The Telegraph
Saturday , January 11 , 2014
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NaMo trend in kite tradition

- Modi, Anna & Ramdev will fly high on Makar Sankranti

If you are looking for political insight, forget television analysts and straw polls. Look up to see what the kites are saying.

The capital will get a high-flying course in politics this Makar Sankranti on January 14 — a day when kites are traditionally flown in the sky even today.

Md Talib of Talib Kite House, Karbala Chowk, the one-point wholesale kite store for city retailers, procures his stock from Ahmedabad and Calcutta.

This time, for Makar Sankranti, he got his special kites from Ahmedabad — 10,000 each of BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, yoga guru Baba Ramdev and anti-graft activist Anna Hazare. And yes, he badly wanted to get kites of Delhi chief minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for the festival, but explained that the consignment could only reach Ranchi on January 16.

“The Kejriwal kites were printed on January 6 and it will take 10 days for the shipment to reach me, which is two days after Makar Sankranti,” he rued.

He also got kites with usual suspects — Bollywood stars Salman, Aamir, Katrina and so on — but avers the craze is soaring for NaMo, Ramdev and Hazare.

The price point is perhaps the best indicator of this. Bollywood kites sell for Rs 5 a piece, political prints sell for Rs 10 each.

Modi is the champion best-seller — all the 10,000 kites have vanished from even the retailers.

“I had got 10,000 kites with the picture of BJP leader Modi printed on them and a message Gujarat ka sardar Narendra Modi. All the kites are sold out. Most buyers are from Upper Bazar, Ratu Road and Dhurwa,” Talib said.

Retailer Naresh Kumar, a kite seller at Upper Bazar, said the NaMo kites were a sell-out. “I bought some Narendra Modi kites from Talib Kite House. All have been sold,” he said.

Kites of Kejriwal’s one-time mentor Hazare and Ramdev are also finding takers, but less than Modi.

“The kites with pictures of Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev are also selling well. But, many continue to ask for kites with pictures of AAP leader Kejriwal and I have to explain the reason why I couldn’t get them,” Talib said.

“Kites with Modijis picture is selling like hot cakes. After the huge (2.5 lakh) turnout at his rally, this is yet another indication of his soaring popularity. We will schedule some kite flying competitions on Makar Sankranti. We have this idea in mind,” said Poonam Anand, BJP worker.

Any Rahul Gandhi kites? Not seen yet.