The Aam Admi and Indian Politics – Guest Post by Ashok Malhotra

Arvind Kejriwal has founded the “Aam Aadmi” Party. However, what Kejriwal has come to symbolize is so distant from the average Indian that it is difficult to see him as an “Aam Aadmi”. On the other hand, Narendra Modi is a lot closer to the average Indian, and this is not just because of his OBC-Chaiwala background (though they are also significant) but more to what he has come to symbolize and his dealing with the emotive conflicts of the present day Indian Identity. Thus while Kejriwal may evoke a lot more admiration and reverence, Modi is a lot easier to identify with and hence conveys the impression that he is not just an idealist but a practical man who knows what he is dealing with and has demonstrated some ability of doing so. One of the significant struggles for the present day Indian is the conflict between sectoral leanings and larger Indian identity.

Guest Speaks : Myth Of The Aam Aadmi by Ashok Malhotra

Whenever I come across the term Aam Aadmi( Common Man) I begin to wonder as to who this creature is. I look for him amongst people that I encounter(including myself), but never seem to find him; though in a sense, he ia all pervasive. This of course is understandable because Aam Aadmi is only a archetype which is not supposed to have a one to one correspondence with any specific individual. Thus we can only talk about him  in a symbolic sort of way ….  as an image which is sought to be communicated by people who claim to talk on his behalf and/or act in his interest.