Of Symbolism

We humans believe in Symbolism. And our netas (read leaders) are the biggest proponents of symbolism. Come some occasion or an event, our leaders go gaga and indulge in blatant trumpet blowing.

It was Dr. MMS's turn a few days back. During the opening ceremony of the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Jaipur, he made an announcement stating that NRIs would be given a right to vote in India.

Manmohan Singh at The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas
Well done MMS. 

I have a few questions for Manmohan Singh. Did you get the idea of giving voting rights to NRI's one day before the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas? If not, why did you wait till that occasion to make this statement.? 

Do not blame me for thinking that you aim to play to the gallery and derive maximum political mileage from such basic administrative activities.

And if we are discussing about symbolism, then elephants are the topic of discussions across the country.

Behan (Sister) Mayawati, who is also the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (the most populous state in India), built some 300 odd elephants across the entire state in her last five years in power. Not that she has a liking to the pachyderm. Incidentally, the elephant is the symbol of her party.

Now that elections are due across the state starting 8th Feb 2011, the Election Commission (EC) has ordered that all such elephants are to be draped.

Mayawati And Her Elephants
What do we have here? Once again, Symbolism. Mayawati squandered a lot of public money in building these statues, just for the sake of symbolization and for the benefit of her party. And the EC will be spending another "few" crores in draping these jumbos. And some more crores in lifting the drapes.

Isn't this a sheer waste of money?

Mayawati should be billed the entire amount expended and should be made to pay the money out of her own or her party's pocket. However, our gutless politicians are not capable of making such laws, which provide a mechanism to punish politicians who engage in wasteful expenditure.

The worst part is that a very severe winter is sweeping across the northern plains and mountains of the country. Homeless people are dying due to the lack of shelter. These people need clothes to keep them warm. And it's the  stone elephants who are getting draped.

Indian Democracy - A Sad State
Believe me, if Mayawati comes to power again, she would very well be inclined to do what Virat Kohli did to the Aussie crowd a couple of weeks ago. However, in my opinion, she would retain her dignity and not indulge in this kind of symbolism. After all, Mayawati is not Sonam Kapoor.

Virat is a young gun and must have been tormented a lot by the verbal insults being hurled by the Sydney crowd. He did what his mind told him to do. At the end of the day, he may have been fined half his match fees. But at least he made peace with his mind.
Virat Kohli
Why did the  Aussies get offended by Virat's antics? Aren't they the ones who provoked him? Symonds provoked Harbhajan and Harbhajan reacted. The Sydney Test Crowd provoked Kohli and Kohli reacted. 

Why are the odds always stacked up against the person who reacts instead of the person who provokes? Is provocation a lesser offense than reaction? 

For the world, it is. And in a situation, a lesser offense is always absolved and the greater offender is hanged.

Sonam Kapoor
As for Sonam Kapoor, her symbolism didn't work. Her movie - Players - didn't fly.

Just yesterday, there was a undeserved hue and cry about Salman Rushdie not being let into the country to attend the Jaipur Literary Fest. To protest against Rushdie being denied entry, two authors read The Satanic Verses at the Fest.

Symbolism once again. Come on guys, Rushdie is a no-hoper in India and The Satanic Verses is more than decades old. Stale stuff doesn't sell.

Well, if there is point which Dr. MMS, Mayawati, Virat or Sonam can learn, it is this quote by John Schlesinger - "Symbolism perhaps is a bit in your face, and I've tried my best to control that as best I can as I've grown older and thought that one could approach something with a little more subtlety."

P.S. I could carry some flyer's with this quote in my bag. And if I meet any of the above, I would hand them a copy of it. And hope that it brings about some improvements.

P.S.2. My strongest hopes of improvements lies on Virat's and Sonam's shoulders. The other two are seem beyond improvement. पर आपने सुना ही होगा, उम्मीद पे ही दुनिया कायम है !!

Of Symbolism Of Symbolism Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Saturday, January 21, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. superb post
    every example was true and show's the meaining of symbolism
    keep it up dude

  2. I don't think Virat was at fault if he was provoked! He's still young so he probably needs more experience in dealing with such negative crowds.