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For his eyes only

india Updated: Nov 10, 2008 23:11 IST

Hindustan Times
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The term ‘follow the leader’ takes on an altogether new connotation as news comes in that our netas are hiring private eyes to keep, well, an eye, on not only their rivals but also their own poll managers. Our point is why stop at this, why not extend this surveillance to the voters as well? It would add a little colour to our lives if when looking out through the smog from our balconies, we were to see a trenchcoated individual underneath a lamp-post, a la Inspector Clouseau. For the sake of those hiring these detectives at astronomical prices, we can only hope that they fare better than Clouseau, that most bumbling detective of all time who famously drove his superior insane with his nutty ways.

But given how bitterly elections are fought here, it is no surprise that our politicos have adopted a ‘snoop to conquer’ policy. One of the tasks that a sleuth has been asked to do is to determine which film star an opponent is hiring for campaigning so that the rival can get a bigger one. So in the run-up to the elections we can expect many revelations about cross-voting and double cross-voting. But at the rate at which everyone is stealthily following each other, hopefully we will be spared the blaring loudspeakers and tedious promises. For the poll managers, this provides a great opportunity. They can collect from the party of the first part to spy on the party of the second part and at the same time approach the watchee to watch the watcher. Meanwhile, do watch your back, someone may have you in their sights.