THE KIRAN BEDI GAMBLE THAT WASN’T

Paradropping Kiran Bedi to win Delhi, when Delhi BJP was facing problems of factions and internal feuds and a waning public interest (of Delhi’s public) in Modi Wave with letdown of the January 10 Abhinandan Rally that was marketed in the name of Narendra Modi, proved out to be what it had to be.

Looking at her as someone a panacea for all BJP woes in Delhi was the final element to complete the reversal of BJP’s electoral fortunes. Before bringing in Bedi, senior BJP leaders were not taken into confidence. Also, with her induction, the local leadership was virtually disengaged from campaigning that further alienated the Delhi BJP workers who were already bogged down by the factions.

Considering Kiran Bedi a masterstroke when there were equal chances that the decision could have backfired also – was a poorly devised electoral strategy as the party had no time for an alternative in case of a negative progress report and that is exactly what has happened.

Kiran Bedi, before it, was never tested politically, and did not have the privilege of a credibly clean figure, something that Kejriwal enjoyed. She had her fair share of controversies like allegations of inflated airfare bills, controversy on her daughter’s admission in a medical college, her U-turn on not joining politics, her U-turn on Narendra Modi and controversies related to her career as an IPS officer including the spat with lawyers in Delhi that make her an un-middle class personality as well.

BJP miscalculated on Kiran Bedi’s appeal thinking it could be linked to Narendra Modi’s mass appeal and could well be used as an alternative, local face for BJP.

BJP miscalculated that it could take on an activist-turned politician with another activist-turned politician hoping their days when they worked together would give the party strategists insight into countering Kejriwal’s campaign more effectively – pinning Kejriwal in his own way.

BJP paradropped Kiran Bedi just 22 days before the polls to face and already established player who was enjoying consistently higher popularity ratings with virtually no opposition on the scale. Kiran Bedi did not have the time even to re-compose herself, let alone the basic essentials like reading the politics of Delhi in the context of an AAP Vs BJP contest, speaking the political language and thus making moves accordingly.

Instead, she kept on speaking like a police officer, narrowed down by her administrative experience and remaining confined to that when the need was to widen politically, when the canvas was not the certain defined realms of a professional obligation but an undefined, political landscape open to the dynamic changes as the campaigning progressed. That could have worked for an activist but certainly not for a politician.

Kiran Bedi’s induction and immediate elevation in BJP was based on perceptions around her with almost no time and no exercises to taste how these perceptions play out in the electoral arena. She was made the commander of the final stage of the battle when there was no time left to strategise further and the results are before us today.

In the 70-member Delhi assembly, AAP is expected to end up with 65 seats (it may be even 67) while writing this and BJP’s ‘three seats don’t include Kiran Bedi’s assembly constituency Krishnanagar’.

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

BJP’S HISTORIC LOW WITHIN A YEAR OF THE HISTORIC HIGH OF LOK SABHA POLLS: THE CARDINAL BLUNDERS

Aam Aadmi Party is headed to win an unexpected over 60 seats in the 70 member Delhi assembly – a first by any party in Delhi.

Congress is expected to fail totally – failing to win even a single seat – a first for Congress party in Delhi.

Bhartiya Janata Party is expected to reduce to sub-10 bracket, possibly with 6-8 seats – a first for the party to go below 10 in the Delhi assembly polls since 1993.

And it is because of BJP’s own doings. Yes, blunders, one after the other.

Sheer negligence and over-confidence: Riding high on the Lok Sabha victory, the Modi Wave and the assembly victories with Modi as the face, BJP did never take Delhi seriously – until it had become too late.

Winning the Lok Sabha polls with clear majority, first party to do so after 1984, and winning three assembly polls in quick succession, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and emerging as the second largest party in Jammu & Kashmir – the confidence thereafter made Delhi a light affair for BJP strategists who believed things could be managed but when they realized the seriousness of affairs, of their faulty handling of Delhi elections, it had become too late to reverse the tide.

