He is the ‘pursued voter’ of all the political parties and in this era of ‘dharna politics’ the aam aadmi has taken a front seat. Every election manifesto this election season calls for the betterment of this ‘elusive’ group. But who exactly is the ‘aam aadmi’ in this country? What are the characteristics of the ‘aam aadmi’?
No political party has clearly spoken out. Can the economic status of a person determine whether he is ‘aam’ or ‘khaas’ or do your educational qualifications qualify you to be an ‘aam aadmi’?
The term ‘aam aadmi’ is now being used to define anybody and everybody.
So how did the ‘aam aadmi’ suddenly become an important entity in the current political scenario? The answer lies in the Anna Hazare led anti corruption movment that was launched with much fan fare at the Jantar Mantar in 2011. The movement drew large crowds and amidst the ‘shor sharaba’ demands for a Jan Lokpal Bill were made that would lead to the end of corruption in India. But in my view the movement did not lead to any substantial gains except introducing this new term. The ‘Aam Aadmi’ came to the foreground but the ‘real aam aadmi’ continued to be in the backdrop.
In this 21st century India where a large gulf is seen between the rich and the poor, the ‘aam aadmi’ in my eyes is the one who is lives in the remote areas, who probably doesn’t even know that such a large scale campaign was started in New Delhi! It is known widely that revolutions are often supported by the and the ordinary proletariat classes are often left out. The Marxists have often complained that post independence, the poor are still continuously exploited, because now the Indian masters have replaced their foreign counterparts.
In our part of the world where serious economic inequities are present, the common man or the aam aadmi is not conscious of his rights and duties. Every election season, he becomes a soft target for the political parties. The common voter is often manipulated against his will. False promises are often made to win his loyalty. The resultant victory of the political party however leads to a silent defeat for this much prized voter.
The 2014 parliament elections have been fought on a similar plank of ‘good governance’. The ruling party has won the elections after raising a very attractive slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas”- now it will be interesting to see how the present government can effectively work towards ‘betterment’ of the country. Well, what exactly constitutes ‘Vikaas’ is something that I would like to know.
The allies aren’t happy with the autocratic ways of the current PM. There are complaints that he hasn’t kept their interests in mind. In all of this, isn’t the aam aadmi and his problems being ignored again? The recent controversy pertaining to the Human Resource development minister strengthens this notion.
The ‘common voter’ still sits on the pavement selling knick knacks on Baba Khadak Singh Marg to make ends meet. Our maids continue to work tirelessly for meagre wages day in and day out and young girls are still deprived of their basic rights like proper sanitation facilities and the right to attend a school.
The concern for the aam aadmi is only at the level of rhetoric. The issues are very complex and are closely intertwined with our social customs and traditions. The ‘aam aadmi’ or the ‘aam aurat’s real concerns will be addressed only when we are willing to leave our pre conceived notions aside. As long as we don’t mould ourselves in a different mode, no ‘social revolution’ can take place. Till then, I find the nearby ‘paanwala’ soaking the sun’s heat, listening to the latest Bollywood songs looking aimlessly for his next customer in the crowd.