That was long time back. But I do still remember it very clearly. Everyday we used to go to school in a bus, not a school bus but the public transport. Me and my sister, I was in third class I think. Things were very different at that time, small town, good busses, less crowded, and we used to have almost the same crowd going in that bus everyday, and most people kind of knew each other, not personally but as a fellow bus mates.
It was election time then, and there was this guy who used to travel with us, much older, he was in college at that time. And just like that he asked me,
"Whom would you vote for if you have been given a chance to vote?"
"Congress", I said, without sligthest hesitation
"Why would you want to vote for Congress?"
"I will vote for congress because Sarojni Naidu was from Congress", I said,
We had just done one lesson in English about Sarojni Naidu and I was very impressed with her and she was from congress, some first minister or something and I don’t even remember now and that seemed logical enough to vote for Congress because she worked for congress.
But then this guy burst out laughing, and he even told one fellow old passenger who was absorbed in reading the newspaper, that we would vote for congress because Sarojni naidu was from congress. I did not quite realize then that why would he want to laugh at us for this.
"No you should vote for BJP, because they are building temples" he said,
Till then probably I had never heard of BJP, or probably had never paid any attention to it, but this was first time. And at that time all of sudden this awe of BJP was generated, because of course building temples at that time did seem a very noble deed. As kids we used to love going to temples. Whenever we used to go for cycle rides or just play, if we ever passed any temple we would make it a point to go, and try to remember and do all kinds of things in temple that we had seen mom and elders do when they went to temple, and ofcourse taking "prasad" back home. It was also a great thrill for us to discover new temples, small small ones, and then come back and report to mom, as if discovered gold.
Anyways, but this thing about, BJP as a party who were noble and build temples stayed with me for a long long time, until much later when I grew up and started realizing that how bad and ugly these temple building business is. And I just feel sad for that college guy in the bus and for others who vote just because some party seems to be doing some outwardly noble deed like this.