Can Sub­con­ti­nen­tal Ser­e­nades Swing It?

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

Zac Gold­smith, the Con­ser­va­tive Party can­di­date for the Lon­don may­oral elec­tion slated for May 5 has ob­vi­ously de­con­structed his elec­torate quite minutely, go­ing by a newly re­leased elec­tion video. While the 20% eth­nic mi­nor­ity Lon­don­ers are in­deed a bloc that can­not be ig­nored by can­di­dates, es­pe­cially Gold­smith, who trails his Labour ri­val Sadiq Khan in the opin­ion polls, the lengths to which he is will­ing to go to get through to them is touch­ing in­deed. Though the main re­frain is in Hindi, the fact that there are snatches of Urdu, Pun­jabi and Ben­gali shows that he is in­ter­ested in reach­ing out to the gamut of South Asian vot­ers. Whether he has an­noyed speak­ers of Gu­jarati, Tamil and other sub­con­ti­nen­tal lan­guages not in­cluded in the video re­mains to be seen. Why Man­darin also fig­ures in this sub­con­ti­nen­tal ser­e­nade, can be re­garded by some as sus­pi­cious. Pre­sum­ably other multi-lin­gual med­leys pro­mos ex­hort­ing Pol­ish, Ro­ma­nian, Ethiopian, Ara­bic, Croa­t­ian and other vot­ers are also in the Gold­smith pipe­line. Noth­ing sim­i­lar has emerged from the Sadiq Khan camp, but clearly his task (as part of the 20% eth­nic mi­nor­ity) of reach­ing out to the 80% ma­jor­ity can­not be achieved by any “Jeetega, jeetega” video in English, even if it cun­ningly in­cor­po­rates all the ac­cents of the Lon­don bor­oughs in or­der to be in­clu­sive.

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