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Mainstream, VOL LV No 6 New Delhi January 28, 2017

The Great Poll Drama

Tuesday 31 January 2017

How does the poll drama unfold,
when it’s time to be at the hustings?
 
First, idealism, dug out, dusted,
put in a cover artfully printed,
is pledged to arouse cynical masses.
 
Then, slogans, banners, scripted afresh,
pitch attuned, visuals focussed on,
serve as a ploy to attract attention.
 
Promises galore are showered next;
they spring from an alluring text
for swing on caste and religious lines.
 
The campaign, peaking up, declines
into acrimony, mud-slinging;
masks falling off, nexus emerging.
 
Doubts hover, gripping the air.
Is anti-graft stir an issue that matters?
What will ultimately secure votes:
 
jingle of bottles, whirr of notes
or choice of voters, undeterred,
and the watchdog standing guard?

Ajit Kumar Das