In two minds on its chances in Delhi: BJP was always in two minds on its chances in Delhi and that ultimately resulted in the mess that we saw in these assembly polls, as it could really never assess its ground properly and that made it try to delay the Delhi polls until polls became inevitable.

Assembly polls could have been held soon after the Lok Sabha polls and that would have given BJP the advantage of the fresh national mandate that was hugely in its favour.

That would also have taken away the window of opportunity that Arvind Kejriwal and AAP got with time at their hand to apologise for the ‘deserter act’ in February 2014 and campaign to mobilize the opinions in their favour with ‘we did commit mistake by leaving Delhi’s government just 49 days and we would not do so again, please give us a second chance’ request, while hard-selling the perceived goods of the governance of those 49 days. Humility first came as the big leveller and then became the decisive advantage for AAP.

Instead, BJP chose to keep on delaying the polls. Let’s safely assume that had the BJP’s central leadership decided on facing the polls earlier, the Lieutenant-Governor nod, with L-G being a central government appointee and representative, would never be an issue.

The Delhi house disorder: BJP could not pay attention on setting its Delhi house in order even if there was enough time, a year, between Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation in February 2014 and assembly polls in February 2015. Delhi BJP was a divided house with factions furthering their agenda. This factionalism was evident when none of the MPs took active interest in mobilizing public for the January 10 Abhinandan Rally addressed by Narendra Modi. Delhi BJP remained a divided house even as the polls approached. Now, with such a humiliating loss, doing the course correction may be even more difficult.

Making Delhi a prestige issue: Though BJP did prop up Kiran Bedi after the lacklustre show of Narendra Modi’s Abhinandan Rally, that was publicized as the launch event of BJP’s Delhi campaign, the whole BJP campaign remained centred on Narendra Modi with party asking votes in Modi’s name and his governance, and thus winning the polls became a prestige issue, even if the signs were headed in a reversed direction. BJP was still fighting the Delhi polls as if it could never have erred, as if ‘an electoral defeat’ had become an improbability for the party. The first glimpse of loss, with the Abhinandan Rally, thus set a series of responses that further derailed its prospects in Delhi.

In panic mode: Reacting in panic on almost every development had become a hallmark of BJP that began with the January 10 rally that was marketed in the name of Narendra Modi with a big media push but that turned out a letdown. The expected range of crowd, in the range of one lakh, was a morale busting 30,000-40,000. After it, BJP kept on changing its strategy regularly that further muddied the waters leaving the ground workers flabbergasted who didn’t have idea what was happening and who to reach out to as the campaign was totally hijacked by the outsiders.

The hijacked campaign: BJP’s central leadership hijacked the campaign totally, dispelling the local leadership.

Now, these bombarded ministers, MPs and workers (including RSS workers) from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (to target the voters with Eastern UP and Bihar roots) and leaders from other states were strangers for the local voters.

And when the local line of connect, the field worker in the assembly constituencies, starts acting disenchanted, the exercise becomes counterproductive wiping out in the process any advantage that it could have accrued.

And that is what exact happened with BJP in these polls. We have good enough number of reports talking about the disconnect of the dissatisfied field workers of BJP. Clearly, they added to the negativity on BJP’s chances adding thus to the prospects of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal as evident first by the pre-poll and exit poll projections and by the results today with AAP emerging as the clear winner beating all expectations, even AAP’s internal surveys.

The negativity accrued from a negative campaign: While Arvind Kejriwal kept on smiling and did not respond to the personal attacks, BJP’s campaigning became more and more stinging. BJP resorted to a clearly negative campaign with no care for elements of subtlety and satire. It was all out in the open.

It had fought the Lok Sabha election on development plank with a campaign that was largely positive. The advertisement with Anna Hazare’s photo or the ‘upadravi gotra’ advertisement was unnecessary. BJP had to fine tune its campaign in the context that there was no anti-incumbency against AAP’s previous government but it failed to do so.

