And so another year has ended, yielding place to new and the political class fulfils itself in many ways. The Man from Madras Musings has a number of resolutions for himself in the new year (the completion of the Chief’s assignments on time being among the first) but he also wishes that the politicos would make some resolutions, including one to that will keep the city’s pavements free of banners hailing various leaders in, it must be admitted, alliterative language but at the same time most of it qualifying to be purple prose.
As to what the reasons are for the recent explosion of banners MMM does not know, but he assumes that they are all in view of the elections looming large. If MMM is not mistaken, there is a High Court judgement against these, but then those are rarely ever implemented are they? What has therefore resulted is a rash of banners all along routes that certain VIPs in our city take when they do such mundane things as going to office, or take a flight out or return home after a short visit somewhere. MMM will not be surprised if these people have banners and posters put up even within their homes, en route from say, bedroom to kitchen or the area where they perform what are known as ablutions.
And so we are in a strange situation – the Corporation keeps building pavements, and, to give it some credit, has been reclaiming certain lost ones as well, only to have the political parties aggrandise all of them and for the sole purpose of erecting banners. Some of these have also been put up inside private properties, ostensibly with the permission of the owners. MMM spoke to at least a couple who said they protested but were informed that in case they continued resisting, they would soon see banners put up about themselves, lauding their heroism in the past tense and their pictures in the middle of two weeping eyes. Seeing the present quite tense, these people gave in, all in the interests of surviving into the future.
Someone else called MMM and asked him if he knew the whereabouts of an activist who made his name trying to regulate traffic on the streets. MMM did not know that plucky old man but he did wish others, including himself, had the same fighting spirit. He also wished that the administration displayed a greater degree of spine. After all, these were roads down which police officers, bureaucrats, the judiciary and others also travelled to and from office. Surely they would have noticed something wrong with such practices. But then not everyone relishes the idea of standing up and then being transferred to the archives or museum departments do they?
MMM would like to point out the positive side. The casuarina tree felling industry is doing well, the trucking industry that ferries these to and fro is also flourishing. So are the thugs who come and erect the banners at various places. The digital banner printing industry is booming. Ghost-writers and poets who come up with the eulogies are also now inching up the income tax slabs. Pavement work now continues unabated. Times are good for some people after all.