Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Shoe Market Reacts to Indian Elections!
By Manuwant Choudhary
Everyone reacts to the Indian elections…from politicians themselves, to pollsters in their khadi kurtas, to journalists, to the stock markets...to even bookies.
Like the Bombay Stock Market shows an upward trend after it becomes clear the Communist parties will get lesser seats than they got in the last elections.
And bookies with covered faces and 5,000 cellphones buzzing on Live TV predict show they are the real experts.
Still others like my friend (who did not vote) has switched-off his favourite undie TV news channel for today and tomorrow.
While `I Be PM’ TV News is gloating that for once in 20 years their pollsters have got it right! (Was that due to the Laws of Probability)
And G (Ganja) TV for once is not glorifying lesser criminals but rather focusing only on those criminals whom the voters will be sending to parliament.
But my source from Punjab called me up with something unique….and all the TV channels missed it..busy as they were with their `talking heads’.
My Source from Amritsar, “Sir, I have this BIG story for you.”
Me, “Tell Me. But I am only a blogger.”
My Source, “All the shoes in Punjab have been sold out.”
Me, “Why? Is it some religious custom to buy shoes this time of the year.”
Source, “No, sir. Everything is not religion. You see after India’s Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made that speech that Sikhs must forget about getting any justice for their kins killed in the 1984 Sikh riots, the Sikhs have decided to protest.”
Me, “But Dr. Manmohan Singh is on his way out..Isn’t he??”
Source, “Arre Sir, you do not understand. Punjab is barometer for rest of India. If shoes have sold out then Congress is winning.”
Me, “But its still not on TV.”
Source, “Sir, which TV…Yesterday News?”
Me, “Not even on Times When??”
Source, “Arre Sir, Forget TV..just break it on indiavikalp. You will thank me.”
So that’s what I did.
But it did not stop there. My cellphone has not stopped ringing since...
I’m getting calls from all across India.
Soon I realized that the country’s shoe market had reacted to the Indian elections.
So, since I am not an arm-chair journalist. I decided to check out shoe bazaars.
In Patna I visited the Bata showroom at Frazer road and saw senior journalist M.J. Akbar checking out shoes.
I said to myself look at this even senior journalists want to throw shoes.
But isn’t M.J. Akbar with the Congress Party? So why does he want to throw shoes at the Congress?
My friend, “Ah, you forget, he’s now with the BJP.”
As I was about to ask Mr. Akbar about it, Yesterday News on the showroom wall showed a panel discussion. And guess who was on air. It was M.J.Akbar.
Then who was this gentleman in the Bata? A store employee said, “Sir, he is M.J. Akbar’s brother.”
What a goof-up. Im sorry, I said.
Just then I get a call from Ayodhya.
Another source, “Sir I have this BIG story for u…”
Source, “All the shoes outside the temple gates have disappeared..hindus say it’s a `miracle’ just like Lord Ganesh drinking milk but I have investigated and found out that there is a secular leader who is collecting shoes just in case L.K. Advani becomes Prime Minister.”
Tringg…tring….another call…aah it looks like from disant Tamil Nadu.
Source, “Sir, its BIG story here..bigger than Punjab.”
I said now what?
Source, “There has been a clash..violence..9 people killed.?
Me, “Now that’s a story…tell me. Is it some terror strike?”
Source, “No, Sir. Madam Jayalalitha’s supporters were buying up all the shoes in Tamil Nadu.”
Me, “For whom for Jayalalitha. Ive heard she has 50,000 shoes already. She doesn’t need shoes.”
Source, “No Saar, not like dat..watta I tellinga you do natta understanda.”
Source, “No one can say who will win in Tamil Nadu so both sides are collecting shoes. And its actually an international story. I hear Vaiko is sending shoes by fishing vessels to Sri Lanka.”
Call from Mumbai, “Sir. One independent candidate has taken 54 crore rupees from a political party ..price for not contesting.”
Me, “54 crore rupees is a lot of money. Does the independent candidate plan to buy a house in Malabar Hill.”
Source, “No sir, he already has house in Malabar Hill.”
Source, “He would have lost anyway but he decided to take the money because he can better serve democracy if he buys shoes worth 54 crores.”
Me, “But all that money may just go to that Samajwadi leader Abu Asim Azmi. He has a shoe shop at Colaba Causeway.”
Source, “Business is Business. Mumbai is about business. Even politics is business here.”
Again a call from Uttar Pradesh. Now what?
Source, “Sir, some Congressmen wanted to buy shoes to throw at Mayawati but in all of Uttar Pradesh they could not find shoes.”
Me, “Strange. Uttar Pradesh is a big state..bigger than United Kingdom..and no shoes.”
Source, “Sir, not that way. You see caste is so important here. All shoes are made by one caste chaamar and since Mayawati belongs to their caste they have decided to protect their leader.”
So Congressmen even went to the Bata factory at Faridabad to discover that Bata factory is closed but they did find shoes at the Bata outlet…the salesperson informed the shoes have been outsourced from China.
Congressman, “It’s okay ..at least we will get Comrade Karat’s support now…a Chinese shoe for Mayawati!”
My source in Madhya Pradesh, “Sir, our great leader Arjun Singhji’s supporters are buying shoes in MP.”
Me, “But why is everyone buying new shoes? Remember, the journalist who threw shoes at President Bush. He threw his own shoe. Even the one thrown by the journalist on P. Chidambaram was an old one.”
Source, “Arjun Singhji is a broken man after his daughter was denied a party ticket. We all built the party for Rahulji to become PM and Arjun Singhji’s daughter to become CM.”
So Arjun Singhji finally told his supporters today, “I now fully understand that the Gandhi family does not wear old shoes.”
My friend and colleague journalist (expert on Bofors) in Switzerland called up, "I'm on a flight to Italy. Because Italian shoes are best in the world. Id spend my months salary to buy a pair just for the Gandhi family!."
A call from the Patna railway station, “Sir, even coolies are buying shoes.”
“For Lalooji of course, Coolies are angry despite the budget promise Lalooji never promoted them to gangmen.”
But I also hear there is a flood of support for Nitish Kumar and he might just win all seats….even become Prime Minister.
Just then I get a call from the Kosi belt in Madhepura, “Sir, I had to call you. It is my life’s wish to throw a shoe on Nitish Kumar. But I do not have even that. It all got washed away in last years Kosi floods.”