With the emergence of Jhaadu (Broom) in the wake of this election-season, “party symbols” are now much more than just a way to open the doors of voting for illiterates. Hardly the Big-two (the BJP and the Congress), until Delhi Assembly Elections, had any idea about what a broom could do except sweeping the dirt out of a household.
There were more than 80 symbols that were unclaimed when AAP party decided to go with a “Broom”. How thoughtful! A common-man would have hardly taken a minute before associating himself with a Jhaadu, and I don’t think I have to explain what importance a Jhaadu has in the life of a common-women.
Did the BJP or the Congress contemplate before choosing their symbols? I don’t think so.
The BJP is identified with “Lotus”. Where does a lotus grow? Yes, in the mud. Is the BJP trying to say that India is a mud where the Lotus (read BJP) blooms? Despite an aesthetic facet of this symbol, I do not appreciate it.
The Congress is no different. What best can a stretched erected palm signify? Stop. What really Congress strives to stop? Is it economic prosperity, or GDP growth, or employment, or simply a speeding truck on a busy Indian road? And the worst part is, presence of this very symbol along with ‘Indian National Congress’ on Electronic Voting Machines may persuade voters to STOP and think twice before pressing the blue button juxtaposing the name of the party.
Talking about other players of regional importance, Mulayam Singh Yadav boasts his conventional “bicycle”. While this symbol can amuse a few environmentalists, it can tick-off the new aspiring middle-class of Indian society for which “class” means nothing less than a “car” as long as it is not “Nano”.
Taking a lesson or two from this episode, any new party, planning to contest the election, should think hard before choosing its party-symbol. I am listing a few of these with their possible meaning. Feel free to lift any; these are approved by Election Commission of India.
In a country, obsessed with cricket, nothing could be better than having Batsman as party-symbol. Fortunately, the IPL will have started by the time the election starts and thus every batsman will influence party’s potential voters and that too for free.
Now this seems weird but a potent symbol nevertheless. Since the idea of women empowerment gaining steam, this party symbol could cash in on this opportunity. However, women are better identified with a saree or a salwar-suit but in the absence of these in the list of allowed party symbols, frock will serve the purpose equally well (A party can also use “Lady Purse”, which is also available as free symbol, if the idea of “Frock” is not going down well).
Indians use coconut on auspicious days, usually to mark a new beginning. We buy a new home, we break a coconut. We buy a new scooter, we break a coconut. In majority of Pujas, we break many coconuts. Going a little further, in a temple, located in south, priests break coconut on the head of blessing-seekers.
This kind of emotional attachment to the coconut renders it impossible for the people to ignore it on the EVM.
This is a direct passage to the hearts of rural India, which has a big role to play in these Lok Sabha elections. Sitting on this cot, a Sarpanch solves even most sensitive of the cases within minutes. Sitting on this cot, a rural woman can spend hours gossiping everyone’s life but theirs. This cot, for years, has been serving as a hospital bed in those villages where medical facilities are squalid. If a party looking for soliciting support of rural people, a cot can be its best bet.