For three months, the common man is scheduled to be given the privileged treatment given to the VIPs.

Though, that doesn’t make him a ‘khaas aadmi’ (among the privileged folks) in real terms.

The love to get in the league with the ‘common man’ has always been a temporary phenomenon and is to last only till the last phase of the Lok Sabha polls 2014 are held. They will not wait even for the results.

Yes, in the run-up, the conditions are slightly different this time, with a political debutante, the Aam Aadmi Party, of largely apolitical people, claiming to be the ‘Aam Aadmi’ (the common men), scoring an impressive show in the Delhi assembly polls last December that helped it form the government, even if it fell short of winning the majority number.

After a month of AAP in the office, even if the ‘commonness’ of AAP is facing some serious existential questions, the ‘Aam Aadmi Factor’ continues to haunt and pinch the political strategists of every political party.

With ‘Modi Factor’, ‘Rahul Factor’ and ‘Kejriwal Factor’, we are going to hear more and more on the ‘Aam Aadmi Factor’ as well.

The mad rush has already begun with the poll bonanza entering its final leg. Now is the time that the ‘Aam Aadmi’ would (impulsively, every now and then) think of being the king on his short-lived windfall, being thankful to the political masters. Yes, with the ‘Aam Aadmi Factor’ in air this time, he can expect some more layers of packaging covering the stock of his windfall.

It would be interesting to watch the scramble, to lure the ‘Aam Aadmi’ in the narrow spectrum of time available before the Lok Sabha polls are announced in the last week of February or in the first week of March enforcing the model code of conduct that would put the cap on the rush.

That leaves the political parties with just a month to distribute their largesse claims, on which, they have to lubricate the electoral sentiments until the last phase of the Lok Sabha polls are held.

Watch this space for the mad rush on this highway.

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


Rahul Gandhi, in an unscheduled appearance (but not unexpected in the tidal times of elections), joined the protesters this evening at Jantar Mantar, in solidarity with their demand for justice for Nido Taniam, a 20-year old student from Arunachal Pradesh, who was beaten fatally by some shopkeepers in the Lajpat Nagar market of Delhi after he reacted to the racist comments by them, and who, later on, succumbed to his injuries.

Racial profiling and discrimination against students and aspiring professionals from the North-East is a dark reality of the Indian national capital. Despite waves of protests after every such incident, such ghastly crimes continue.

This is not a law and order problem only. It is in the mindset. The roots go down deeper in the psyche, a psyche marred by sick mentalities. Yes, it is a mindset problem leading to social apathy in the segments of Delhi’s population, a mindset that afflicts the law and order enforcers, too.

When we need a series of exemplary retaliatory measures by the police and administration to create a deterrence to keep this mindset under control, we do not have much to count.

On January 24, before this incident, two women from Manipur were assaulted in a case of racist attack at Kotla Mubarakpur in Delhi. The women were thrashed by the goons on resisting a prank they were being subjected to regularly.

But the police desisted from registering FIR. It was only after pressure from some activist groups that the police registered any FIR but any arrest could only be possible after the protests surge demanding justice for Nido raising again the larger issue of racial discrimination against the people from the North-East. Even in Nido’s case, the role of police is under scanner and probe is needed to fix the responsibility.

It was good that Rahul Gandhi thought to be there, at Jantar Mantar, in solidarity with the cause to demand justice for Nido. It was good to hear Narendra Modi raising this issue yesterday.

But such acts will be seen more as the acts of political compulsions than responses of humanitarian concern as long as the administrative apathy, overlooked by the political leadership, continues having a blind eye to such socially divisive crimes.

Till then, Delhi will remain a maddening place for anyone who believes in values of humanity and who wants to make it its first or second home.

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