Rediff Navigator News


Capital Buzz

The Rediff Interview


The Rediff Poll


Crystal Ball

Click Here

The Rediff Special



Miscellanea / A Ganesh Nadar

'Here he comes with folded hands, the friend of the poor, the friend of the labourers...'

October 4, 1996

Canvassing had reached a high pitch. As predicted by a knowledgeable villager a fortnight back the candidates had become vociferous and abusive.

Ganesh and his supporters were canvassing in North Nalumavadi when they came face to face with Murugesan and his supporters. "Nuisance," said Murugesan loudly. Edward, one of his supporters, said, "Why can't you go to the next street? You can come here later." Ganesh didn't bother to reply. He restrained Veeravel and went on his way.

A few people in South Nalumavadi accosted Murugesan. "You are already the correspondent of our school, why do you want to be panchayat president now?" "If I win the election I'll resign the school post and one of you can be the correspondent," he assured them. This single promise added 50 votes to his credit.

If an election could be won by sticking posters - Prabhakaran, the ex-president, would definitely win. Every wall. Every nook and corner had Prabhakaran staring at you with total sincerity. He had already visited each household four times since the start of the campaign.

Prabhakaran knocked on Ganesh's door. Ganesh wasn't there, his wife was. "Please vote for me." "Okay!" said Bhavani. "I have a lot of people canvassing for me but nobody to canvass on the phone," said Prabhakaran. Bhavani laughed. Earlier in the day while she was on the telephone talking to one of Prabhakaran's supporters - she had told him to vote for her hubby.

It was 5.30 pm. Ganesh was sitting in Rajarathinam's mill and grumbling "See the number of posters, see the writing on the wall, see the number of cars they are using." "Why don't you stop cribbing? You have already met every voter once, now we'll meet them in style, they won't forget you, I assure you," Rajarathinam said.

Ganesh was the first candidate to use a propaganda van. The van was adorned with banners highlighting Ganesh's symbol - the lighthouse. The van was well lit -- it had tube lights and two powerful focus lights. It constantly played old MGR songs. Every now and then the music would stop and a voice would announce, "Here he comes with folded hands, the friend of the poor, the friend of the labourers..."

The van was followed by a Contessa Classic, then a Tata Sumo and then an Ambassador.

The cars stopped right in the centre of the New Village Street.

The villagers had placed a few chairs for Rajarathinam, Ganesh and the others. Rajarathinam was well known to the villagers. Ganesh was not. Rajarathinam introduced him. A villager garlanded Rajarathinam and then Ganesh. A lady came with a plate on which she had put kumkum ( a red powder that some Hindus put on their forehead) and camphor. She lit the camphor and performed an aartibefore Rajarathinam. He put a Rs 100 on the plate. She repeated the process for Ganesh. He put Rs 20 on the plate. Then the procession went from house to house.

Many ladies came forward to perform aarti and went away with Rs 100 notes. On the next street the response with equally overwhelming. Again they were garlanded.

At 9.30 pm they were in Thirumalapuram. They decided to call it a day as most of the villagers were asleep.


Home | News | Business | Sport | Movies | Chat
Travel | Planet X | Kidz | Freedom | Computers

Copyright 1996 Rediff On The Net
All rights reserved