BROOM: NEW TOOL OF COMMON MAN’S SYMBOLISM

THE NEW TOOLS OF COMMON MAN’S SYMBOLISM IN THE INDIAN DEMOCRACY

Broom, the universal cleansing machine, was universally so understated (until now, at least in India). Even if the changing times brought to its contour the obvious advancements and the technological avatars, the mentality around the broom remained symbolically broom-type only.

The stereotyping can be understood by the fact that Wikipedia gives a well populated list of use of broom in cultural context and supports it with use of broom in witchcraft wizardry.

See, even Harry Potter, the hugely successful, iconic hero, having a global fan-following, creating the richest female author of the world, from scratch, even he could not change the perception. The Harry Potter Broom is listed on eBay and Amazon and returns with a number of links on the magical broomstick/broom used by the wizard boy on hitting it on Google and yet, the mighty broom has remained grossly understated.

The situation had become so hopeless, like the degradation of Indian politics that the broom proponents had abandoned their fight. Now, only a miracle could have revived the hope to start the efforts again, only a radical step could have rekindled the fire.

We cannot comment on the situation globally, in our limited capacity to get clear of the clutter in an age of information chaos, but, sure we can think on what is happening in India.

And that miracle happened in India; that radical step was taken in India.

It began in the name of the Aam Aadmi, the common man of India (if not with him in entirety, but, at least, it looked ‘intended’ to go beyond the mere the symbolism being practiced until now).

It began with a new political entrant in India, assembled mostly from apolitical names, the Aam Aadmi Party and its very special ‘Aam Aadmi’ (‘the’ common man) Arvind Kejriwal who ‘adopted’ broom as his party’s symbol.

He insisted he would get the universally functional broom its rightful due by using it metaphorically to cleanse the Indian politics, to sweep the System, to uproot it, or to remove the weeds.

And the journey on the path to fight for the rightful due has got its fighting verve with AAP emerging as an ‘Aam Aadmi’ metaphor threatening the established political masters.

So we had broom visibility as a protest tool against the System; so, we had some other political claimants claiming their right on ‘broom’ as their political symbol; so we had a major e-commerce site listing broom on its trading platform; so we have discourses on broom as an empowering metaphor of democracy now.

And it has emboldened the Indian Democracy this time to use the broom more effectively to correct its associates (claimed and natural) it seems. Its message to Mr. Kejriwal to use the broom to clean his own house also tells us so.

Now, it is to be seen if Mr. Kejriwal reads the writing on the wall.

The broom is now getting its proper due, thanks to the machinations of the Indian politics that is, thankfully, not self-evolving this time.

Next in the line:
MUFFLER: NEW TOOL OF COMMON MAN’S SYMBOLISM

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

THE REPRESENTATIVE ACTS: HEROIC ACTS IN INDIAN PARLIAMENT AND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES

The filtered alphabetical list

Breaking and throwing microphones
(Multiple times – in many legislative bodies including the Parliament)

Climbing on the desk, of other fellow members, of Speaker, of other House officials
(Multiple times – in many legislative assemblies)

Creating din in the Well of the House
(A regular event – in Parliament as well as in state assemblies)

Grabbing collar
(In Parliament in 2009; and in some state assemblies)

Hurling broken furniture and sound-boxes
(In West Bengal Assembly in November 2007)

Hurling pedestal fan towards the Speaker
(In J&K Assembly in October 2011)

Manhandling/Fist-fighting/Scuffles causing physical injuries
(Overall a regular event – in Parliament; in West Bengal Assembly in December 2012; and in other state assemblies)

Punching Assembly Marshals and others
(In J&K Assembly in February 2014; in Punjab Assembly in March 2013; and in some other state assemblies)

Slapping others including fellow members
(As in J&K Assembly in February 2013; and in some other state assemblies)

Smashing computer screen and glass panes
(In Parliament in February 2014; in Gujarat Assembly in March 2005)

Snatching papers from other fellow members
(A regular event – in Parliament as well as in state assemblies)

Taking off clothes/Tearing others’ clothes
(In UP Assembly in February 2014; in Tamil Nadu Assembly in March 1989 – Jayalalitha was attacked that left her disheveled and her sari torn)

Tearing and throwing legislative documents
(A regular occurrence – in many legislative bodies including the Parliament)

Throwing chairs
(A regular event – in many legislative assemblies)

Throwing paper-missiles
(A regular event – in many legislative assemblies)

Throwing slipper at the Speaker
(In Bihar Assembly in July 2010)

Upturning and breaking furniture
(Multiple times – in many assemblies)

Use of pepper spray
(The glorified event of Indian Democracy – in Parliament in February 2014)

Use of un-parliamentary and abusive words
(A regular occurrence – in Parliament as well as in state assemblies with the scale taking acerbic hues there)

Waving currency notes
(The hallowed event of Indian Democracy – in Parliament in July 2008)

Waving knife or a broken microphone that resembled a knife
(The hallowed event of Indian Democracy – in Parliament in July 2008)

These are just representative acts and representations here. Each category, barring few, has multiple of trend-setting examples. The categories that lack on count are expected to gain numerical strength in the days to come if we go by the developments happening now and the credible history they follow.

