It’s the eighth and penultimate phase of the 2014 general elections today, the fate of 64 constituencies will be decided across seven states and by the end of the day, polling for just 41 of the 543 Lok Sabha Constituencies would be in balance.

While it’s good to have news channels track the highs and lows of the polls, but what they have also done is expose the kind of politicians we have in our country and what one can expect from that tribe in the years to come.

My worry: these elections could see a rise in the brain drain from our elite educational institutes as also motivate people to consider migrating to more prosperous lands. While it’s true that the scene elsewhere in the world is not hunky-dory, I often wonder why one has been blessed with so many jokers masquerading as politicians.

It’s in the light of this that I thought the Javed Akhtar interview on Headlines Today made for interesting viewing. The well-known lyricist and nominated Rajya Sabha MP made an interesting point that one doesn’t really need to be apprehensive about Narendra Modi coming to power.

I am not sure if the BJP folks are going to town with Javedsaab’s POV, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a hardline Muslim religious leader were to damn his statement. Javed Akhtar’s point that the fabric of our country and our constitution is so strong that no politician can do any harm may be valid, but one fears the lumpen elements across political lines. # #

It was nice to see Rajdeep Sardesai in Varanasi yesterday. From the bits that I could catch, he visited some of the spots I had been to (no, I didn’t go to any saree shop!). Political activity has indeed reached a new high in the temple town.

A contact Whatsapped me the image of rotis served at dhabas around the city with the stamp: Ab ki baar Modi sarkar. The idea isn’t original. Last year, Mumbai’s Ogilvy advertising won several national and global laurels for this innovation for Lifebuoy at the Kumbh Mela.

Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it.
Twitter: @pmahesh