PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: The nomination of candidates for the assembly elections has followed a set pattern, suggesting that our political parties and politicians are like stuck records—they play the same song again and again hoping no one will notice.
So, we hear of tickets being “sold” for crores, as usual. So, we hear of real-estate, mining and other lobbies gaining a stranglehold, as usual. So, we hear of vandalism and defection on being denied tickets, as usual. So, we hear of caste and religion playing a big role, as usual.
So, etcetera, as usual.
We have heard all this before, we will keep hearing them again.
But if there is one set of nominations (so far) that shines a neat mirror on the stagnating, even regressive (male) mindsets we are dealing with, it comes to us courtesy of the nominees the Congress has deployed to take on H.D. Deve Gowda‘s sons, H.D. Kumaraswamy and H.D. Revanna.
The grand old party has picked two women to take on the sons of the son of the soil. In Ramanagaram, Ramakrishna Hegde‘s daughter Mamata Nichani (right) will take on the former chief minister. And in Holenarsipur, G. Puttaswamy Gowda‘s daughter-in-law Anupama (left) will take on his elder brother.
By itself, the nomination of women by Sonia Gandhi‘s party would have been welcome. While the 33 per cent reservation drama goes on and on, a 100 per cent reservation for women in the star-constituencies is a gift-horse the other 50 per cent of the electorate will not look in the mouth.
But, this is less about women and more about the men behind them. As many Congress women have asked, especially about Mamata Nichani, are these two women—both related to powerful male politicians—the only women the Congress could find in a party that has been around for so long?
If that disease is easily diagnosed in a party where progenies are born not with a silver spoon in their mouths but with a Congress designation in their diapers, the obscurantist justification for putting up Mamata and Anupama takes your breath away, even if all is fair in love, war and elections.
If you decipher one newspaper report today, quoting sources close to that great statesman of our time D.K. Shiva Kumar, the decision to put up Mamata and Anupama is not a reflection of their political acumen or prowess but of their psychological impact on the “enemy”.
Apparently, the Congress bosses in the State consulted some astrologers who ruled that women were the Achilles‘ heel of the men of the Gowda kutumb.
Apparently, the Gowda family has been worshipping Lord Shiva, so the males have the blessings and protection of Rudra. But that power (of the Gowdas, presumably) wanes in front of women who are seen to be the epitome of Parvati. Hence, Mamata and Anupama.
Since Tejaswini Sriramesh had trounced Deve Gowda in the Kanakapura Lok Sabha constituency, the party decided that this was proof that women candidates like Mamata and Anupama would naturally put Kumaraswamy and Revanna on the back foot.
If Rahul Gandhi and his laptop-toting factotums can believe such retrograde, superstitious nonsense, from here to maata mantra of the B.S. Yediyurappa variety is just a click away.
(Or maybe Chennamma Deve Gowda, Anita Kumaraswamy and Bhavani Revanna know something the world doesn’t.)
Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy and Revanna have plenty to explain to the voters of the State—and to the country. The corruption in their (and their family’s) business dealings, the casteism and nepotism in their official appointments, their public and private conduct, their doublespeak, their backstabbing, etc.
Instead of countering all that, instead of seeking answers, all that the Congress can come up with are two goongi gudiyas puppeteered by ultra-slimeballs on some jyotishi‘s advice.
What a bloody shame.
Or is the Congress just preparing the ground for a tie-up with the Janata Dal (Secular) again by putting up dummies?
Photographs: Karnataka Photo News