The Bihar assembly elections have brought about a never-seen-before zest for knowledge in Vaishali district. Candidates, especially independents, are going all out to sound erudite and look smart.
Chunnu Kumar, 27, contesting from Hajipur, said, “A candidate has to be smart in both appearance and language
to impress young voters.”
Young and educated voters need to be convinced that their representatives are men of letters and good taste. “This is intelligent electioneering,” admitted an independent candidate.
Independents — who have nothing, except themselves, to draw votes — in the eight constituencies in this north Bihar district are desperately cramming speeches authored by their neighbourhood intellectuals. Others are drawing upon
the wisdom of their better-educated relations.
In Hajipur, another independent candidate said on condition of anonymity that he was memorising a speech prepared by his daughter-in-law, with facts and figures compiled from different newspapers. “I am also taking lessons to improve my voice intonations.”
Impressive? Take this: An Independent candidate has hired a tutor to brush up his English. “These days, a speaker throws in a few English words in his Hindi speech.” So, he is learning proverbs, quotations et al.
Speechwriters are also demanding premium on their services, for according to Pramod Kumar, a teacher: “The candidates who approached me wanted speeches that could draw frequent applause from their audience.”