Hyderabad: Electioneering in the Old City is very different from that in other parts of the city and state. The manner of campaigning and the issues that are of importance can be different from those other voters face.
For example, contesting candidates approach every voter personally, calling at their homes and interacting with them. Instead of mass public meetings common in other constituencies, parties here hold mohallah or neighbourhood meetings and corner meetings, addressed by local leaders apart from the candidates and party leaders.
In these meetings, speakers target their opponents and call them by humorous names, holding them accountable for some misdeed or other.
The Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen, which has great orators, attacks not only the Opposition candidates, but also their prime supporters. This discourages the privileged class from involving in political activities. They cover issues not confined to the problems in the constituency, but express their views on national and international issues as well.
Colourful nicknames are given to opponents, such as Bipasha, Munjal (ice apple), Kabutar Nawab (pigeon Nawab), double Khan, Madhu darling, Aladeen ka jinn, baankde pahelwan (wre-stlers whose hands are folded) and irqaan ke mareez (man affected with jaundice) etc.
In these public meetings, the audience thoroughly enjoys the humorous comments of the speakers who, while targeting their opponents, reveal their own personal affairs openly.
Supporters of different political parties voluntarily erect election symbols of the favoured party on their houses without taking the permission of the candidate or party. They discuss the fate of candidates openly over cups of tea in a hotel. There are few women workers actively participating in an election campaign. In rare cases a lady corporator may participate in a rally.
Children roam the streets with party flags, chanting slogans in favour of a particular party or candidate and distribute pamphlets to households for which they earn chocolates and toffees. Here as elsewhere political leaders never forget to get the blessings of religious leaders so that they can propagate the message that they have the support of such personalities to attract their disciples....