Like Narendra Modi was the central target of the opponents in the Lok Sabha polls that helped him in the end, increasing his visibility when others failed to declare a credible name against him, BJP unwittingly allowed Kejriwal the same advantage with its negative person-centric campaign.

Issues disowned: By making the campaign Modi and Modi Vs Kejriwal centric and by maintaining silence on issues like ‘Delhi’s full statehood’, something BJP had always been crying about or on ‘independent audit of power distribution companies of Delhi’, BJP went further downward on the credibility scale of voters. It did not release its manifesto. Yes, in an age when ‘political corruption’ has become a catchphrase about ‘politics, taking seriously a manifesto doesn’t make for much, but then what was the need for the party to come with a vision document, than too, just three days before the polls?

BJP didn’t address the issues of Delhi locally, instead it kept on talking about big governance promises of Narendra Modi’s union government expecting the voters to look for their pie in them. Now, who has the time and who cares for generic approaches in an assembly polls? Yes, BJP’s generic approach to the Delhi-specific issues worked to reduce its credibility even further.

Conditional campaigning: BJP’s conditional campaign or campaign focusing heavily on a conditional proposition was another major reason behind BJP’s massive fall.

‘The voters should vote for BJP if they have to see a developed Delhi’ was BJP’s straight message – repeated time and again by its leaders including Narednra Modi – saying doing so would ensure the coordination between union government and the government in Delhi. In direct words, it is like – if you don’t vote for us, don’t expect our help in Delhi’s development then – certainly an undemocratic proposition.

Now, the poll outcome says Delhiites refused to buy this conditional offer in the world’s largest democracy.

The Kiran Bedi gamble that wasn’t: Para-dropping Kiran Bedi to address these concerns, looking at her as someone a panacea for all BJP woes in Delhi was the final element to complete the reversal of BJP’s electoral fortunes. Before bringing in Bedi, senior BJP leaders were not taken into confidence. Also, with her induction, the local leadership was virtually disengaged from campaigning that further alienated the Delhi BJP workers.

Considering Kiran Bedi a masterstroke when there were equal chances that the decision could have backfired also – was a poorly devised electoral strategy as the party had no time for an alternative in case of a negative progress report and that is exactly what has happened.

Kiran Bedi, before it, was never tested politically, and did not have the privilege of a credibly clean figure, something that Kejriwal enjoys. She had her fair share of controversies like allegations of inflated airfare bills, controversy on her daughter’s admission in a medical college, her U-turn on not joining politics, her U-turn on Narendra Modi and controversies related to her career as an IPS officer including the spat with lawyers in Delhi that make her an un-middle class personality as well.

BJP miscalculated on Kiran Bedi’s appeal thinking it could be linked to Narendra Modi’s mass appeal and could well be used as an alternative, local face for BJP.

BJP miscalculated that it could take on an activist-turned politician with another activist-turned politician hoping their days when they worked together would give the party strategists insight into countering Kejriwal’s campaign more effectively – pinning Kejriwal in his own way.

BJP paradropped Kiran Bedi just 22 days before the polls to face and already established player who was enjoying consistently higher popularity ratings with virtually no opposition on the scale. Kiran Bedi did not have the time even to re-compose herself, let alone the basic essentials like reading the politics of Delhi in the context of an AAP Vs BJP contest, speaking the political language and thus making moves accordingly.

Instead, she kept on speaking like a police officer, narrowed down by her administrative experience and remaining confined to that when the need was to widen politically, when the canvas was not the certain defined realms of a professional obligation but an undefined, political landscape open to the dynamic changes as the campaigning progressed. That could have worked for an activist but certainly not for a politician.

These blunders were magnified even more when seen with the increasing fringe voices from within BJP and the RSS-affiliated outfits – furthering the controversial religious agenda with events like ‘Ghar Vapasi for religious conversions’, statements on making India a Hindu nation, efforts to rewrite the text books in a particular context – the politics of intolerance – a total antithesis of development politics – and this mix didn’t go down well with an increasingly demanding electorate that is running out of patience and needs real development in real time.

