Politicians’ Lifts And Political ‘Lifts’
A famous song often heard on TV and radio is Adnan Sami’s ‘Lift Karaade’ in which the singer asks that he be ‘lifted’.Adnan who was a Pakistani Muslim who migrated to India recently, pergaps the only one in 1990s to do so, got a ‘lift’ when he was granted Indian citizenship after due process a few years ago.
Such a ‘lift’ may also be political, catapulting an ordinary political worker into a position of power. A political worker has to put in decades of work at grassroot level before luck gets him or her such a position, but some get such a ‘lift’ just by birth as most Indian parties (except BJP and Communists) are dynastic. They are ‘lifted’ to lead a party, state or country even as thousands who slogged for decades are ignored as they do not belong to one family.
It is therefore no surprise that a retired Director of Door Darshan (State TV) Mahadev, made a film on the lifts of Vidhana Soudha, the magnificent state secretariat built by then CM Kengal Hanumanthiah. It is the icon of Karnataka and has seen 23 chief ministers who mostly rose to their positions by merit or public adoration, without the lift of dynasty, to use the lift in the famous building. Kengal himself died before a special lift meant for the CM and Chief Secretary alone was installed in 1956.
The film interviews Kaverappa, a senior lift operator of VS on all the eminent men whom he took up in his lift. He perhaps had no understanding of the many momentous decisions he had been privy to or the files of very great importance that were carried in his lift.
There are four lifts, one in each direction. When the VIP and underground lifts were added they became six. Of the 6 lift operators, Chennegowda, the seniormost is retiring soon.
These operators may have seen many fortunes, of both ‘babus’ and bosses made or unmade, often discussed in the lifts.
Communicators House has put out a video on the film with the lifts as the backdrop, by a man who is himself awaiting the ‘lift’ of being regularised in the post of a Parliamentary Guide. He made several YouTube videos and TV channel episodes on the Vidhana Soudha and the unique features which made it famous .
The post of Parliamentary Guide is yet to be created though he took many Indian and foreign delegates and student batches around VS explaining how the seat of power functions.