Anarchy gets some Che Guevara style makeover in India, sans some of its elements

‘Yes, I am an anarchist’ – Arvind Kejriwal proudly said it.

Others use more subtle ways. They don’t say but keep on doing. Anarchy has been the way of many of the Indian political establishments.

The rogue elements of the Samajwadi Party or the Bahujan Samaj Party, the militant brand of politics by the parties like Shiv Sena or MNS or the political elitism of every political outfit in the country contribute to the political anarchy (the democratic disorder) in the country.

Yes, they don’t proclaim it openly. They are silent workers here.

Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party are the beginners in the Indian political scene. They have gone political (from activism) to cleanse political of its malaise, to cleanse the System.

Their political basis has been anti-establishment. They have to do different things and they have to do things differently.

But, with one month of the chief ministerial office in Delhi under their grab, they are looking pro-establishment.

Whatever be their intent, on surface, they have to do things to looks different, and the need is exacerbated even more.

So, with the compulsion of ‘being and doing’ things differently, there might be a possibility that some of them advised that the dent was already deepening and AAP needed something different to reclaim the lost ground.

Now, what could divert and reorient the public’s attention in a short span of time?

Agitations folks! And who knows better than Arvind Kejriwal. After all, his political success comes from the hugely successful anti-corruption movement of 2011. Then, he was apolitical. Then he was not in the System.

Now, he is political. Now he is part of the System that he is supposed to cleanse.

So, to do it differently, the angry new entrant of Indian politics sought to reignite the sympathy for the ‘anti-hero’ in the masses, by branding him ‘anarchist’.

Anti-hero anarchy has been a populist theme throughout the world, across the sociopolitical theatres.

Okay, he didn’t do a different thing. But at least, he could do it differently. Others do it but don’t give the ‘anarchy’ its due. Arvind Kejriwal gave ‘anarchy’ its due by giving it the name, by recognizing its populist appeal.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


The common men, the public of the Republic

Okay, even if doubts have crept in about how central to their plans the ‘aam aadmi’ (the common man) is going to be in reality, the political parties are forced to look pro-common man, and it is unlike any time, at least after the JP Movement of 1970s.

And there looks an unusual likeness for it, a feeling that should be loved; a feeling that should be hoped to be the sustained one.

The ramblings are creating saints and sentient thinkers out of the politicians, of all types, after the Aam Aadmi Party’s stunning performance in the Delhi assembly polls.

So, an Arvind Kejriwal’s government, that is in imminent danger of falling short of being ‘aam’ (common) for the ‘aam aadmi’, is forced to look and sound even more ‘aam’ and it tries to symbolise its concern by not accepting the palatial government accommodations (though unwillingly), by spending crores to let the public be the part of its power show during its government’s inauguration, by getting a rickshaw-puller inaugurate a hospital, though none of its ministers including the most special ‘aam’ among them, Arvind Kejriwal, come forward to offer any explanation on dozens of deaths due to cold in the Delhi government run night shelters.

So, even if the ‘aam aadmi’ remains a compromised political currency, the difference this time is, he has forced the political parties (both, routinely political and newly political) to take notice of him, to talk about him, to accept the symbolism of his power.

So, a faltering AAP is trying to sustain its momentum.

So, the others, including Rahul Gandhi’s Congress and Narendra Modi’s BJP, they all are trying to gain the ‘aam aadmi’ momentum.

‘Aam Aadmi’ has never been so central to the political campaigning.

But, to what extent it makes for the elements of a sensible process of change? Only time will tell.

The worrying part is the cracks have started to appear.

Yes, it is premature and foolhardy to think that this acceptance of the ‘power of the symbolism of the aam aadmi’ would lead to some immediate breakthrough in the mode of political functioning in the country.

It needs to evolve. An overnight crash course in anarchy is not going to help.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


It was 2011 when the great Father of the Nation was being hotly debated again. The huge support to the anti-corruption moment led by the Gandhian social reformer Anna Hazare was a high time to revisit the Gandhian Thoughts once again.

And the strategists of the movement cleverly mixed the symbolism of the Gandhi Caps (inscribed with ‘Main Bhi Anna’ and other similar tag- lines then) with the debate.

It was a potent symbolism that also felt honest then.

Even if there was a split in Team Anna on the issue of formation of a political party, the Aam Aadmi Party (the political offshoot of the anti-corruption movement of 2011) continued with the Gandhi Caps making it an important part of its political branding exercise.

Yes, ‘Main Bhi Anna’ has been replaced with ‘Main Aam Aadmi Hun’.

The AAP members, they have taken it to the level that they don’t leave their heads uncovered even if they are sitting in the state assembly. Nothing wrong if doing so is not just a political branding exercise. But, there is reasoned ‘but’ now.

But, for the Gandhi Caps, after the success of AAP in the Delhi assembly polls, its membership numbers are swelling across the country and so is the count of the Gandhi Caps being on display.

And to add to that are the saffron Gandhi Caps going to be used by the BJP.

So, is the growing count of the Gandhi Caps going to affect the way its bearers are going to think politically?

Don’t daydream.

It is not expected from the BJP. And the way AAP has been in the office since December 28, 2013, we should not expect it from AAP either.

But, at least it is doing some good to some members of the Republic, the small trading units involved in making these caps. Already in the range of orders of hundreds of thousands, they are slated to earn even more with the fast approaching Lok Sabha polls.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Now this is a queue which even the most frustrated (of uncountable queues) Indian is gleefully trying to be part of.

The unexpected, unprecedented success of the Aam Aadmi Party in the recently concluded Delhi assembly elections has given wings to the all types of ‘wannabe’ politicians.

So, there is a rush (mad or sincere only time can tell, though the benefit of doubts exists at the moment) to join the ‘so heavily despised and censured’ Indian Politics.

The lot that was adamantly apolitical until now is getting happily political now.

And in the band, there is flowing a great tune of parity – from corporate honchos, to non-resident Indians, to well trained and educated professionals, to media luminaries, to the Aam Aadmi – all are feeling good to take a plunge to feel jolly in the season of the ‘public’ in the Republic of India.

Certainly, this is a rare phenomenon in India.

Public has seldom been at the centre of the policymakers and political class in the Republic that is also the world’s largest democracy.

We have seen great many subversions of the spirit of being a Republic and being a democracy including the Emergency.

It is not that there have not been attempts to change politics but they have either failed like the political extension of JP’s Movement or have failed to be noticed like the political start-ups by some socially responsible professionals.

There is, again, a chance now. Predicting anything about it will be premature as of now. But this chance tells the hope has a reason to hope again.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Each one has different interpretations, depending on which side you are.

Getting apolitically political

The Gandhi Caps

The Aam Aadmi
(The common man, the public of the Republic)

The Populist Anarchy
(Anarchy gets some Che Guevara style makeover in India, sans some of its elements)

Pre-poll seasoning on electoral reasoning

Campaigning for the campaigns

The ‘Chai Wallah’ Vs the Aspiring Common Man (the Prince) Vs the ‘Muffler Wallah’

The pundits on ‘ifs, buts and ayes’ of India, spread across the spectrum

Depending on which side you are, the way you think, it can be a ‘Happy Republic Day’ or an ‘Unhappy Republic Day’ or just a plain ‘Republic Day’, nothing more than a public holiday.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/