Manish Goswami

It was New Year’s Day and Hemen Vishwakarma, sitting in his official chamber in Janata Sadan, was looking intently at the calendar. Nodding his head, he exclaimed, “I never thought that we had so many days in a year.”

Vishwakarma’s private secretary, who was present in the chamber, replied in a surprised tone, “A year always has 365 days.”

“That’s not what I had meant. Just look at the specific number of days starting from New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Sister’s Day, Friend’s Day, Girl Friend’s Day, Break-up Day... the list is simply endless. On top of it, we have a host of anniversaries to celebrate. The sheer number of days which we are now celebrating in fact makes a year look short enough.”

“Yes, sir.”

Looking at the private secretary, Vishwakarma very thoughtfully said, “On top of all those days, I think it would perhaps be better if the year had an Election Day as well.”

“Sir, an Election Day?”

“Why not. Haven’t you noticed how elections are being held in different months and dates throughout the year? If the elections are held on a particular date and month of a year, it would be so convenient for us all.”

“Sir, I don’t get it.”

“If the US can have a fixed day for the election of the world’s most powerful man, there is no reason why we can’t have a particular date in the year to hold elections, be it general or panchayat. And, the funny part is that while we tend to imitate all the frivolous things of the West, we conveniently ignore their best.”

“Sir, I am finding it hard to comprehend.”

“How can you get it by sitting in the office? Look at me, I often hit the campaign road for elections, be it general elections, assembly elections, council elections, panchayat elections... Recently, back to back, I campaigned with full vigour for two council elections. And, there is no time to relax as assembly elections are round the corner. If the lawmakers are always on the campaign trail, how will the government function?”

“Sir, people love the way you campaign. Your song and dance style has become a mega hit.”

“That’s the reason why I am getting worried. If I have to campaign for elections throughout the year, people will think of me as an entertainer instead of a serious minister. And, I just can’t keep repeating the same song and dance ritual over and over again.”

“Sir, you are regarded as a grandmaster who perfected the art of winning elections, and people get wonderstruck by your ability to forecast the election results. Sir, please share your secret.”

“There is no secret. I always keep myself updated like Facebook while my political rivals stick to outdated concepts like Orkut.”

“But sir, nowadays, you tend to hit your political opponents below the belt by calling them names like ‘monkey’, ‘cat’...”

“Look, you are quite naive in matters related to election campaigning. And, as strong words break no bones, I freely use such phrases to peacefully demoralise my political rivals.”

“Sir, apart from name calling, how do you manage to blunt the opposition attack?”

“Well, let me give you an example. Earlier, the postman used to deliver the appointment letters. Not anymore. Whatever may be the post, we personally hand over the appointment letters to the selected candidates by organising functions. It helps in sending out a message that we are trying to tackle unemployment. And the opposition attack on employment gets deflated.”

“Interesting. Sir, what is going to be your slogan for the coming election?’

“Your votes will help us generate hopes!”

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