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

KEJRIWAL VS DELHI POLICE – DELHI GOVERNMENT’S SIT-IN PROTEST: NOT IN SYNC THIS TIME

So, Mr. Kejriwal is going to do it again.

Chances are and as he has threatened, tomorrow morning, a Monday morning, when the third week of the first month of 2014 begins, he (with his ministers and MLAs) is going to sit on dharna/sit-in (let’s see if turns out to be a fast protest) demanding suspension for four officers of the Delhi Police, who allegedly, according to them (AAP), didn’t carry out the duty they were supposed to do.

Delhi, being the National Capital City of India is an interesting case study on parameters of administrative governance. It is if of the Union Government and it is of the Delhi Government. But, the way policy matters have been worked out for the city-state, the balance is tilted in favor of the Union Government.

The Union Government handles the ‘law and order’. The Delhi Development Authority is under the control of the Lieutenant-Governor and not the chief minister. All the three municipal corporations of Delhi are not under the Delhi chief minister. Then there are other sticky issues.

This distribution of power may be debatable but one thing is sure about it that it hurts the ego of every chief minister of Delhi, irrespective of the political affiliation.

And Arvind Kejriwal is no exception. He could have been, given by his promise of introducing a ‘politics of change’, but he is proving it fast that he is just yet another routine politician.

And to change that, he needs to show us he meant to walk the talk, and that has to happen soon.

Anyway, about his ‘dharna’ beginning tomorrow, in North Block, outside the office of the Union Home Minister – he is demanding heads of four policemen – and he is demanding the Delhi Police be placed under the Delhi Government.

Now, that cannot be done.

Delhi, being the capital city, houses the most important installations of the nation, the President Estate, the Parliament, the prime-minister’s house, embassies and high commissions, offices of the international organization including the United Nations, central commands of the security forces and many others.

The Union Government has to take care of it directly, and to do that effectively and efficiently, it needs the direct control of the civic interface of the security apparatus in the city, the Delhi Police. This cannot be expected from the specialized agencies like the NSG or the CISF. And for a better coordination, that is a must, the Delhi Police must remain under the Union Government control.

Sheila Dikshit, a veteran politician of Congress and the three-term chief minister was on a warpath to wrest the control of the Delhi Police from her own party government in Centre but she could not get it. Her politically motivated demand was rightly refused.

And Mr. Kejriwal is doing the same thing. His ‘politics of change’ is talking the same politics that we have become so frustrated with.

The issue of going on ‘dharna’ to demand suspension of four police officers and the demand of control over the Delhi Police is just yet another questionable aspect on his ‘political conduct’ in the 23 days of his government in Delhi.

Questions are being raised, rightly, on his promises and the way he is trying to deliver them.

And instead of addressing that, he is planning yet another show that will add to the quantum of the ‘questions’ only.

Yes, the Delhi Police has been notoriously insensitive, but this time, the immediate cause of this sit-in is not their insensitivity but it looks more of reactive measures on ego-satisfaction of AAP ministers. We all saw it on television, AAP ministers trying to dominate the Delhi Police officers.

And that is not good, for Delhi, for India, and for its aspirations of a ‘politics of change’.

While joining the politics, Mr. Kejriwal said the System could only be cleaned by being in it. Absolutely right.

Then why is he trying to act ‘above the System’, ‘out of the System’, putting his party, his vision of the System, first?

We don’t need his political exclusivity. We need a culture of the political discourse where ‘healthy dissent’ is at the core of the System.

Be in sync, Mr. Kejriwal.

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

WORRYING SIGNALS MR. KEJRIWAL, YOU NEED TO CHANGE THAT!

December 28, 2013, he took oath. Today, it’s January 16, 2014. Mr. Kejriwal is now 19 days old in the office of the chief minister of Delhi.

