Home > News > Elections 2004 > Special
The Rediff Special / M D Riti
April 19, 2004
Is all really fair in love, war and elections?
This is a question posed at a discussion forum on Ananth Kumar's web site www.ananth.org. Rather dramatic but what are politicians if not glorified actors.
Kumar is president of the Bharatiya Janata Party's Karnataka unit and the most likely choice for chief minister should his party win enough seats to form a government.
He claims to be the first Karnataka politician to start a web site. The credit for this goes largely to his software engineer wife Tejaswini, who gave up a job in defence research five years ago to devote time to her husband's work.
Perhaps, in anticipation of a bright future, Kumar once told rediff.com that his web site will enable his constituents and other citizens to keep track of his movements and achievements from anywhere in the world.
However, it has become active only recently, around April 5. Until last week, it portrayed Kumar as a Union minister with little mention of the impending election.
At present, what strikes you first is a series of pictures of Kumar with party colleagues, his electorate, including one of him playing cricket with a group of boys on the street, and performing his duties as a minister.
The site is user friendly, the language and production simple.
A vertical menu bar provides links to pages that reveal his profile, vision, concerns and media coverage of him and his activities, while a horizontal one at the left lists his performance and provides a link to a photo gallery.
The section devoted to Kumar's profile is misleading because it does not reveal much about him and is rather general in nature. In fact, a CV would have been more useful.
On the right side is a section devoted to issues, news and current events, which also carries Kumar's latest statements.
The site incorporates interactive segments with one section inviting suggestions and another (Citizens' Voice), which provides a platform for those who want to express their views on various issues. At present, the latter has two articles.
A discussion forum invites views on issues like the Telgi scam, the Veerappan saga and unemployment. At present, the top issue pertains to Kumar's rival in the chief ministerial stakes, S M Krishna of the Congress.
A disadvantage is that there is no way a user can read other people's views. All inputs are solicited via e-mail.
Incidentally, there is no mention of Hindutva or the Ram temple. The focus is on practical issues like Kumar's performance as an MP and minister.
You get to the most eye-catching part when you enter the 50 vs 5 section on the left hand side, which lists the National Democratic Alliance government's achievements in an easy to understand manner with the help of sketches.
Though it is his personal web site, Kumar does not hog all the limelight, giving credit to his colleagues for keeping the BJP flag flying in the state. He makes up for this generosity by not taking names except for those of Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and Deputy PM L K Advani.
In a scale of 5, would rate it at 3.0
Image: Rahil Shaikh