**Please feel happy to add to the list (I apologise for my ignorance on missing such points).

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

AAM AADMI: NEW TOOL OF COMMON MAN’S SYMBOLISM

THE NEW TOOLS OF COMMON MAN’S SYMBOLISM IN THE INDIAN DEMOCRACY

The first two months of 2014 have given the common man’s symbolism some vital tools to reflect on the centrality of the common man beyond the mere political symbolism. So how are they playing out to make the inroads?

The Common Man: The Aam Aadmi has become so lethal that it forced the Congress party to remove ‘Aam Aadmi’ from the age-old Congress’ slogan of fallacy, ‘Congress Ka Haath, Aam Aadmi Ke Saath’ (Congress’ Hand is for the Common Man – hand being the poll symbol of the grand old party of India).

It was power of the Aam Aadmi only that led to a massive surge in the pro Aam Aadmi sentiments after the Aam Aadmi gave the apolitically political Aam Aadmi Party a grand beginning in the assemblage of the political constellations, the entities that have acted like constellations mostly (though visible to us but they have hardly worked the common man way).

Congress removing Aam Aadmi is one instance of the symbolic significance of the common man in the Indian democracy happening now that is reflecting in the behaviour of the political masters of the country who, until now, have remained indifferent to the demands and needs of the Aam Aadmi. Whenever they gave us something – they gave us what they deemed apt for us. They didn’t ask what we really needed.

They are singing a different tune now. There is a mad rush not just to look pro Aam Aadmi, but also to act Aam Aadmi. And though we have solid reasons to believe that what the masters and the followers of the mainstream political parties are doing in the name of being ‘Aam’ is nothing but an opportunistic mask, they have to maintain the rhythm longer this time as the Aam Aadmi threat is here to continue its spell for quiet some time to come.

In spite of all the backtrackings and the bad name of the recent days, Arvind Kejriwal still remains one of the three top prime ministerial candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and the Aam Aadmi Party still remains a valid political threat that can significantly cut across the votebanks of all the political masters.

Next in the line:
BROOM: NEW TOOLS OF COMMON MAN’S SYMBOLISM

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

CHAI-WALLAHS PUSH FOR THEIR CHARTER OF DEMANDS

After a hugely successful conclave and an unprecedented expression of the Chai-wallah brotherhood, Chai-wallahs agreed to form a registered organisation to head the fight of the Chai-wallah social community. The process may take some time in completing the necessary legal formalities.

In the meantime, an apex body representing every geography and community of Chai-wallahs has been formed to push for immediate acceptance and implementation of the charter of demands prepared during the two-day conclave. The letter for the purpose has already been sent to the political parties.

Main demands of the charter are:

  1. Inclusion of Chai-wallahs as a separate social formation in the concerned official gazetteer of the Government of India
  2. Recognition of Chai-wallahs in official communication of the governments (states and the Union) and inclusion of Chai-wallahs in the linguistics annals
  3. Introduction of Chai-wallahs as a separate point of data collection in the Census of India records
  4. Recognition of Chai-wallahs as an economically weaker social group
  5. Formation of a governing authority to streamline the affairs of the Chai-wallahs community
  6. Empower the governing authority to issue a registration based identity card to the Chai-wallahs
  7. A separate policy for Chai-wallahs under the ambit of the policies to promote and protect interests of home-based small-scale business activities
  8. Regularisation of Chai stalls by registering the spaces they are operating at and ensuring that Chai-wallahs are not harassed by the extorting policemen
  9. Entitlement of financial aid to support the business of Chai-wallahs facing economic difficulties
  10. Subsidy for procuring Chai and sugar or provision of supply of subsidized Chai and sugar to the registered identity card holding Chai-wallahs under the Public Distribution System
  11. Healthcare insurance for the registered Chai-wallahs
  12. Separate quota for the children of registered Chai-wallahs in the government run schools

As already mentioned during the Conclave, the charter promises to support the votes to the political parties on the ‘first come’ basis.