The slate, though delicately balanced on spots of positives and negatives, has not much to claim. And that is worrying because the Aam Aadmi Party should not fail and Mr. Arvind Kejriwal should not go down the political, social and communication annals as a co-opted and compromised activist and political reformist.

Yes, it is ridiculous to write anything in just 19 days when the other political parties have taken decades but have failed to perform. But writing here is about the valid concern over the ‘possibility of the renewed hopes of the common man failing so soon’ because the politics promised by AAP is the need of the day and so there has to be an intense scrutiny on every step by the stakeholders involved; because AAP does raise expectations about a ‘politics of change’, something that has been a rare event in Indian politics.

And though AAP is running out of time with just two months in office before the Lok Sabha poll-schedule is declared enforcing the model code of conduct thus debarring any more steps to be taken, we, the voters, have already run out of time. So, this concern has valid grounds.

Yes, the slate that looks delicately balanced in favour of AAP has corrosive elements that can easily alter the way the public is going to perceive Mr. Kejriwal and the AAP government in Delhi.

Yes, an AAP government in Delhi headed by Arvind Kejriwal – it is just the beginning of the formative phase of AAP and if the perceptions go wrong now, if they get the negative hue in this phase, the formative phase can easily become the summative phase eating up the consolidation and expansion phases.

And the signals from these 19 days are worrying.

The AAP government rode to the Delhi Secretariat on big promises. And from the day-1, from December 28, it looked to be in motion to fulfill them.

But the way it has moved so far puts the very intent under scanner. The way it has moved so far indicates more of a rush to lure the voters somehow before the Lok Sabha elections.

The biggest one on power tariff saw a temporary measure with subsidy compensating for the reduced bill amount. Free water is even more costly beyond the insufficient cap of the free monthly usage. And both of these measures are not uniformly distributed. They target some sections of the population while ignore some others.

Mr. Kejriwal and his team have had a series of flip-flops on cracking down on the VIP culture that easily outdo the quantum gains, if any, of this promise in the initial 19 days.

Their symbolic efforts to use the Delhi Metro for the government inaugural ceremony or the high cost involved in organizing the ceremony at the Ramlila Ground or their repeated ‘yes and no’ on availing the ‘earmarked’ government accommodations and vehicles, or the miserably failed show of organising a Janta Darbar to hear public’s grievances at the Delhi Secretariat where Mr. Kejriwal was coordinating the show from the rooftop while public was buzzing around aimlessly and helplessly, or a ‘sincere’ effort of a young colleague of Mr. Kejriwal’s cabinet to glamorise a small incident as a security threat to her, or the episodes of the repeated theatrics of Vinod Kumar Binny and AAP, have raised question marks on AAP’s and Arvind Kejriwal’s intent.

Yes, it has been just 19 days. Mr. Kejriwal, you have time to write your rulebook on how you and AAP are going to be perceived in the coming days, in the days of electoral chaos of the Lok Sabha polls and the days beyond that.

We have got worrying signals in these 19 days, and more worrying is the prospect that these signals look to get gloomy even more. Mr. Kejriwal, you need to change that.

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

MAINTAINING THE SYMBOLISM: TOUGHER TASK AHEAD MR. KEJRIWAL

It was a tough job in 2011, during the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare the centre of which was Delhi that has earned the Aam Aadmi Party this unprecedented success in the recently concluded Delhi assembly polls.

It was that symbolism of being an anti-corruption activist, the operating mind behind the 2011 achievement, with an honest intent to correct the prevailing wrongs in the Indian politics coupled with the high anti-incumbency against Congress that led to the support-swell to AAP.

If the Delhi electorate has given such an unprecedented support to AAP, in spite of the not-so-convincing role of Arvind Kejriwal in abandoning that 2011 anti-corruption movement, it tells how frustrated the electorate has become the existing political lot and how big a responsibility Mr. Kejriwal is carrying.

