The Lesser Sinner

“The right way is”, he continued, “to figure out the lesser culprit of all — and vote”.

Teaching a language gives the teacher a whole big playground of subjects to play with. “This is a pen”, “That is a clock” or moving on to a little more complex syntax, “We should all vote”. Complex still — “Who will you vote for?”. That is how this small lecture on politics started, as our Kannada teacher made sure that he put his point through, the responsible citizens that we are, we all should vote.

Not for the first time though. The three sessions he has taken, in a classroom used for teaching Bsc Nursing students that transforms itself into a Kannada school on Sundays, politics is one topic that our teacher seems to enjoy as much as, if not more, teaching Kannada.

The short, stocky, balding man who prides himself for being an ambassador of pure Kannada could very well take pride in the thorough understanding he possesses of state politics. Intellectualism comes in all forms, and sometimes in the least obvious ways.

So while the little man stresses on finding the lesser sinner of all and voting for him, he also mentions one important fact that could well turn out to be the sentiment of the common man — A coalition government just won’t do.

During the coffee break as I stare, silently amused by reading the words “Female Toilet” and wondering if there is a “Male Toilet” I could ‘meet up’ somewhere nearby, our teacher comes up to me and asks if I have my name in the voting list. And then we carry it on to why S.M.Krishna lost and why Kummaraswamy should not come back again.

A few perfectly valid reasons later I am left wondering where did our country go wrong in the last 60 years. For the things that make the common man so “common” deserve much more than the Krishnas, Kumaraswamys and even the Advanis that our political machinery has regularly churned out.

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