The Election Commission’s order to cover up all statues of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, and her party symbol, the elephant, has caused some consternation. One sees the logic, and one holds no brief for Ms Mayawati. Nevertheless, in the interests of fair play, one recommends that symbols of other political parties (PDF, scroll to page 79) in UP — and elsewhere — be similarly obscured.
• All lotuses in all ponds should be covered, lest they give the BJP free publicity. (We recommend little gauze bags, so that some air and light get in.)
• Sickles should not be used: in cornfields, since that is an obvious advertisement for the Communist Party of India; and near hammers, because that’s a plug for the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
• All alarm clocks must herewith be banned. They ring for the Nationalist Congress Party. Tell the boss that when you’re late for work.
• Also to be kept away from the impressionable public eye, or to be covered with tarpaulin: bicycles, bows and arrows, hurricane lamps, spectacles, rotary dial phones, busses, lions, the rising sun, incandescent bulbs, torches, roosters, conchs, mangoes, weighing scales (the manual kind; you can go ahead with the electric variety), umbrellas, tops, hand-pumps, leaves (in pairs), three-petalled flowers, and a number of other fairly mundane items (see link above for the list).
• And, of course, since it just wouldn’t do to let the Indian National Congress get away with it, you, yes, you, every one of you, will, until after polling day, kindly keep your hands in your pockets.