31 May 2013

Dr SS Rao Road, Parel

Surviving newspaper stands of Mumbai.

This Milindji Deora Saheb seems to be one smart guy and a good example of how politicians work and brand their work in their constituency. When the Shiv Sainiks are giving step motherly treatment to their newspaper and newspaper stands across town, he's building brand new advertising space for himself. Newspaper stands are very good outdoor advertising investment for politicians in an age where people are against illegal hoardings all over town.

Congress Grass

In Bangalore, there is a weed called Congress Grass by the locals. It's of Mexican origin and came in a container many decades back and spread all over the city causing all the sneezing and asthmatic attack the Bangaloreans are forever complaining about. It was named Congress Grass because it spread fast like  a weed like the original Congress once upon a time across Mysore and Karnataka.

Interestingly an offshoot of the Congress called Grassroots or Trinamool. People in other parts of the country may not know it but the Shiv Sainiks in Mumbai had one of the strongest local area networks for any political parties and while the rest of the world associates them with hate, for many who live here, it had the best organised grassroot activities that gave them power whether you like them or not. You can go to M Ward, a Samajwadi Party stronghold to see how they keep it their stronghold all year round even if there is no election in sight. MNS has a bunch of leaders in certain pockets that are now beating the tired Shiv Saniniks hollow. NCP does the same in Navi Mumbai, BJP, RPI, etc. in certain pockets. A party like the Aam Aadhmi Party, if it needs to survive should learn from these old badmashes. There's a new party called Lok Satta party that recently contested elections in Karnataka that is experimenting with this and I think you will see them in action in the next Maharashtra polls. They are not big or they might not win, but they works from the bottom. Because all politics is local and it's whom you vote for in your ward that makes the most important difference to your life on a daily basis.

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