Now, the ball is in court of the political parties and the BJP is running ahead of others by having the ‘first mover’ advantage with the ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ campaign.

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

MAA..MUMMA..

Maa..Mumma..Mother..
‘The never defined’,
Yet always guiding to the right

Maa..Mumma..Mother
‘The never demanding’,
Yet always supporting might!

Maa..Mumma..Mother
‘The never obstructing’,
Yet always questioning light

Maa..Mumma..Mother..
The crux of all the ‘isms’..
The bottom-line of every wisdom

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

BUOYED BY STORM IN CHAI CUP, CHAI-WALLAHS MEET TO DISCUSS FUTURE COURSE OF ACTION

Buoyed by the surge in discussion around Chai stalls and the ‘eyeball’ and ‘electoral’ importance of Chai-time after Narendra Modi’s ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ campaign and it pushing the herd mentality forcing others to come with their own versions, the Chai-wallahs organised a meeting in the National Capital Delhi having representatives from every language, every culture and every geography of India, to deliberate on their new-found celebrity status and to devise ways to discuss and squeeze out the maximum possible political mileage from the Narendra Modi development and its offshoots so as to ensure the maximum social dividend for their community.

Also, the emphasis was led on swift working on the minutes of the Chai-wallahs conclave to deliver a charter of demands as soon as possible so as to get the political community agreed to the demands before the code of conduct of the Lok Sabha polls are enforced.

It was decided in the meeting the Chai-wallahs across the country, irrespective of their social and community affiliations, would project them as a unified social segment with a separate social identity.

The conclave was hugely successful. The organizers said the corpus collected by ‘voluntary’ fund donations has exceeded expectations and is enough to fund the organisation’s activities for the whole year.

A sea of people was pouring into the Ramlila Ground, the iconic protest ground of Delhi. The ground that can accommodate tens of thousands of people looked incapable of handling the spirit of the recently-realised Chai-wallah brotherhood.

One of the principal organisers of the event said the ‘charter of demands’ was ready and soon it was to be sent to the political parties to force them to pledge on the demands. The huge community of the now socially-conscious Chai-wallahs, a considerably large votebank, having pan-India presence, would support any political outfit on the ‘first come’ basis.

They also say that as of now the BJP and Narendra Modi have the ‘first mover’ advantage but since it is the first consolidated effort of a unified Chai-wallah community to emerge as an important sociopolitical group, it is their duty to give everyone a fair and equal chance.

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

THE STORM IN THE CUP OF CHAI GETS MORE OF IT

Chai means many things in many languages, in many cultures. For us Indians, it is an inseparable part of our daily lives, sipping it as and when we feel, sipping it while thinking, sipping it while talking, sipping it while walking. Most of us cannot imagine our life without it.

And like many other important parts our daily life, we had taken Chai for granted as well. We realised we could not live without it yet we didn’t give it its due.

Until Narendra Modi’s Chai idea happened, now being implemented as ‘Chai Pe Charcha’, a full-scale electoral campaign every week intended to connect almost 20 million people same day same time using a mix of advanced and traditional communication technologies.

A mighty communication idea the time of which seems to have arrived, especially after the good response to Modi’s Chai-time-themed campaign!

And it has forced others to take notice; irrespective of which class they come from – the tea-proponents or the Chai-wallahs.

So, after discussing, dismissing and disparaging, even the grand old party of India had to admit the impact of the storm that is brewing in the mighty cup of Chai, and the time spent over it, some of which Narendra Modi is seriously trying to corner in his favour. According to the sources, the party strategists are burning the midnight oil to counter the move.

Some strategists even suggested hitting the support backend of the Chai-making process to prevent the further mobilization of the Chai-time in favour of Narendra Modi and thus the currency of a significant amount of votes in the poll-season.

It seems, inspired by this deep thinking, a youth Congress team in Bhopal came with the uniquely unique idea of establishing milk stalls distributing RaGa Milk in the name of Rahul Gandhi. Another noticeable effort on this line is Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Lalu Chai stalls in Bihar that offers free biscuits as well. Lalu’s Rashtriya Janta Dal is an electoral ally of the Congress party in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Whatever be the outcome of this Chai-time strategy on electoral lines, it can ensure at least one probability with certainty – in case of a disappointing electoral fortune, it can be a good enough part-time business opportunity.

