New Delhi: Its 1pm. Chiranjeev Kumar has called it a day. He leaves behind Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and a crowd of around 4000 gathered at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for a one-day protest. “My job is done. I will go home and rest now,” he says, pointing to an empty tray of colors in his hand. Since morning, Kumar has painted tri-colored strips on cheeks of 100 odd people at the fast venue. He charges Rs 5 per cheek. One single color tray costs Rs 100 and paints 50 cheeks. Kumar’s profit for today is Rs 800.
“My coming here solves two purposes. I listen to Anna and makes money too,” says Kumar, who claims to have attended and got business from all Anna fasts in the national capital. “The day Anna was released from Tihar jail was the biggest in terms of money I made. Every one became Indian that day,” says the native of Bihar’s Sitamarhi district.
Kumar knows that he is cashing on the emotions of those who come to witness the anti- corruption demonstrations. And he is aware of the market value of the tri-colour. Painting these colours, he says, serves various objectives. “People with such colours on their faces add credibility to the movement. Also, it makes good visuals for media.”
Interestingly, he has never painted his face with these colours. “Patriotism lies in one’s heart. These colours don’t make a difference,” he signs off before boarding a bus to his home.