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galli galli mein shor hai

from Candid Camera section of 33rd Anniversary Issue of India Today magazine dated 29th December 2008 - a time when war clouds had gathered thanks to 26/11 Mumbai Attacks [wiki]

Left page had a picture (by Bhawan Singh) V.P Singh riding an Enfield Bullet motorcycle from village to village amid slogans that rang a question, a question about money and brokers: V.P. Singh ka ek sawal, paisa khaya kaun dalal, the year was 1988 and the era was that of Bofors scandal that spelled doom for Rajiv Gandhi government of the time.

Right page had a full page Ad for BAE Systems, the company now associated with 155 Howitzers by Bofors

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The killers of Rajiv Gandhi had earlier done a helpful trial dry run on VP Singh.

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Another famous slogan from that time: 'Galli galli mein shor hai, Rajiv Gandhi chor hai'.  I don't remember this slogan. What I do remember this this: One fine bandh day, a day between 2 December 1989 and 10 November 1990 - the tenure of VP Singh's prime ministerialship, I saw an image drawn on a side wall of a closed shut shop. Drawn in coal was a big happily chubby face of the hat man from Uncle chips wrapper. But the mustache and the hat was different. These were the famous V. P. Singh mustache and Karakul hat. Just below this apparition, scribbled again in coal but boldly, were the line: Galli galli mein shor hai, VP Singh chor hai. After Rubaiya Sayeed kidnapping fiasco and Mandal commision immolations, he was not the most popular person around.

I last saw him on TV in winter of 2007, he was visiting families of Nithari victims. He had his Karakul hat on and was dressed in a Kashmiri pheran - looking immobile.

V.P Singh died on 27 November 2008. In the backdrop of Mumbai mayhem that started 26/11, the News wasn't big enough.

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