14 May, 2021

‘The Most Enduring Image Is The Radiant Malayali Smile’

Ex-Time AAP Ernakulam; Lost

‘The Most Enduring Image Is The Radiant Malayali Smile’

I could not have contested this election had I not been a war correspondent. Indian politics is a war zone with its own deadly arsenal of landmines, lethal gas, bombardments and guerrilla ambushes. As newcomers in a new party, we had no idea what to expect, or from where to expect it. The opposition to AAP, and in particular ethical candidates entering India’s political fray, is insidious. Tricksters exploit inexperience to win confidence. An example—if the electoral details given about any one of your 10 proposers are wrong, your nomination is rejected. I sought the Delhi AAP legal cell’s advice and my trickster failed in his devious mission. 

Kill or be killed is not the credo of a war correspondent. To stay alive is. Battle zones teach you when to charge ahead, retreat or change course in situations that change daily, even hourly. To survive, one has to adapt and imp­r­ovise. Despite concerns, I forged ahead to canvass in my opponent’s stronghold. When dead fish surfaced in the Periyar river, polluted by factory effluents, I changed...

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