Monday, July 21, 2008

Political "Chameleon-ship"


Text and picture by Eki Qushay Akhwan

Politicians are probably the most adept of all chameleon species. Though not always in the negative sense, they change colors whereever they go to adapt to their audience (constituency).

I spotted this campaign banner near Darut Tauhid Islamic Boarding school complex on Geger Kalong Girang Street in the north of Bandung. The banner depicts the incumbent mayor, Dada Rosada, who is running for the second term of office in the upcoming mayoral election, posturing a gesture and wearing Islamic religious symbols: holding up his arms (the gesture Moslems make when praying), wearing Indonesian Islamic attires ("peci" cap, white "taqwa" shirt, and green shoulder scarf), and posing in front of a minaret picture to attract the votes of Moslem constituency in the area. The caption in the banner reads: "Let us make Bandung into a religious city to achieve Bandung Bermartabat". Bermatabat is an accronym of the city's vision which can literally be translated into English as "clean, prosperous, law-abiding, and friendly".

By the way, do you also notice the pedicabs (Indonesian: becak) parked in front of the banner? That's also another symbol: poverty! Can he really address that problem when he is elected? Only God knows.


jaka said...

Religion as commodity. How real it is in Indonesia. Pathetic: sells dream instead of kicking the real problems. Thank you for showing us this. But, is becak really a symbol of poverty?

Virginia said...

First question, is your mayor really a Muslim or just wearing the trappings of one for political gain?
Political flip flopping and pandering is alive and well in the USA, I can assure you. Your photo says a lot.

... said...

As a friend of mine once said: it doesn't matter who you vote for, you still end up with a politician.

While I'm not as cynical as my friend, he's proven right more often than not. There's nothing some politicians won't try in an election year...

Michelle said...

Politicians are politicians no matter what country you're in...Interesting about the cart Eki..

Joy said...

Ah yes, the pedicabs. They're very handy, especially when the streets are flooded.

Many thanks for your visits to Norwich Daily Photo. I hope that you enjoy the colours of summer on my blog.