Pre-erection sops

If Mexico City’s Mayor succeeds in raising the city’s human development index, why not...?

india Updated: Feb 19, 2009 12:33 IST
Hindustan Times

The UPA, no doubt, is basking in the glory of its latest pre-election budget that detailed in extenso what it did for the aam admi during the last five years. Naturally, its fervent hope is that the grateful people of the land will recognise the hand that made it all possible and vote it back to power. But if it comes to providing a menu that will satisfy the citizenry, the runaway winner must be the Mayor of Mexico City, Marcelo Ebrard. Mr Ebrard, too, is facing elections. So he too has a sweetened pill to offer his voters. Well, not so much sweetened as it is diamond-shaped and blue, actually.

Understanding that the quality of mercy should not be strained, and that it should drop as the gentle rain from heaven, Mayor Marcelo has been freely distributing Viagra tablets to the poor above-60 electorate in his sprawling metropolis. The news is that smiles have already been brought to the faces of thousands who have reached the tercera edad — that’s the ‘third age’, as Mexicans call their golden years — and may actually redefine the term ‘salad days’ when applied to the satisfied senior citizens of Mexico City.

Imagine the possibilities of replicating Mr Marcelo’s gesture in India? When growth has slumped, what better feel-good factor? It’s another matter that the Election Commission will be sure to shout: ‘Electoral dysfunction!’

First Published: Feb 19, 2009 12:31 IST