Apparently, urban planning has no connection to politics. But think — if we didn’t have our long-winding alleys of these modern towns, what would 'Gali gali mein shor hain, XYZ chor hai' even mean?
So, this run-of-the-mill slogan is as old as both democracy and urban town planning. But this time, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, this age-old idiom has found a whole new significance.
To understand this, first, you have to know the two players of the game: One is Chowkidar. The other is Chor. We don’t know who is who. We don’t even want to get into all these highly contentious issues.
Let’s rewind to the 2014 Lok Sabha Election. The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi appealed to voters to make him the ‘chowkidar’ of the country. ‘Chowkidar’, of course, refers to security personnel who don’t stake claim to the property they are guarding. A chowkidaar just guards. That’s his responsibility.
Eventually, Modi became the chowkidar. As we all know, politics is a fun game of wordplay; throwing words at each other. And of course, there are creative minds (who couldn’t become scriptwriters/ filmmakers) behind the speeches of our eminent political leaders.
So, the last four years have been all about a game of hide-and-seek between the chowkidar and the rest of the world. We have heard Rahul Gandhi taking a potshot at Modi for actually being the chowkidar of the Ambanis.
That the game would be intensified in the run-up to the General Elections was predictable. So, there came a new slogan: Gali gali mein shor hain, chowkidar chor hai.
Who invents such slogans, you may wonder. Those failed scriptwriters — but successful speech writers whom we mentioned earlier.
But who gets (dis)credit? Of course, those who mouth it.
So, Rahul Gandhi was the man of the heady moment — until the union of the chowkidars heard his slogan.
The Maharashtra Rajya Suraksha Rakshak Union has submitted a complaint to the Bandra-Kurla Complex police station, claiming that this slogan is an insult to the fraternity of security guards.
Surely, it is.
Now, we want an association of thieves to raise their voice and cry foul. Because, if chowkidar becomes chor, then won't it be stealing their jobs?
Jobs are already a hot-button issue of this election, mind you.