That, as you all know, is an American term. But here, in our very own Chennai, there has been a thanksgiving of sorts. The Man from Madras Musings alludes to the rash of posters that has broken out in the city, all thanking the general public for having voted and made victorious various candidates in the general elections. One group has stuck to expressions of loyalty and fealty, and it is better that way, for MMM is told that retribution is quick and grinds exceeding small otherwise. “Send her victorious, happy and glorious…” appears to be the message here and MMM is sure his readers know the rest.
That in a way is understandable, for the cavaliers or royalists have done very well. But what puzzles MMM is as to why the roundheads, who have been trounced, have also put up posters. These, to be seen in certain parts of the city, thank the general public for having voted and stop with that. But why thanks when all that they did was perform a duty? Is it gratitude for having voted in the other party, thereby giving the defeated lot some time to sort out other and more pressing internal matters?
The Chief, as MMM knows, frowns on references political and so MMM will stop with that. He will, therefore take his lyre and now sing of the poster industry itself, which, in his view, comes out in flying colours in this entire thanksgiving process. Just imagine… the election results come out on a particular day, and within a few hours of that, the posters are all out. Perhaps it is time for our Election Commission, which takes a long time to conduct and complete the polls, to learn from the poster industry. “Do it now” appears to be the motto of the poster printers.
Closer inspection, however, reveals that it is all more involved than that. True, there is a flurry of printing activity the day the results are announced. But, apparently, everyone who contested has invested in posters declaring victory, long before the results actually come out. Those who win plaster the walls with them and then take out victory rallies. Those who lose consider it a part of the necessary investment in what could have been a profitable enterprise. And, presumably, they use the surplus sheets to warm themselves, the electorate having left them out in the cold.
What all parties appear not to realise is that the electorate would rather not like to have these posters defacing the walls. But then, what is Chennai without its posters? People like MMM and the Chief are in a miniscule minority, and not even of the kind that gets special status mind you.
With the Chief’s permission, The Man from Madras Musings will make one more political statement. All of Chennai is now divided into two groups. And, no, MMM does not mean the parties affiliated to the Lady or the Daddy. Rather, he writes of the third variety for whom there were and more opponents than proponents. Overnight, however, MMM sees several of the former have switched sides and begun singing hosannas to the man they consider the new messiah. As to how that pans out, watch this space five years from now.