This election has seen more money being spent than any other. Many see it as money down the drain, others wish it had been spent on drains, but the fact is that elections are an opportunity for certain entrepreneurs to make money; aircraft charters, car hires, 3D projectors and makers of poll paraphernalia. This time, the stakes are higher and a whole host of new entrepreneurial opportunities have been brought forth. Here are some:
Publishers: If there was a section in bookstores for hagiographies, it would have to be expanded considerably, judging by the flood of books on Narendra Modi; 250 is what the subject himself modestly mentioned in an interview. That’s a lot of books in a very short time and it could launch a publishing house all on its own, considering the number of fans the man has, many of them well-known thinkers or economists who could well be thinking of booking a job in the next government.
Honeymoon travels: The world over, newlyweds planning a romantic honeymoon destination are prime targets for travel agents. Baba Ramdev has taken it to a new high, or low, depending on whether you are doing a yoga headstand, and now offers a new honeymoon destination no one had ever considered — Dalit homes, where, apparently, there’s a picnic thrown in. There are places that his target, Rahul Gandhi, would like Ramdev thrown in — like the nearest well — but the yoga meister would be well advised to avoid paying Mayawati a visit during his own political honeymoon travels.
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A CD shop: YouTube has some serious competition thanks to the number of CDs that are being released and circulated, all smash hits. BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad sold one titled Damad Shree, which comes with an instruction booklet called the Vadra Get Rich Quick Model. The Congress countered it with Modi’s Fatta, a CD showing Modi with an alleged hawala operator, which was counter-countered with another CD showing Digvijaya Singh with his lady love. Quite seedy.
Money changers: Arvind Kejriwal may require an alternative job after this election now that it’s clear his party is not going to sweep any constituency, let alone an election. One option is to become a wholesale dealer of brooms, while the second one could be to open a foreign exchange counter as it appears that a majority of his financial support stems from NRIs; all of whom seem to have developed great nostalgia for the Gandhi topi while seeking a cap on the other Gandhis.
Tourism centres: There’s clearly great incentive to open new tourist centres in places like Varanasi and Amritsar. Modi has cleverly combined his political yatra with a religious one, losing no opportunity to milk the missed chance of doing a Ganga pujan while reminding everyone that he was contesting from there because Mother Ganga had called him, and not Rajnath Singh. In Amritsar, his protégé Arun Jaitley has been trying to convince everyone that he is a non-resident resident, and how his coming will boost tourism thanks to all his supporters, family and friends from Delhi who have descended en masse on the holy city. Amritsar can now see the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghosts.
Nursery schools: Seems a bit cruel, but there are plenty of people who feel Rahul Gandhi should open a chain of nursery schools across the country to teach the young generation how to move forward in life in the anticipation of taking over from the older lot. Of course, it’s also connected to the fact that they believe he needs to go back to school.