Politically Milched

 “Save Our Cows. Vote for Pradhaan Peoples Party!”

Manohar shouted through the bhopu (mega-phone) sitting in the autorikshaw. The vehicle had just reached the local water tap and stopped. It was 1:00 p.m.

“Time Up” he said to his companions who immediately changed the scarf and caps they were wearing. The driver got off and turned the big board hanging at the back.

“Testing testing …” Manohar checked the bhopu.

 “Cow is Our Mother. Vote for Pr… Bharat Bachao Party!” The auto-rikshaw started and the lads drove away.

Children ran behind the auto waving and shouting, “Gau Mata ki Jai”. The ladies at the tap turned around and looked at the huge candidate smiling from the picture on the board moving away with the auto.

“Barsati Lal looks thin in the picture.” remarked Koyali removing her bucket from beneath the tap.

“It must be from the last election. He has gained a lot since he won.” said Bhola’s Amma (apparently no one remembered her name as for the past thirty two years she was called Bhola’s Mother.)

The auto-rikshaw had reached the primary school compound. It was nearly 6:00 p.m. and the sky was turning grey. Barsati Lal stood outside the Principal’s office completely dressed like a politician.

Manohar looked at him in awe. “He was a milkman ten years back. See, how a cow has made his career. No wonder it is the mother of all beings, especially us milkmen.”

“How can a cow make someone’s political career?” asked Chintu his friend. “The only work my cow does is eat. It has been five years and she has never given a drop of milk.”

“It is a long story.” said Manohar. “Ten years back, Barsati Lal was just like you and me – a milkman. He bought a cow from the Government run farm and brought it to the village on a tractor. While off loading the cow fell of the plank and broke its leg.”

“Oh what a tragedy!” exclaimed Chintu.

Manohar sulked. “No tragedy, it was the best thing that happened to Barsati Lal. The crooked man tried to pin the blame on the Manager of the Government farm claiming he was cheated and given a lame cow.”

“So did he get a cow in exchange?” asked Chintu, trying to figure out Barsati Lal’s fortune.

“No. The government officials rubbished his claim and he was sent back with the injured cow. But Barsati Lal was not ready to give up. He along with Raju the local reporter made a report about how Gau Mata is tortured in Government run Dairy farms.”

“Then…”

“Can’t you guess? Barsati Lal became a revolutionary and PPP gave him a ticket for local elections. He won the election unopposed.”

“Pradhaan People’s Party?” exclaimed Chintu. “What are you saying Bhaiya? Barsaati Lal is a candidate from Bharat Bachao Party.”

“Don’t you know? Last election the BBP used Gau Mata in their election manifesto and one month before the elections Barsaati Lal, the poster boy for Cow shifted alliance to the BBP. I heard he got a lot of money in exchange.”

“Really… How much money exactly?” asked Chintu almost planning to go and break the leg of his cow.

Before Manohar could answer, someone from the office called out his name.  He collected the payment and walked out of the compound with Chintu.

“What about the injured cow? Did they exchange the cow or get her treated for her injury” Chintu curiously whispered

“She is the cow in the poster. See carefully she has only three legs.”

“This is good. Barsati Lal worships the cow and has used her picture in the Party poster. He must be taking good care of her.” Chintu remarked in admiration.

“Don’t be silly. Who has the time to take care of a cow after joining politics? Barsaati Laal sent her to the slaughter house after the photo was clicked.”

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