Symbols and Congress’ Sycophancy

If Lotus Ponds in Madhya Praesh, which are income source of families in 40 constituencies there, should be covered for lotus being BJP’s party symbol; we should cover our hands for that is the symbol for Congress.

Symbols hold special place in active political arena. Be it French Revolution or India’s struggle for independence, symbols have always been helpful in serving the purpose. Pictorial representation of ideas has been a stronger medium to mobilise people than words sometimes.

The assertion of a particular class or act is done through symbols. They are mark of identification and reflection of similar though process. The Election Commission of India too presents a symbol to a political party who wants to participate in the democratic process of elections.

For Congress it has been Bapu’s charkha first then a palm facing ‘hand’ as a symbol of common man’s vote. BJP has national flower ‘lotus’ as its symbol while CPI has a ‘ears of corn and sickle’ as its party symbol. The newly formed Aam Aadmi party has the old household common ‘broom’ as its party symbol.

But these symbols have started creating problems of late. As said earlier, people of a certain class use symbols for asserting their rights and demands. Similar was the case with Bahujan Samaj Party whose leader Mayawati used the party symbol ‘elephant’ to be erected in various parks and places during her rule in Uttar Pradesh.

She not only tried to assert Dalit rights by erecting statues of Bahujan Samaj funder and her mentor Kanshiram, she also tried to mark her big presence in the political circuits by erecting her own statues beside Kanshiram’s.

Last year, the election commission had a hard time covering these symbolic statues as it was feared that their presence may overlap the idea of unbiased elections. However, it is another matter altogether that plastic covered elephants created more curiosity than uncovered ones.

Noetheless, the EC ended up spending lots of money for buying big plastic sheets and engaging manpower for the task.

The Congress, it seems, has learnt no lesson from this episode. The party is upset about lotuses in full autumn bloom in water bodies of Mahakaushal, Malwa and Bundelkhand regions in poll bound Madhya Pradesh. It wrote to the EC to hide the national flower from public view so that voters are not unfairly drawn to the BJP symbol.

The mental bankruptcy and despondency with which the Congress party has fanned the issue again only shows their desperation. This desperation might have arose from the recent surveys released by various media agencies showing current BJP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in for a sweeping win in the state.

Lotus farming is one of the main sources of income in 40 constituencies of Madhya Pradesh. Huge ponds cultivate lotus which are supplied throughout the country and exported as well. Covering these ponds is not only illogical, it is also harming the cultivation which will reflect on the income of the common people.

If we have to go by what Congress says, then people must cover their hands till the elections are over because they will remind of Congress party’s very own symbol. We will have to cover so many things which we use in daily life including bicycle (Samajwadi Party), broom (AAP), car (Telangana Rashtra Samiti) and even electric bulb (Mizoram People’s Conference)!

It is important to note that the same Congress party leader Digvijay Singh had led a delegation to the EC in 2008 with a demand that Class VI social sciences textbooks in government schools be taken off as they carries the imprint of lotus.

The average Indian voter is more mature than these political figures and it’s high time that the political parties understand that. Mayawati lost Uttar Pradesh assembly elections the year elephants were covered. But covering of huge elephants had nothing to do with her loss. It was the bad governance which costed her seats in the state.

If Congress has not done the share of work it should have in its 10 year rule, it should stop worrying about open symbols. Because either way, public’s eyes are open.

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