But the way AAP and Arvind Kejriwal set look to move, it tells more of an attitude on looking at the huge public support as ‘easy votes’ and it gives a feeling that somehow, they have stumbled upon a magical formula of manipulating the populist polices to appeal to the intended sections of the voters. The way they have moved on power and water tariff and VIP culture in Delhi, it seems the concept of ‘easy votes’ might well be the focus of their strategy in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

What the AAP government has done in the name of power and water tariff is more on the line of Congress politics manipulating different sub-sets of votebanks, doling out sops to some at the cost of some others, to appeal to the voters with populist measures.

But the electorate of India is not electorate of Delhi. Even the Delhi electorate may not give AAP the next chance if the symbolism fails.

Also, the urban, the youth, the corporate, the educated lot, that AAP is intending to target, can easily read and react accordingly the way AAP moves on delivering on its promises in Delhi.

That has to be free of the class-oriented votebank politics. Mr. Kejriwal, don’t move in the trap of addressing a section of voters at the cost of the other. It is the dirty game being practiced for years by the political parties you are targeting.

Mr. Kejriwal, beware of the risks involved.

Preserving the sanctity of the high symbolism is even tougher a job than winning so many seats in the Delhi assembly polls and riding to the Delhi Secretariat as its top functionary.

Mr. Kejriwal did have a taste of it. Isn’t it?

The social media backlash on his 6000 Sq Feet palatial set of twin duplexes in one of the poshest localities of Delhi, after which Kejriwal was forced to say no to, even after agreeing to move in, is a clear warning signal.

Tougher task ahead, Mr. Kejriwal! Beware and tread cautiously.

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

AAP IN DELHI: NOT A PROMISING DEBUT, BUT CAN STILL CLAIM THE BENEFIT OF DOUBT, BUT..

They began with high promises, dubbed impossible or near-impossible to achieve, by their political adversaries, by many experts.

Therefore, they began with proportionately placed sky-high levels of expectations, dubbed, again, impossible to fulfill by many.

So, a clear and tough, almost impossible sounding, job was already cut out.

Aam Aadmi Party government led by Arvind Kejriwal did act on the two major promises within a week and is in process of acting on the third one – on power and water tariff and on cracking down on VIP culture (at least it looks so) – the most potent and symbolically the most important for Kejriwal and AAP to prove their mettle behind their claims of cleaning the politics and being an ‘all out’ ‘aam aadmi’ party.

But have they really initiated to deliver the way they should have?

They haven’t.

Being dubbed as masterstrokes, the steps taken by Arvind Kejriwal and AAP government in Delhi should raise valid points of doubt and they must be raised if the political experiment, AAP is a test subject of, has to move in a right direction.

What the AAP government has done in the name of power and water tariff is more on the line of Congress politics manipulating different sub-sets of votebanks, doling out sops to some at the cost of some others, to appeal to the voters with populist measures.

What they have done has established elements of the votebank politics to reflect on. (And that is not acceptable.)

Reducing power tariff for two power slabs while not touching the third one, the highest one, is silly. The power bill pinches most in summers and is a problem for the huge middle class living in Delhi. And it is true that, in Delhi, even many lower middle class families use air-conditioners in these days of easy EMIs. So, the power tariff rejig is not going to be of much help. But the AAP purpose is served in the short run as the Lok Sabha polls are scheduled for April-May, before the summer peaks.

Similar is the story of the water tariff. Most of the middle class households are going to pay 10% higher for the bills as they would easily surpass the 20 kilolitres of the monthly free limit. Also, many of the intended beneficiaries would not be able to avail it, those living in slums and in irregular colonies with no regular metered water connections.

And these are not reduced tariffs. The AAP government is subsidizing them. Okay to restructure and so to bring down tariffs, they need time and so subsidy is okay in the short run.

But, are they going to restructure the power and water tariffs? Are they going to make the reduced power and water bills subsidy free so that it doesn’t come at the cost of hampering the development work?

