Navigational Methods for Politicians

November 18, 2009

We want to find our way through a city? We buy maps, we look up Google maps, or… we ask for directions. Especially in India, we do this as we stand…or park…in the middle of the road, generally getting the person with the lowest IQ in the area, who either gapes at us or confidently gives us wrong directions.

But our politicians have better methods.

On my way back from the walk, I noticed these rounds on the side of the road:

lime rounds 151109

I was curious, and when I found this man making those rounds by tapping a basket full of lime powder on to the road

putting the lime rounds 151109

I asked him what he was doing. “The CM and another leader are coming this way,” he explained.

Here’s one of several posters of the CM (of Tamil Nadu)…with the usual paeans of praise:

151109 karunanidhi poster

(this one says, “Oh, Kalaignar (artiste) who gave us the meal scheme, welcome, welcome!”…referring to the noon meal scheme for children in Corporation schools, perhaps)

Here are some flags of the

DMK with the leader’s face on them:

dmk flags 171109

….for a wonderful exposition on how to make a political poster in Tamil Nadu, visit

this blog entry by Krish Ashok

The other leader is G K Vasan, the son of Karuppiah Mooppanar. (his photo, too, is up there in the second photograph.)

And the round markings? When the driver of the leading car in the political convoy sees them, he (you think there will ever be a she-driver in a Tamil Nadu politcal party convoy?) knows where to turn off the main road!

Isn’t that a great navigational method? I would be rushing, right now, to buy my “chunA” powder and my basket, but I don’t have someone from the Chennai Corporation to do this for me, alas…

I also found a police car

police car 151109

and some police (or some other enforcement agency) officers going around, checking the route:

police checkin 151109

No, I didn’t talk to them for fear of being told,

I can’t take photographs

The man making the rounds (I carefully didn’t ask his name) has been working for the past 26 years, he said, and was doing his duty diligently, on a wet and chilly (for Chennai, 25 deg is chilly!) morning.

The occasion…was the 80th birthday of Mr.Mukta Srinivasan, the well-known film producer.

So all you techies with those fancy GPS gadgets….all you need to do is become a politician in Tamil Nadu…navigation is a piece of cake…and several round markings!

Apparently the lime powder also acts as a kind of anti-bacterial agent, and is often sprinkled on garbage heaps. So there’s multi-tasking for you!