Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter steals the limelight

Media hype can make all the difference.

Pottermania struck hard with the release of the latest book " Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". You had visuals of the look alikes of Harry and his team waiting outside bookshops to get the copies when the 'clock struck twelve'. Thanks to the J K Rowling for having taken the young and the old alike, back to the joys of reading.
At least some of them may have been successfully weaned from the idiot box and computer games.

BUT, what did it mean to the 'aam aadmi' in India. Harry Potter took more space in the newspapers, of air time than the Presidential election in the country. Of course, who did not know that it would be a woman in the Chair. The headline space of the Sunday newspapers, particularly the English dailies with a national presence had the incoming President Pratibha Patil and Potter face-to-face.

No doubt Presidential elections in the country never raise the kind of dust that a General Election does. This time the results were as much a foregone conclusion as any of the earlier ones. The only fear may have been fear of heavy cross-voting which would tilt the balance in favour of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Will Dr APJ Abdul Kalam be the last of the greats who will occupy the highest office in our country? The demand for a politician in the post has been heard very often in the period of indeciveness displayed by all the political parties in the country regarding the presidential candidate.

In the Presidential polls of the future the 'aam aadmi' can be ready to receive people of the calibre of Sitaram Kesari, Gyani Zail Singh and not a single one that hold a candle to the likes of Dr Rajendra Prasad, DR S Radhakrishnan, Dr Zakir Hussain,who knew their worth but wore it lightly.

Would it be naive to say that the rules of the game need to be re-written? People have stopped reacting and responding in an effective manner, interventions are all politically motivated and engineered. Sit and enjoy the roller-coaster ride offered by our netas till our Electoral Laws undergo change. And that will need some WILL POWER.