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:

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –



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:

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Continued/extended from

The first two months of 2014 have been highly productive for the Indian democracy and the trends tell the drought of decades is going to end its inflicting spell.

The ‘Aam Aadmi’, the common man, had never gone beyond the ‘symbolic’ special status of being the fundamental constituent of the independent India. His special status was always limited to the days of elections and the short-lived phase of hallelujah only served the game of the political masters of the country.

So, what are the developments that help us daydream so or push us to think so?

The first two months of 2014 (though the foundation was led in the last month of 2013) have given the common man’s symbolism some vital tools to reflect on the centrality of the common man beyond the mere political symbolism.

These are:

  • The Common Man
  • The Broom
  • The Muffler
  • The Coughing Common Man
  • The Tea and the Tea-wallah
  • The Pepper Spray
  • well these tools are playing out?

Watch out..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


The beginning was made when the assembly elections of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (and Mizoram) were announced.

The mini-theatre gave ample, even more than enough, representation to the tools of political communication.

Advertising mileage, branding linkage and marketing deliverance – every tool was exploited.

And the colloseum of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls is going to reflect the magnified scale of these tools used in the mini theatre in operation in the last quarter of 2013.

The players, the coaches, the platforms – all are greasing up to campaign for the campaigns that are going to sweep the nation.

The direct, the indirect, the ‘above-the-line’, the ‘below-the-line’, the explicit, the restrained, the provocative, the diminutive – every possible tool in the communication manuals is going to be used and re-used.

UPA’s Bharat Nirman, NDA’s efforts to undoing the ‘Bharat Nirman’, attacks, counter-attacks and allurements of other political outfits in the communication space – until now, the space has seen use of ‘flighting’, the intermittent burst of advertising campaigns.

Now, with the Lok Sabha polls just two months away, be prepared to weather round the clock, 360 Degree ‘continuity’ of political communication right into your homes, in your lives, with regular intermittent bursts of overdose.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Five assembly elections just concluded. Four of them, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, were touted as semifinal before the general elections, the Lok Sabha polls, of 2014.

It can be rightly said the nation was thrust into the poll mode right from the time these four state assembly elections were announced.

And the outcome has only galvanized the atmosphere.

No had expected such a big humiliation of Congress. No one had given such a big thumbs-up to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). No one had thought BJP would score so huge victories in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Despite the claims, most of the pre-poll surveys failed to gauge what was going to happen.

Now, with just two months left for the Lok Sabha polls, the run of the pre-Lok Sabha polls opinion poll surveys is already on the show and is expected to gain quick momentum in the coming days.

With each passing week, the frequency is going to increase until the model code of conduct puts them to go silent.

Yes, bitten and stung, expect the outcome of the four assembly results of December 2013 to reflect in their analyses and projections.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


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 –


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 –