Thursday, August 9, 2012

Partying with the Kejriwals.

Right Wingers swear that they are Naxalites. Left Wingers aver that they are Saffron Chaddiwalas. Conspiracy theorists whisper that they are Congress Agents. While the Congress thinks they are nuts!

So how does one slot Team Anna? Are they the proverbial elephant being pre-judged by the ideologically blinded? Things will get clearer when Kejriwal & Co pick a suitable name for their party.

Meanwhile let’s analyze their options. ‘Swaraj’ and ‘India Against Corruption (IAC)’ are two names doing the rounds. ‘Swaraj’ has gained currency as Arvind has penned a book by the same name. And ‘IAC’ must have been floated as it’s been spearheading the anti-corruption movement for the last two years.

Although single minded and powerful, ‘India Against Corruption’ is highly unlikely as it sounds like a mouthful and feels like a one-issue party. ’Swaraj’ on the other hand is highly evocative and stirs the imagery of ‘liberation’ as voiced by Tilak and ‘rule of the self’ as imagined by Gandhi. Given his newfound love for ‘the village and the farmer’, I am sure Arvind Kejriwal would plump for ‘Swaraj’.

But there are some basic naming issues to be taken into consideration. The domain has already been taken by Swaraj Foundation, an NGO that focuses on community development. There are two ways to circumvent the problem: call it ‘Swaraj Party’ or ‘Swaraj Andolan’. But Swaraj Party reads ‘SP’ when abbreviated and we all know SP is Samajwadi Party, so that’s out. ‘Swaraj Andolan’ is a likely prospect as ‘Andolan’ gives it a movement feel.

‘Anna Dal’ is another suggestion that’s become popular. But it is personality-centric and seems like a poorer cousin of Apna Dal. Also, it could be spoofed as ‘Anna Dalal’. Humorist Ramesh Srivats has come up with the baap of all names. He’s proposed Bharatiya Anna’s Alternative Party (BAAP)!

‘Parivartan’ or ‘Change’ is a dark horse that might clinch it as Kejriwal already runs an outfit by this moniker. If I had a say, I’d pick ‘Jai Hind!’ where JAI can stand for Jan Andolan for Inquilab (People’s Movement for a Revolution). That way, every time someone utters ‘Jai Hind’, they’d be unknowingly campaigning for the party!