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

IT IS NOW A PART OF ME

I would not say it didn’t affect
That would be unlike being me
I would not seek you to regret
That I never expected to be

You went,
Taking away a part of me
You left,
Splitting the Soul inside me
You disappeared,
Shaking my sense of ‘being

Still, you existed,
Why I don’t know
Yes, life would be different
If it were still for us
My thoughts aren’t mine
When it still comes to you

I’ll not say it doesn’t affect
That is unlike being me
Why so, but I don’t regret
Somehow, it is now a part of me

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

CONGRESS’ TELANGANA GAMBLE: ILL-TIMED, WON’T PAY

Creation of Telangana, ill conceived and ill-timed, is purely a political decision by a beleaguered Congress party that is looking at an absolute doom in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Everyone has written the Congress party off and it is unlike the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) days of 2004. There are solid reasons, multiple of them. Scores have been written and are being written on the grand failure of the Manmohan Singh’s government in its second term.

The only glint of hope is left with some die-hard supporters of the first political family of India (the Nehru-Gandhi family) and they are using it to improve their loyalty points in case the Congress party comes back to power in future by advising such silly steps to score political mileage.

Yes, these are silly steps that are not going to help Congress but have certainly thrown life out of gear in a large state of India. We can only hope that the dust will finally settle now with the Rajya Sabha passing the Bill today to create Telangana.

Yes, but it is not going to help the grand old party of India, the Congress party, the main party of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in any way.

These are bleeding days for Congress.

Going by the political equations on the ground and the projections of almost every pre-poll survey, Congress is going to have a historically low Lok Sabha tally this time. And this is going to happen in Telangana and Seemandhra, too.

After creating Telangana, Congress has lost its script totally in Seemandhra. It is not going to win even a single seat. Kiran Kumar Reddy has resigned and is going to float a new party but YS Jaganmohan Reddy is expected to lead the anti-Congress and anti-Telangana sentiments to drive home a sound poll victory.

Okay, there would have been this thought to handle the anti-incumbency in the united Andhra Pradesh by creating and thus cornering the seats of Telangana.

Congress would have thought of cornering all the 17 seats of Telangana by taking the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in its fold that could have been a big reprieve in a nationally dismal projection.

But even that is not going to happen. Projections say TRS is going to win almost 90% of the seats and in that case it would not go with Congress. Why would it merge with Congress then when it is going to be the big daddy in Telangana.

And that is written.

So, who advised Congress to go this way?

The haste only affirms the low morale and lack of sensibility in the thinking core of the party. Otherwise, it was certainly not the time for the country to have a new state.

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

TELANGANA IS IN. THOUGH ILL-TIMED, VANDALISM CANNOT REVERSE IT. UNFOLLOW POLITICOS NOW.

So, Telangana is finally in. Hopefully, the process to carve it out on the ground will not be shameful as its legislative part has been. Democracy was subverted, both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha while presenting, discussing and passing the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill.

The ruckus in the Lok Sabha followed its course in the Rajya Sabha. The live broadcast of the Lok Sabha was blacked out when it came to passing the Bill but the whole nation saw what happened in Rajya Sabha. The soul of democracy was killed once again in the Lok Sabha. Its identity was once again humiliated in the Rajya Sabha.

How can these elected members representing the top-most legislative body of the country behave so irresponsibly and insensibly while passing a bill that will affect lives of millions of people spread across a large geographical area?

But then, our politicians have been like this, more so in the recent history.

Anyway, India’s 29th state is finally created. On paper, it was accomplished today.

People of Seemandhra should understand that it is irreversible now. In fact, it has been like this since 2011. Yet a whole region was thrown into chaos by a political leadership that had earlier given its assent for a separate Telangana. Those protesting today, they all had supported it in the past. And they are trying all to keep the fire burning, to exploit the every possible chance to earn the electoral mileage in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

And all at the cost of common man, his life, his routine to survive the every passing day!

People of Seemandhra should understand the intent of their politicians and start looking at a life with a friendly neighbourhood state in Telangana on their side that is going to share the state capital Hyderabad with Seemandhra for 10 years.

There is absolutely no merit in disrupting the flow of life by organizing bandhs and protests in the Seemnadhra districts. Whom will it affect? The Seemandhra people only.

Obviously, going by the populist sentiment of the masses over the issue, there would be anti-Telangana feelings but it is not going to be beyond personal opinionating after a point of time. Yes, politicians can instigate the mob-sentiment over it and that is what they are trying to do.

If there has to be some grudge, it has to be against the politicians of the united Andhra Pradesh and the Union Government. Telangana had to come, but the process and timing has been decisively ill-thought.

Can vandalism in Seemandhra address the creation of Telangana now? Never. It will affect the Seemandhra people only, putting their lives in unnecessary peril.

Now that Telangana is in, taking it constructively should be the way forward with a hope that the process will be free of the shameless bravado of the Indian Parliament in passing the Telangana Bill.

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