on political consciousness...

What Ms Sanyal, Dr Shah and Capt Gopinath represent is the new assertiveness of the urban middle class. This is no longer the faceless, voiceless, spineless nonentity of Indian polity. Its members have found all their hitherto missing body parts for reasons bad, but also good: economic liberalism, urban ascendancy, knowledge power and the go-getter service sector. Naturally they wouldn't be seen dead in some sloppy, one-size-fits-all political outfit. Now they have their custom-tailored candidate.'

Really, Ms. Karkaria? They represent the 'assertiveness of the new urban middle class'? Or are they brilliant marketers from the 'prosperous class' who have spotted a 'white space' they can fill? A white space that's glaringly evident, the middle class' disenchantment and all.

The idea behind being an 'independent' candidate has everything to do with a marketing concept called 'positioning'. It about creating an identity that's stays a million miles clear of the default taint that an association with any political party brings. After all, isn't the citizenry pretty upset at the political class? Never mind, we voted them in. Never mind, the fractured mandate that's always turned in reflects our collective belief that 'our' kind is what can save us and fulfill our aspirations. When I say our kind, please ensure that you've got caste, religious and ethnic equations firmly entrenched in your mind, because that's what I am talking about.

Surely, its interesting to see the likes of people mentioned by Ms. Karkaria making a foray into politics. That they care about the people, and that's why they are in, sounds a bit far fetched. After all, service isn't the motto in any activity where the player tries to maximise his payoff. But surely I am willing to make an exception this time. I sincerely hope post elections they don't get the smirk back on my face. That's if they win.


darkmuse said…
So what? there half of the imports - any garbage, by approximately the value of the exported paper.

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