The election season is soon going to colour the Delhi air, and as we gear up for a tough battle to the state assembly, we surely will also witness high pitched political drama and some interesting twists in the tale!
While we acknowledge the fact that we live in times of post-truth, what also cannot be denied is the fact that elections are a time for Pre-truth, that changes and alters, reinvents and suits itself to the needs and requirements of the vote bank.
One such interesting example comes from the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP)and its veteran leader Atishi. As she gets her ticket to contest from Delhi’s Kalkaji constituency in the upcoming Delhi elections, she has chosen to add a surname to her name and become “Atishi Singh.”
She is a well know and popular face of the party and with the addition to her name, she is reaching put to people in her constituency with the new sign-off. In 2018, Atishi decided to drop off her previous surname “Marlena”, when she was declared the candidate for East Delhi for the Lok Sabha elections. She had made up her mind to drop her erstwhile surname “Marlena”(a tribute to communist stalwarts Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin)to dodge off circulation rumours about her being a christian. AAP sources had underlined again and again at that time that Atishi was indeed a Hindu and not a Christian. Atishi decided to drop her surname in order to drop the confusion on her religious affiliations!
Now, party sources tell us that she has started using Atishi Singh as both her father and her husband use the surname. Atishi is from a Punjabi Rajput family. This is quite confusing because Atishi’s press releases continue to make use of only her first name.
It is being said that Atishi’s decision to use her real surname as part of the poll campaign is a carefully crafted and timely decision that has been influenced by the fact that Kalkaji has a large Punjabi population, what better way to strike a chord?
Atishi’s decision to suddenly begin using her father’s and husband’s surname(which is quite a common surname among Punjabis) is surely a bid to woo the Punjabi voters in Kalkaji. For a person who dropped her surname recently, the picking up of an altogether new surname is surely a politically smart decision especially at a time when the elections are not far away! Delhi’s elections are around the corner and Atishi’s new surname can surely help her strike a chord with her Hindu voter base. The existence of an electoral equation behind the move is undeniable. Atishi wants to win over the sizeable Punjabi and Hindu population residing in Kalkaji, thus her decision to add a surname this election season is a carefully crafted and well manoeuvred move.
While AAP is trying its best to project itself as a secular party, each year such election gimmicks end up ruining its claims at secular politics. How should it matter what surname Atishi uses or whether she uses a surname at all, if AAP is really true to its secular credentials?