Thursday, February 09, 2012

KTWV Volume 13 Issue 3: How to get elected

This was posted on an another one of my alma mater blogs but has mention and relevance to Stepanians. If you are a Mumbai-ite you to can act in your self-interest!

When I got elected as the President of all Residents in St. Stephen's College in 1961-1962, I was the first 2nd year student to ever hold that post.

I do not know whether anyone else has achieved that in the last 50 years. (I got elected because of a wonderful band of 1st year students - Rajen Mammen Mathew (now Padma Shri); Ramu Katakam; Azar Siddiqui; Suresh Mehra; a great set of guys from my second year all from Mukerji Block (Ajay Verma; Sujit Bhattacharya; Rajan Narayanan; Davendra Pratap; Ravi Batra; Norval Prakash; Rajiv Srivastava; Badrinath (Padma Shri): Chandu Rijwani: Tich Arun Agarwal; etc.) and the support of a few well respected seniors (Commonwealth Secretary Kamlesh Sharma; Chinmoy Banerjee: Dr. Peter Philip; Ashok (Tony) Jaitley; Sarwar Lateef; Ambassador Niranjan Desai, Prakash Joseph; Ranjit Jacob; Zafar Hai; Jerry Lalit Mohan; Swaminathan Aiyar; etc.)

Such a mixed team helped me overcome the traditional voting groups as the Doscoites, Sherwood Collegeites and other similar clique groups.)

My election Group had a well laid out plan as to what we would achieve during that year. This was of specisl significance to us from Mukerji Block as we were virtually living in the JCR, next door to us. (We achieved all of our objectives during that year because of the cooperation of Principal Sircar.)

That was my winning strategy with the Seniors giving me the respect factor; my year group standing firmly behind me: and the freshers working their guts out at all levels.

What more could I ask?

The reason for bringing this up here is that I learnt a lot from that experience. I have helped many people get elected, since.

I share this with you now, as a very dear friend, a classmate, is standing for elections for the Mumbai Muncipal Corporation, and I would like all of you to work to get him elected.

Captain Vijay Shivdasani is 69, retired from the Indian Navy after captaining the aircraft carrier, ran his own business in Hong Kong, and has been doing literally hundreds of things in Mumbai since returning.

He walks tall, still plays a great game of tennis, and is honest and dedicated to the core.

You may be 1000s of miles away, like me, and feel you can do nothing.

But you can create a viral pitch by activating just 7 friends, who in turn can activate 49 more. Within just 1 week we could have an honest man doing things in South Mumbai.

The vital step is NAME RECOGNITION. This is very critical. Almost 70% of people going to vote have no clue whom they will vote for 24 hours before voting day.

Just a phone call to a friend telling them about Retd. Captain Vijay Shivdasani and asking your 7 friends to spread the word to 7 more each, has a viral effect when it comes so close to election day.

Reaching the correct voter bank.

I did not know how to reach the bulk voter bank in South Colaba, but one of our contacts, former Cat Alumni President Rajiv Bhatia, was one step shead of me. He had been helping a fisher girl from that area. He has put her to work to reach as many of that group as possible. The effort will be renewed now that he knows that someone 7000 km away is also pushing for Vijay.

Just like the fisher folk, the small shops of South Mumbai are thronged with shoppers. There must be a pitch to get Vijay's flyers in each of those shops.

I would like all of you or your relatives or friends, to take this up with your favorite shop in South Mumbai. The effect will be seen in the result.

Then there are large apartment main doors. A flyer pasted on each main entrance has a remarkable effect as every resident bonds with a person who is visible every time they come home.

Then there are the Community Centres. A flyer in each helps each community trust a person who shows appreciation for their community.

Grass roots exposure in schools, colleges, cinema halls, religous establishments, hotels, restaurants, clubs, buses, in the local area are all important places to place flyers as they get the highly mobile population informed about Vijay.

(Remember that flyers on Mumbai could be in English, Marathi, Gujarathi, Hindi, Konkani, Malayalam and Tamil.)

So let us get started and get Vijay elected! D-day is 16th February 1 week from today.

Let it RIP, let it THUNDER!

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