26 July, 2021

A Pinch Of Salt 'n Pepper

Three ad spots for UP starring Big B say law and order is fine. People run for cover.

Nirala Tripathi
A Pinch Of Salt 'n Pepper
It's election time in Uttar Pradesh and, for the ruling Samajwadi Party, time to pull out all the stops. And what better weapon to unleash on political rivals (or UP's "enemies") than superstar and son of the soil Amitabh Bachchan? Switch on any news channel now, and you can't miss the refrain for the SP: "Uttar Pradesh mein dum hai, kyonki yahan jurm kam hai (UP is strong because there's less crime here)," says Bachchan in that familiar baritone, waving an impressive-looking file which he says is a Union home ministry report on crime around the country. But he doesn't stop there.

He warns the SP's enemies in a faintly mocking tone: "Yeh aankhon mein dhool na jhonkon (Don't fool the people)" because they have seen the world. He also talks of his deep aversion ("ghrina") for those dependent on UP but who think little of maligning it. And finally, he says that if he were to be reborn, he would want it to be on the banks of the Ganga, in UP again. Those who created the ads have got the message down pat—UP and the SP are...

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