Let’s put it as bluntly as we possibly can, brace yourself – summer is coming. Every five years, there’s a great summer when the wildlings within the boundaries of our great borders take to the streets and declare war on anyone who doesn’t meet their manifesto. Yes a great storm of swords is brewing in the land of 35 kingdoms (29 states and 6 UTs) we like to call India. The King’s Landing in Delhi at 7, Race Course Road is the seat of great power for which battle lines have been drawn and each of the rulers from the North, South, East and West wage a loud, crowded war to claim for themselves.
If you are reading these lines with quizzical expressions, stop whatever you are doing now and acquaint yourselves with the most game-changing event of our times – the Indian Elections, 2014 . While the entire world is swept in the anxious pandemonium ahead of the premiere of “Game Of Throne Season Four,” here in India we are caught up in a different kind of power-struggle – “Game Of Polls.” Interestingly the start date of both the seasons is the same – April 7, 2014.
A day before the beginning of the end or beginning of the beginning of a new era in India and on Television, we thought there is no better way to acquaint first time voters, seasoned skimpers who couldn’t be bothered if this Nation went to the dogs or gallows or both, and the deeply invested political strategists who have their own chessboards out while deciding the results of their self-devised ‘exit polls’ (projected results) – than to draw a parallel between “Game Of Thrones” and Indian Elections, 2014. Here is a handy guide to everything you need to know about Game of Polls.
The most powerful family in all of Westeros India, the scion of the house Pt Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of independent India who left a lineage and legacy of some fierce and charismatic leaders. National Congress Party’s former leaders have included Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi and grandson Rajiv Gandhi. Now great-grandson Rahul Gandhi, who at 43, has just only recently come of political age. His mother Sonia Gandhi, is the power keeper of King’s Landing and pulls strings to keep things going. While Rahul primed himself to take over the ‘Indian Throne’ (The Iron Throne if you’re watching “Game Of Thrones”), the mildest man in the history of Indian politics, Manmohan Singh kept his seat warm for a decade. Now Rahul is ready to wear the crown, but there’s a fierce battle he’ll have to fight in order to keep the throne, that he thinks is rightfully his. The Indian media and the grand opposition, so far, has portrayed him as a ‘shehzada,‘ but there’s no way of knowing whether Rahul will bring any dynamic leadership that India so desperately needs.
The dry winds from the west are blowing strong in the face of Rahul Gandhi’s accession to the throne. Narendra Modi, or NaMo as his social media naara would want you to know him as, he truly thinks he’s the man for the job. Passionate, manipulative, vociferous and in his mind a force that is indestructible – there is nothing stopping “ab ki baar modi sarkar.” The PM candidate from the chief opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the fanatic Hindu warrior (read RSS-member) has a tainted past. He’s been incriminated and then acquitted, of genocide (Godhra riots of 2002 ) in his own land, Gujarat. But will his fanaticism and acute right-wing leanings win him the throne at Race Course Road? One can only wait and watch.
In this palpably soaring temperature and temperaments, an even hotter air is blowing from the north where the Aam Aadmi Party’s anarchist chief Arvind Kejriwal is promising a reign that would push the mandate of the common man forward. He’s building an army of slaves to the system, whom he’s freed by empowering their resolutions. Revolutionary but bloody, this war will get really dirty with what appears to be just a two-person battle between Lannister and Baratheon (Gandhi and Modi). Kejriwal is the father of the Indian common man (slaves). We just wish he had more good-looking dragons than Somnath Bharti.
THE MIDDLE HOUSES
All the while the major parties rally up their troops and ready for obscenely vivid expressions of power, there is also the Left Front, that away from the probing eyes of the media glare, are silently regrouping and attempting to make a last ditch effort at gaining major brownie points. There is Mulayam Singh Yadav from Samajwadi Party, Mamata Banerjee from the All Indian Trinamool Congress and Jayalalithaa from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. These parties form alliances with either the BJP or the NCP to support the party in power with a shared manifesto. Without their support, governments can fall and Kings can lose their grips on the throne.
So here it is. The Indian Elections, 2014 begin from April 7 and will be held in nine phases till May 12, 2014. The entire schedule of what date the elections will be held in your city can be found on the website of the Election Commission of India. On another note, “Game Of Thrones Season Four” will premiere on April 6, 2014 worldwide but will be available in India April 13, 2014 onwards every Sunday night on HBO Defined at 9 pm.
It’s going to be a bloody and entertaining month. Don’t forget to vote, you have the power to choose the ruler of your Kingdom and who sits on the Indian Throne. The Iron Throne, however, is a dish best served by HBO, creators DB Weiss and David Benioff. And for those who have actually read the books, George RR Martin has a script ready for the unraveling.