21 September, 2020

The Hustings Hustle

Godhra's over, it's the state now. And Narendra Modi throws himself headlong into election mode.

The Hustings Hustle
There are times when what Narendra Modi says about normality having returned has some visible proof. Life is back in Ahmedabad. Cars, cows and asses are on the main road and as before, only the asses observe lane discipline. There are boys in cybercafes. Pretty girls are up and about. And at the Chinese Corner, someone is adding jaggery in the Manchurian. Even the refugee camps have mostly vanished. Of the over 70, only 10 are left in which there are only 25,000 people. They too have been asked to go back home for, don't they know, normality is back in Ahmedabad! Without "normalcy" there can be no elections. And Modi wants elections. Very soon.

As part of the state government's efforts to build "normalcy", even the existing 10 camps are being pressurised to shut down. Says Ataullah, a coordinator of the camp in Dhariyakhan Ghummat: "The government aid has dried up. We survive on the Rs 5 per head per day that some NGOs give. These people have no homes to go back to. They will be here for some time. And of course they will not be able to vote. Just like others who left the...


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