or Indian Democracy In Action.

(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

Once upon a time, in a land in South-Asia, there was a creature called the Chameleon. But he was not the Chameleon that we know, because he could not change his colour.

This land was a fertile land,with great natural variety. There were Bunyan trees and Coconut trees, Mango trees and Banana trees. And there were many kinds of animals, the Chameleon among them. But, as I have told you, he could not then change his colour.

At the time I am speaking of, this land was not independent. All the people were trying in their own way to bring freedom to the land. Some people believed in non-violence, some were revolutionaries. Some believed in political activism, some tried to bring about social reforms. But they were all patriots.

In the end their sacrifices were not in vain, and Independence was obtained. Everyone was happy. For with Independence, Democracy had arrived. The country became the world’s largest Democracy. And that meant elections.

And then a strange phenomenon took place. All sorts of colours began to appear. Red, Blue, White, Saffron, Green- the political scene was awash with colours. Some supported a particular colour, others supported another.

The Chameleon was an astute creature. He soon realized that it did not matter which colour you supported. The important thing was getting a ticket.

So he joined a Party. When the Party did not give him a ticket, he changed colours. And that was how the Chameleon learned to change his colour.

After changing his colour, the Chameleon did indeed get a ticket. In his political career, the Chameleon changed colours several times.

There are elections coming up in several states. General elections will also probably be declared in a few months. Then you will be able to observe the descendants of this first Chameleon. They will be the ones changing colours to obtain tickets.