As the curtain comes down on the last act of the Election 2009 extravaganza, a gender course correction appears to be taking place. It’s women power all the way as the AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and UP’s uber leader Mayawati emerge in the bright lights of the marquee. In the background is the Samajwadi Party’s Jayaprada, fighting for her political life. And up ahead is President Pratibha Patil, in whose hands the fate of the next government rests. And, of course, the highlights of the election cannot overlook the powerful Gandhi women, Sonia and Priyanka.
And you must admit all these women are far more colourful and flamboyant than any man in the fray. From Jaya’s capes to Mamata’s over-the-top rhetoric to Priyanka’s dimpled elegance, they made a tedium of the long-drawn-out election worth watching. Can any man match Jayaprada’s dramatic desire to do away with herself after inappropriate pictures of her surfaced? Who on earth would be interested in any pictures, inappropriate or not, of any of her detractors? When Jaya says she will raise an army and go to fight for Tamil Eelam, you can be forgiven for believing it. But not so when Karunanidhi says the same. As Margaret Thatcher, who else, said, “If you want something said, ask a man, if you want something done, ask a woman.” And she should know what she’s talking about, considering all the suits that followed her.
Following in her formidable footsteps, handbag and all, is our very own Mayawati whose very name evokes a frisson of awe in her partymen, not to mention other men. So come May 16, may the best man, or is it woman, win.