ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Aam Aadmi: Decoding the Media Logics

The spectacular rise of the Aam Aadmi Party and all the recent controversies it has sparked prompt us to examine the role of media in the making of the "common man". This article traces the logics of print, television, and social media, to ask what it means to consider AAP as a "media party".

The victory of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is hailed as heralding a new era of urban politics in India, a sign of citizens finally waking up to the call of cleansing “dirty politics”. Riding on the sentiment of challenging legacy parties and their unscrupulous politics of stealth and loot, AAP has made an impressive foray into electoral combat by combining rhetoric with hard organisational work. In the recently concluded Delhi elections, the party meticulously organised door-to-door campaigning to strike a direct connection with the voters, kept the fund-raising fully transparent with all the details made available on their website, fielded their candidates only after ensuring they faced no criminal charges, and prepared customised manifestos for the assembly constituencies with an appeal that reached out to the middle class as well as the poor.

Although these have been the ideals of “clean” electoral politics, the stupendous hypocrisy among a large crop of politicians and political parties has meant that they are used not as guidelines to be followed, but as grounds to discredit the opponents. The silent pact of performing opposition while remaining wedded to the same rules of realpolitik and looting of natural resources through ugly channels of liberalisation seem to have pushed the “common man” to a brink.

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