Galli Galli Mein shor hai…….

The noise from a Morcha( protest rally)  on the small and quiet lane next to my house in Thane woke me up.  Yes, there are still some places in a city like Thane which sport a deserted look during the afternoons. Curiosity and anger saw me peeping out of the window of my bedroom. I could easily recognize the so-called social workers(?) from my area shouting slogans against one of the cricketers from my locality who had been caught for match-fixing…

The slogans climbed into a crescendo till I could clearly hear the slogan “Galli Galli Mein shor hai..yeh “xyz”  chor hai”.  I must admit, there were goosebumps on my body and tears in my eyes.  I heard this Slogan almost after 3 decades. It took me back to my College days and post-emergency period and truly made me nostalgic. Those days, these slogans were common.

In my opinion, Indian election slogans are one of the most important contributions by Indian politicians & elections to world democracy and Hindi literature.  Can you imagine elections without these slogans? How boring would our elections be? Some of these Election slogans are funny , add humor to these elections and create interest.  Indian Election Slogans are  very good subject for doing Ph.D., for sure.They depict political situations during the time of elections.

Some of these are so good that you remember them even after decades. Take example of “Ek Sherni, Sau Langoor, Chikmangaloor, Chikmangaloor (one lioness, hundred monkeys – Chikmangloor, Chikmangloor) – During 1978 Elections or   “Dekho Indira ka yeh Khel, Kha gayi ration, pi gayi,tel”  used by opposition during 1970 elections to highlight shortage of ration supplies and oil ”. I feel all advertising agencies should take a lesson or two from these slogans.

Broadly there are three types of slogans; party specific or leader specific like ”Amethi Ka Danka, Beti Priyanka” or “Sab par bhari Atal Bihari, Ab ki bari Atal Bihari”;  nationalistic like “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” or “ Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan” and the most famous and the one which united whole nation was “Quit India”, though this is not the election slogan, I feel it is worth mentioning.

However, my specific interest lies in the third category of slogans and that is the ones which are more generic non-party specific and humorous…They are in true sense Gems of the Indian Election Slogans.  They are versatile and generic. Just replace few words and your slogan is ready. Take an example of “Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahega… XYZ Tera Naam  Rahega( As long as there are the moon and the sun in the sky, we will remember your name)”   You can easily replace the variable “XYZ” with a real name and your slogan is ready… Just like the way Panditji uses Name and Gotra of a person performing Puja and at the time of performing Sankalp Vidhi.

Or “XYZ tum aage badho, Hum Tumhare Saath Hain – (XYZ you go ahead, we are with you)”. This is one more motivating slogan. Motivating to the “XYZ” in the situation…But the XYZ in the situation needs to be careful.  I remember what happened to one of my friends when he took a “morcha” against one of the teachers in the school. His entire supporters, who were with him till Principals office, suddenly vanished after reaching the destination. He still holds a grudge against me. My observation is that 98  times out of 100 times, the “XYZ” becomes a scapegoat, so warning to the readers of this blog be careful when someone is trying to motivate you with this slogan…

Or “Ek Kachori, Do Samosa, XYZ tera kyaBharosa”  whenever I think of this slogan, I get convinced that this is either creation of some Halwai (sweetmeat merchant) or by someone who suffered after-effects of “Spoiled Aloo in Samosa”.

However, my all-time favorite will always be  “Galli Galli  Mein shor hai” and beyond doubts, it is at the top of the list of this category of slogans.  Though “Galli Galli Mein shor hai, XYZ chor hai” was used by opponents to attack Rajiv Gandhi after Bofors scandal,  over a period of time, it is used by almost every party to replace the “XYZ” with a name. I have not come across any other slogan which is so versatile like “Galli Gallimein Shor Hain”. If you want to, you can use this slogan effectively to praise someone or blame someone.

I remember, the same cricketer when he scored 100 and was instrumental in winning cup was praised using this slogan which was as follows” Galli Galli mein shor hai, Xyz cricket ki Jan Hain, hamare Thane ki shan hai (in every street they say, you are the life of cricket and pride of Thane).

These were catchy, punchy, blockbuster slogans of the yesteryears. Unfortunately, of late there are hardly few which have come out of the stable of any political party. L Perhaps the closest which I can think of is “Maa, Maati, Manush (Trinamool Congress )” or “Nayi Sarkar, Naya Bihar (New government for new Bihar) – in 2005 By Nitish Kumar”.

If you ask me, honestly, I don’t remember any catchy new slogans from last few elections. Not sure, if this is an effect of Social Media, usage of “Facebook”, “Whatsapp” or   “Twitter”.

However, I am sure, this is just a passing phase and soon we will see a new genre of catchy, blockbuster, slogans coming out during Elections. Whatever it is, whether party specific slogans or generic slogans, I have no doubt that as long as we have elections in India, we will have these slogans.  And,  I am hoping the new generation of politicians will keep this heritage alive for many years to come.