Innovation at Its Best With Poll Paraphernalia Hitting the Market
By Anushree Madhavan | Published: 18th April 2014 07:59 AM |
Flags and placards during a political meet are just passé. This election year, political party supporters are being greeted with innovative products in the market. While women cadre can drape a saree with photographs of their leader or sport a bindi with the party symbol, the male cadre can flaunt wrist bands and sweat bands in addition to wearing their political affiliation on T-shirts.
The innovative poll paraphernalia have been sourced from Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. The regular shawls, which have images of leaders made in jari, have also been brought from Salem.
“These things were earlier made in Tirupur but not so any longer,” says Jaikumar, the manager of Gandhiji Kahdar Store in Town Hall in Coimbatore, a bulk dealer in colourful election merchandise. Even umbrellas bearing the colours or symbols of party flag are up for sale.
However, Jaikumar rues that the sales has not picked up on a vast scale though elections are just a week away. “Sarees, bindis and chains have few takers as only male supporters dominate the political firmament. Only T-shirts and caps are being sold. But overall this year the enthusiasm among cadre to buy these products is less,” he says. According to him, the sales have come down by about 80% compared to the previous elections.
Sarees made of polyester have been brought from Hyderabad. These sarees have not just borders in the colours of the party flags but also images of leaders like that of Sonia Gandhi and Jayalalithaa.
“Once the election is over, all this merchandise will be dumped. Perhaps if some national leader comes here after the elections, we may put the merchandise up for sale again. But that is just a one-day affair where pens with party logos or novelty products like key chains are sold,” he says. Surplus poll merchandise relating to regional parties is sold later during the party’s annual conferences.