According to dictionaries, a "capsule" might be best defined as a tiny medicine holder you gulp down. But in Kerala's turbocharged political realm, "capsule" takes on a whole new quirky meaning. It's the term for the mind-boggling concoctions of explanations and fact twists that political parties cook up to serve their devoted, unquestioning followers. Just like those medical capsules, these political capsules are meant to be swallowed without a single question mark in sight!
Don't let the confusion set in. Capsules aren't just your run-of-the-mill Boomer-style WhatsApp forwards. They're a step beyond that. If those "forwards" resemble formulaic, mass masala movies, then the "capsules" are more like those arty films that exude an aura of sophistication. More layers, more thought processes, less (or no) advertisement and deeper propaganda. Capsules are a class apart.
Though every party now has its own capsule processing units (CPUs), in Kerala, it is the CPI(M) that excels in the whole business, undoubtedly. Of course, with the party leadership facing a truckload of allegations lately, the CPUs are working overtime to keep the show rolling!
Just like their medicinal counterparts, these political capsules are meant to be prescribed and administered at just the right moment. Deviating from this timing can have adverse effects.
Recently, the Puthuppally constituency in Kerala witnessed a by-election, and the results announced on September 8 were nothing short of catastrophic for the red party. They faced their most colossal defeat ever in the constituency, trailing by a whopping 37,000 votes.
Now, did they possess a crystal ball that foretold this impending disaster? Well, they probably had an inkling, considering Puthuppally had long been the private fortress of the late Congress leader Oommen Chandy.
But did they anticipate such a massive loss? Perhaps not, or did they?
Well, whatever the case may be, the CPI(M) state secretary dropped a capsule that was meant for September 8 on September 6 itself—two days advance dosage of "If Congress wins the polls, it's only because of a secret BJP-Congress vote adjustment." However, before the capsule doing some analgesic work in the cadres, KPCC president K. Sudhakaran took the measure to cruelly advertise it as the CPI(M)’s blockbuster pain pill.
High exposure; membrane broke; propaganda leaked; capsule dead!
However, the unfortunate cadres found themselves with no alternative but to ingest the outdated capsule, muttering the mantra, "... it's only because of a secret BJP-Congress vote adjustment!"
Gandhian pro max
The average human attention span is shrinking; it is a fact. Since Congress national leaders like Rahul Gandhi and K.C. Venugopal are humans, their attention spans also must be shrinking. So must be the case with the attention span of Kerala opposition leader V.D. Satheeshan and KPCC president K. Sudhakaran.
However, Congress MP K. Muraleedharan has his doubts, believing that the attention-deficit issues among Congress leaders might be a selective affliction, possibly tailored exclusively to his own name. In a recent conversation with the local media, he embarked on an elaborate discussion detailing the extensive neglect he has endured, starting from the denial of a cabinet position in the Oommen Chandy ministry that assumed power in 2011.
In more recent years, despite being appointed as the chairman of the campaign committee, Muraleedharan found himself lacking prominence at KPCC events – certainly a painful experience. But the pinnacle of hurtful moments came during the Puthuppally by-election when he was conspicuously omitted from the list of star campaigners. Adding salt to the wound, he didn't even make the consideration list for special invitees to the Congress Working Committee – a truly heart-wrenching blow.
However, what adds an intriguing layer of puzzlement to Muraleedharan's narrative is the conspicuous absence of any discernible discord between him and the party's top leaders. They cordially engage with him, yet when it comes to granting the appropriate attention for him in party posts, it appears they simply "forget" to do so.
In response to this persistent attention deficit issue within the party, the MP has devised two rather unconventional solutions. First, Muraleedharan, a leader known for his ability to contest and triumph in highly precarious electoral battles, has decided to make a rather bold announcement: he will no longer participate in electoral contests. Second, he has resolved to put an end to his complaints. Now, that's a level of Gandhian restraint that one might consider unprecedented in the recent history of the grand old party!
This is a work of satire