I don’t see Capt. Gopinath in Lok Sabha in 2009. Not because he isn’t a right candidate, but because he isn’t winnable as an Independent in the fray. Air Deccan Gopi appears to have an enlightened contempt for party candidature. “I don’t want to mortgage my ideas,” he says. Which makes a smart quote, but poor operating strategy. Ideas don’t get you anywhere in politics; cash, caste and community clout matter.
We don’t associate Air Deccan Gopinath, politically, with any caste or community, do we? He belongs to a class though, the corporate class. Which isn’t the flavour of the critical mass of voters in any constituency, even in cosmopolitan Bangalore. We aren’t yet cosmopolitan enough to get the best candidate elected.
But the presence in the poll fray, of the likes of Capt.Gopinath, is a good thing, and can go a long way to influence established parties in paying the much needed attention to the innate merits of a poll aspirant, rather than his/her caste/community affiliation, before doling out the party ticket.
According to a media report, those who visited Capt.Gopinath’s place to extend support included Biotech Mazumdar, Infy Pai, civic activist Ramanathan, PR/ad. pandit Bijoor, and fashion guru Bidapa. None of these corporate and social worthies can get candidate Gopinath much votes. But what the corporate/social elite can do is mobilise the likes of Gopinath to join the poll fray, in increasing numbers. If only because, their presence on the ballot paper give a credible option to a discerning electorate that is disenchanted with the party political candidates on offer.
High-powered media campaigns, such as jagore.com that seek to get all eligible voters to the polling booth, would have meaning if, and only if, the candidates in the fray are deemed worthy of your vote.