Tamil all-star elections - India 2011
By Etan Doronne
14 May 2011
Tamil Nadu Election's results aired yesterday. A Friday all anticipated for about a month since voting day.
In the small town of Kallakurichi politics penetrated every corner. The motorcycle license plate design workshop printed and installed these with one's colorful politician 'god-father' pushing the registration digits aside.
On homes along main streets big-face political candidates were painted by artisans.
My local friends were also either a retired party member or a current chairman driver.
I would imagine the level of involvement to signify some importance to a parties manifesto, but when I asked local friends what difference will it make who is elected they usually surprised me with a very counter-emotional answers.
Indian parties promise small gifts to the public. Not as bribe, but as nationwide help to households: A mixer, TV set, bicycle and this time even laptops.
The surprising fact is that they actually delivered ! Post-elections !
Sometimes it's better to get some small 'carrots' from politicians who sit on the national treasure trunk then keep waiting for that Big Carrot promised over and over but never really offered.
At least with a stomach full of small carrots one can enjoy the small things in life which we haven't time for while chasing the big promised, illusive carrot.
But Indian do not solely count on politicians promises. In the west after campaign's money had been spent all we are left with are memories of TV infomercials. Here, in India they grasp the tangible huge vinyl banners and put these to good use: Roofs, tarps, liners and more for home and field use. Making them get a slice of the cake, not only a glimpse.
The Reagan-schwarzenegger phenomena is an Indian living tradition. As Indian films are a vital part of culture so are the heros, actors.
Tamil all time favorite film star M.G Ramchandran (Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran à®®à®°à¯à®¤à¯‚à®°à¯ à®•à¯‹à®ªà®¾à®²à®©à¯ à®‡à®°à®¾à®®à®šà¯à®šà®¨à¯à®¤à®¿à®°à®©à¯) became a politician and a chief minister of Tamil Nadu before supporting-actor Reagan got into politics. Ramchandran that was a great reformer in the fight wit corruption passed away in 1984 and since then every village in this south Indian state managed to get a sculpture of him and mount it in the traffic circle center.
M.G Ramchandran was not only a colorful figure the political map. Despite Indian traditional and mandatory marriage life, he lived for years with Jayalalithaa Jayaram (à®œà¯†à®¯à®²à®²à®¿à®¤à®¾ à®œà¯†à®¯à®°à®¾à®®à¯), his partner on more then 100 films over 25 years, yet the couple never wed.
She stepped off-stage around 1980 and was introduced to politics by her expired lover. Today Jaylalitha, near her party's double green leaf symbol, is featured all over Kallakurichi Taluk and similarly I guess all over Tamilnadu. At 65, she was the candidate of AIDMK and coalition parties. Yesterday she was elected as the next Tamil chief minister.
In her personal life Jaylalitha lives with another woman. There are diverse rumors about this relationship, yet with all this going on â€“ Indian put their trust in her.
One of Jaylalitha gifts to the people is a Mangal Sutra ( a pure gold necklace each women get's when married). She promises every poor young women will get one for her marriage. She's an active women right's and public service reformer.
More about this personal documentary project on: My India: Where every village is home - Experience !