Saurabh Malik, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 29. Politicians coming to Punjab are spicing up the poll campaigning by adding wee bit of local flavour to it. That’s right! The national level political figureheads, finding their way into Punjab just before the elections, have come out with a perfect recipe for successful poll campaigning. They are topping up the poll preparations with some ‘karak’ Punjabi ‘tadka’.
Just in case you still don’t know what’s cooking, go to one of the election rallies. You will find political icons offering a taste of Punjab through their attire, speeches and even songs before the commencement of the rallies.
Be it Dr Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Hema Malini or even Mayawati, the success mantra is “When in Punjab, do as Punjabis do”.
No wonder, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Amritsar launched a scathing attack on Parkash Singh Badal-led government in Punjabi. Watching the Prime Minister deliver his nearly 35-minute speech in chaste Punjabi, everyone in the crowd could associate himself with him.
For so many others, it is more than striking the right cord with the audience by interacting with them in their language; it’s all about telling people strategically they are one of them by tying turbans and wearing salwar-kameez.
Sonia Gandhi wrapped herself in the hues of Punjab by wearing a salwar-kameez at the Kapurthala rally on January 19, after relegating her customary sarees to the closet.
Hema Malini also played her role of a star campaigner for Punjab dexterously by donning a salwar-kameez at a Ludhiana rally.
In a long ‘kurta’ teamed with a pink dupatta, Hema started her speech with “Sat Sri Akal”. Her speech also referred to the oft-quoted title of Sher-e-Punjab as she talked about her actor hubby.
Rahul Gandhi too slipped into the shoes of Punjab da puttar. Putting on his thinking cap, the AICC general secretary turned into a turbanator at the Tarn Taran rally. He adjusted himself with the audience by adjusting his turban gracefully.
UPites may love listening to their own songs on headphones attached to mobile phones, while cycling their way to work.
But when it comes to Mayawati and her rallies in Punjab, nothing less than bhangra beats suffice. It was bhangra pop at Mayawati’s rally in Kharar as high-wattage speakers blared out hit Punjabi songs before her arrival at the venue.