WITH ITS LAND AND SYMBOLS, A SURREAL INDIA
Photography by Arko Datto
A contemporary art project with Google Earth maps: this is the Indian photographer Arko Datto’s proposal for the Fabrica Lok Sabha project.
Google Map Images of the zones in India where the election results will be decisive for overall victory in the country have been overlaid by the symbols of the majority parties of the zones represented.
An outstretched hand in greeting, palm facing outwards, appears in the zones where the Congress Party of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is still in power (Indian National Congress, INC). Whereas the lotus flower appears in those areas governed by the Indian Popular Party (Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP) of Narendra Modi, the nationalist who is widely favoured. An unusual hand pump is instead the symbol of the RJD flag (Rashtriya Lok Dal).
The result is a picture of a surreal India.
Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of the Indian National Congress (INC) is standing from Amethi, Uttar Pradesh. It would be third time that he is going to contest from that seat. Giving him a run for his money will be poet Kumar Vishwas from the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and actress Smriti Irani from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
A hot-spot for this year’s election, the contest is between Arun Jaitley, leader of the Opposition at the Rajya Sabha, upper house of Parliament and Captain Amarinder Singh, former chief minister of Punjab.
The stand-off at Baghpat is between former minister of state under the Vajpayee Government, Satyapal Singh Yadav and Ajit Singh, president of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RJD) party.
Kamal Nath, current minister of Urban development and member of the INC, is the incumbent from this constituency. He has won from this seat over eight times. He has been in controversy over alleged involvements in the Sikh Genocides of 1984, the Radia Tape Scandal and other bribery allegations.
Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia (INC) is the incumbent from this seat. He is the union minister of state for the Ministry of Power. He is the son of late Madhavrao Scindia, titular hereditary Maharaja of Gwalior and one of the wealthiest ministers in the Government of India.
The stand-off at this important seat is between:
- Rajnath Singh, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and current president of BJP,
- Javed Jaffrey famous actor, dancer, comedian and impressionist, fielded by AAP,
- Abhishek Mishra, current minister of state under Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party (SP).
Arguably the biggest showdown in a long time. Two prime ministerial candidates and major figures of contemporary Indian politics are standing against each other here. On the one hand is Narendra Modi, current chief minister of Gujarat, vehemently criticized for his controversial role in the post-Godhra carnage while on the other is Arvind Kejriwal, former chief minister of Delhi and leader of the nascent Aam Admi Party, The Common Man Party.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, Ms. Sushma Swaraj will be contesting from this seat. Her opponent from Congress this time is party General Secretary Digvijay Singh’s younger brother, the ever-vacillating Laxman Singh who is contesting from the seat for the first time.