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Gimme more

Free rice, free power. We’ve heard them all. But none can beat Jaya’s Eelam promise.

india Updated: Apr 30, 2009 21:51 IST

We love the silly season. You can actually get up in the morning and read that we will have a Bangladesh war on our hands. Before, you leap out of bed wondering whether your coffee is a little stronger than normal and that you are imagining things, let us tell you that anything is possible in this season of elections. So we have J. Jayalalithaa telling us that she will stop at nothing to carve out an Eelam state in Sri Lanka.

It is geographically another country altogether but what does that matter as far as election promises go? She has assured us that she will respect international norms just as Indira Gandhi did. This is sure to make us feel a whole lot better given the fact that she is speaking about a full-fledged war. Ms Jayalalithaa’s concern is little puzzling given that she has been so far been very much against the LTTE which claims it is fighting for a Tamil homeland. But, never mind, in the election season, we have got used to all sorts of tall claims. If at least some of these promises came true, we would be in a paradise of sorts. For various aspirants have promised that we will get free rice, or at least very subsidised rations, a communal-free environment, a strappingly muscular foreign policy, free power, and, of course, that old chestnut, functioning infrastructure.

But why stop at a war in the neighbourhood? Why don’t we spread our wings a bit? We must insist that we will not be content with a few kilos of free rice or sugar. As Marie Antoinette said, if we can’t have bread, let us have cake. So we will expect nothing less than promises of the finest champagne and caviar next time around. And meanwhile, we’ll get back to our old daal-chawal.