Signs of polls
THE president has just enriched the list of poll symbols for the general election by some 27 new entries. But the swollen size — we now have 190-odd symbols — still doesn’t quite encourage an attempt to see through these signs. Some of these poll symbols remain as much a mystery as they have ever been, and the discussion can often boil down to the same old, funny point about why would anyone want ‘that image’ to represent them just when the voters are about to perform the very sensitive task of stamping their approval of a politician.
The presidential additions can instead be seen to betray a fatherly desire to revive an old, more peaceful culture. The hookah and the knife are back and will surely bring back memories of a less injurious past. Also, some old symbols which had acquired a sinister tinge can now be left out — such as the bulb and the lantern. As an alternative the mighty sun finally rises on the country’s electoral horizon — a safe choice for all those who have not been able to set Pakistan’s electricity problems right. The cat has been thrown out of the bag, on the insistence of the PML-N which was a wee bit worried about its rampaging tiger being mixed up with its less pompous if more acrobatic aunt. The PML-N appears to be perched on too high a branch to require anyone teaching its tiger how to climb up a tree. Among the lucky creatures fighting for the politicians’ favour this time, it is heartening to note the persistent tortoise and the crocodile have finally been given their due — so long as their tears for the people are genuine and so long as they can carry on while the others in the race are found slumbering.