And above all, segregating the voters in different classes like Congress does. Like Congress doles out a Food Security Bill diverting a huge share of public exchequer’s fund even if the economy is in mess, even if it comes at a prices of making food grains more costly for the middle class.

And not just the population living below the poverty line, the huge and burgeoning middle class, that is rapidly becoming a pan-India phenomenon, they all are ‘aam aadmi’ Mr. Kejriwal. They, too, voted for you.

You and your party need to learn this soon.

Now that you have begun to bring down power and water tariff, make them structured and class-free. That is the only way to clear the valid doubts being raised.

And remember, you don’t have time. Also, please stop faltering on ‘cracking down’ on the VIP culture promise. Not taking government bungalows, then accepting two palatial flats, then saying no on public outrage, SUVs for your ministers, trouble for common public on your Delhi Metro sojourns – these are putting you in bad light.

Yes, you still have the benefit of doubt as you and your party need some more time to draw clarity on the complex matters of state finances and governance and how to make them independent of the layers of the votebank politics.

But remember, everything is under intense scrutiny and if AAP is different, as claimed, it needs to show us soon.

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

AAP GOVERNMENT SWORN-IN: SYMBOLISM OF SYMBOLISMS

This was the obvious comparison to be drawn and it was drawn by many. High on symbolism, Arvind Kejriwal took the Delhi Metro to the venue of his swearing-in ceremony, the Ramlila Ground. There were placards showing the movie ‘Nayak’ poster with Anil Kapoor, the protagonist, an unwilling political reformer and the transcendental chief minister of Maharashtra and Amrish Puri, the anti- to the protagonist, symbolizing everything bad in Indian politics.

Elevation of the Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal into the mainstream of Indian politics is being compared with many symbolisms and let’s don’t think long term, let’s don’t’ analyse the ‘ifs and buts’, let’s just enjoy the high point of these symbolisms only.

Yes, let’s enjoy the high points of these symbolisms as reflective of the misery of the incumbent political lot, the so-called mainstream political parties and politicians who have become synonymous with everything negative in the method of the sociopolitical science; who have become the fountainheads of corruption in the Indian society.

I liked the movie Nayak, for its strong anti-establishment symbolism, leading to the radically fundamental ways the politics being practiced was changed.

Crushed by the atrocities of the dominating political lot, most of the Indians are a frustrated lot who think about but don’t see solutions reaching out to them, to the society, and such imagination of imagery, as portrayed in the movie, appeals to the senses, to the suppressed sensitivities from the oppression of the political lot.

So, it was good to see someone defying them, slapping them in the face.

It was good to see that even if the mainstream politicians were using harsh language, abusive words and were scoffing at AAP and Kejriwal (as shown in sting operation of a news channel), they had no option but to support the AAP government unconditionally, even if AAP was threatening to probe and jail the corrupt ministers of the previous Congress government.

It was good to see the bureaucrats of the Delhi Secretariat destroying the files that could expose their splurging on public money fearing the wrath of the AAP government.

It was good to hear that politicians and bureaucrats of the Delhi government would not use red beacons on their vehicles.

It was so good to know that ministers of AAP would not accept the sprawling bungalows. They, including Kejriwal, have demanded flats as their official accommodation. Even if it is a conscious political branding exercise by AAP, think of the misery of those politicians more than eager to inhabit such palatial houses in the heart of Delhi. What would they do in future if it establishes a successful trend?

(Think of the misery of the sophisticated bureaucrats and the mainstream politicians used to a lifestyle of ‘excessive’ excesses).

It was good see the power distribution companies in Delhi not demanding a power tariff hike even if they presented a deficit account in their annual review.

It was good to see the Delhi Police talking like common men while dealing with common men.

And it was good to see the ministers wearing the everyday stuff while taking oath.

Many other symbolisms can be added to the list. Some will exit. Some will make it to the list as the time rolls on.

Yes, valid doubts about AAP remain, but let’s enjoy the symbolism of these symbolisms, if not for AAP, then for making life miserable and troublesome for elitist and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

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