Given the kind of space, importance and attention newspapers, magazines and websites give photographs these days, it would not be unfair to say that the just-concluded general elections was visually below-par. There was no stellar frame, no standout picture, no large canvas frame that sticks in the mind’s eye.
‘Astro’ Mohan (in picture, left) of the Kannada daily Udayavani was one of the few to buck the trend. In Udupi, Mohan managed to capture the Karnataka BJP president D.V. Sadananda Gowda “begging” for votes in a commuter bus, while a real beggar was begging for alms alongside.
The picture has won the first prize in the Shooter photo competition organised by the online photo community, Fotoflock. The well-known photographer Fawzan Husain chose the winners.
“It’s a very timely shot where the photographer has been able to shoot people from two different walks of life doing the same thing in a bus. Very rarely does one come across this kind of a situation,” reads the citation.
For his rigours, Mohan has won the Epson Stylus Photo TX700W.
For the record, Sadananda Gowda won the elections; the fate of the beggar is not known.
Photographs: courtesy Karnataka Photo News
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Mr. Gowda is certainly no prince, and we have no evidence the beggar is actually a pauper. As Walter Lipmann wrote, we view the world through culturally colored lenses. Illusion trumps reality. Sab maya hai, mere bhai.