Aye of the needle: Thanks to the pandemic, netas resort to vaccine melas in preference to loan melas


Our polity has a way of politicising everything, from religion to relations with China, from demonetisation to GST. So it’s little wonder that an anti-Covid vaccine should get political overtones.

The coronavirus pandemic has made loan melas old hat for netas as a way to win friends and influence voters. The latest crowd-catching ploy are vaccine melas.

Or – as a vaccine to combat the virus has yet to be rolled out – the promise of vaccine melas. In state after state, chief ministers and other political bigwigs have publicly pledged to make anti-Covid vaccine jabs free of cost to the entire population, a populist stratagem which is likely to needle the opposition, metaphorically if not literally.

What can those who sit on the opposition benches do to upstage these promises of free jabs? Where will the compulsions of collective jabism take us?

To counter the promise of free jabs for all, will the opposition’s manifesto proclaim a provision of not just the regulation two jabs required to get immunity from the virus, but four jabs, just to be on the safe side and get double protection from the dreaded infection?

Opposing political parties could each claim that the vaccine they are offering is more effective in staving off the bug than is the vaccine being offered by their adversaries.

Indeed, the Election Commission could be approached by various parties, each seeking to lay claim to a hypodermic syringe, or any other graphic symbol associated with a possible coronavirus cure, as an electoral symbol to give themselves a polling day shot in the arm, in more ways than one.

Self-styled leaders of different castes and sub-castes could demand vaccine reservations, along lines similar to job reservations, for the communities they claim to represent, with the slogan ‘Jobs for the boys’ giving way to the new mantra of ‘Jabs for the boys’.

Vaccine politics of various forms could inject a dose of vim and vigour to our democracy to the rousing chant of ‘Jab, jab, jiyo!’

DISCLAIMER : This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.

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