The Man from Madras Musings assumed that he was reading a report on general elections, or to be precise, State Assembly polls. The essential ingredients were all there – two groups, charges, counter charges, promise of reforms and a thorough enquiry into deals entered into by the group currently in power, police security, tension caused by supporters and an inordinate amount of media attention. It was therefore something of an anticlimax when MMM realised that it had to with an actors’ guild in our city. Of course, with a film career being but a stepping-stone to the corridors of power in our State (at least that is what most think, though very few have actually made it), this was only to be expected.
Came the day of the polls and almost every newspaper and TV channel worth its salt was covering the event live. Anyone would have thought that the outcome would have an enormous impact on the world political situation. A school in the Mylapore area was almost made into a fortress with battalions of police mounting vigil and chasing away curious onlookers. Busloads of supporters from the mofussil added colour with their sloganeering. The only element that was absent was our celebrities coming away from the polling station with their finger raised, the index digit that is, with an ink marking on it. Given the drama, they may as well have added that element.
At the heart of the whole strife is, as is to be expected in our city, a goodish bit of real estate, in the heart of Traffic/Tangled/Trade/Terrible/T’ Nagar. One group, represented by he who rejoices in the name of Autumn Son, has apparently struck a deal with some theatre conglomerate to develop the place into a multiplex so that films can be screened. It is the logic of this lot that the money that will so come in will help the actors’ guild in supporting the needy members on its rolls. The other group, led by Broad or Large, is not in agreement and claims that the whole agreement is murky. They promised to rescind the contract if elected. Ultimately the latter group won only to find Autumn Son declaring that he had himself cancelled the agreement earlier. It was almost as though the winning group had won the battle only to find that there was nothing to win over. But MMM confidently expects further fireworks with much histrionics and melodrama.
What everyone forgot was that the land in question is in the heart of a residential area. MMM shudders at the plight of the neighbours if such a proposal were to go through. Where would the cars be parked? How would homes handle the consequences of loss of privacy owing to the sudden coming up of a commercial theatre complex in their midst? But then that is clearly not the worry of any one of the people fighting this Tweedledum Tweedledee battle.