Another election and the same old tactics used by the Aam Aadmi Party in their campaign, an unhealthy overdose of Arvind Kejriwal and an entire campaign centred on the incompetence of the current establishment. From a horde of posters with the face of Kejriwal printed on them to the manner in which the AAP transformed the DUSU elections into an AAP vs BJP battle, the party has stuck to what it does best, come out all guns blazing against their competitors while it brings only ‘Honest Politics’ to the table. But the core of the party has failed to come to terms with the fact that it can no longer claim monopoly over Honest Politics without suffering scathing criticism from their adversaries. In fact, it can no longer claim to be honest at all.
A lot has changed since the time the Aam Aadmi Party could boast of an overwhelming support from the youth of the country. After a terrible showing in the Lok Sabha elections 2014, it seemed as if the party had gained back some ground when it thrashed BJP in the Delhi elections as they won 67 seats out of 70. But it was perhaps the highest point in the short career of the new Political Party and everything has gone downhill from there on.
Arvind Kejriwal might take pride in the fact that he has grown in stature as a politician since the time he resigned as the Chief Minister of Delhi and to be fair, he has learnt quite a few tricks as well. But he would do well to remember that is not how he had once charmed the youth. From a person who released lists of ‘Corrupt Politicians’ to supporting an alliance involving a convicted criminal, Kejriwal has come a long way and with every step he took, he went further away from the expectations of the youth. From protecting felons within the party to making dozens of promises he knew he wouldn’t be able to fulfil, it is something the youth of the country has gotten used to. But Arvind Kejriwal went a step further and generated an unprecedented hype around himself only to turn out like all the rest preceding him. Arvind Kejriwal promised to be the Messiah but over time, he has developed an uncanny resemblance with Judas Iscariot. That is not what the youth of this country will ever forgive him for.
The DUSU elections is perhaps the culmination of all the negativity that has surrounded the Aam Aadmi Party for a while now, a negativity Arvind Kejriwal can only blame himself for. The youth of the country is the most volatile population when it comes to political affiliations and it is attracted only by Hope and Promise of a better future. The youth should never be taken for granted. And it is safe to say, Kejriwal is no longer the Beacon of Hope that he once presented himself as to the youth. Time has taken its toll and the youth has become increasingly disillusioned with Kejriwal. One cannot expect to break all the expectations of the youth and hope to have them back in his ranks through a concert by Raghu Ram and Vishal Dadlani, the youth is smarter than that. Backlash was only to be expected.
The Aam Aadmi Party displayed some great Media Management skills as it used the Mainstream Media channels to shape Public Opinion in its favor. From fake Surveys to manipulated Opinion Polls, the Aam Aadmi Party left no stones unturned in its attempt to score a significant victory over the BJP. The party hoped to emulate its debut elections through its Student Wing but the Student Wing ended up emulating the Paltry figures of the party in its debut Lok Sabha Elections instead, probably worse. Arvind Kejriwal with his entire regiment of 67 MLAs, with Vishal Dadlani and Raghu Ram and even with NDTV interviewing an overtly optimistic Raghav Chadha in denial with reality couldn’t help the AAP save its blushes this time around and to be frank, it looks unlikely that they will anytime soon.
Perhaps the AAP should realize that the Jasleen Kaurs and Alka Lambas don’t exactly help them gain favour of the youth. “Make Us Dream”, the youth tells its politicians and no points for guessing who’s making the youth dream now. The youth supported Arvind Kejriwal because he was not the sort of politician they were used to and they have distanced themselves from him because he has proved himself to be the prototype of the politician they have grown to hate.
Even after all this, the diehard Aam Aadmi Party supporter might say, “DUSU Elections are only College Elections, they mean nothing.” But would you be saying the same thing if the Aam Aadmi Party had won? And what is worse, CYSS ended up at 3rd, even behind NSUI. The result is significant because even after all the efforts, Arvind Kejriwal could not woo the youth into voting for him. That Narendra Modi without even getting personally involved has scored a significant victory over his rival. Let it be said that the youth has rejected Kejriwal, the same youth which once upon a time formed the AAP’s battalion of most vocal supporters.