Fruit ninja

The "mango people" have declared war on the "banana republic", and the Congress is only complaining about copyright violation. Because the grand and fruity old party believes that it has always represented the aam aadmi — the common man. And it feels that Arvind Kejriwal's new Aam Aadmi Party (Aap) has taken him hostage. As usual, no one has evinced the slightest interest in the aam aurat — the common woman, eternally unwanted, ignored and taken for granted. As the elections draw closer, can we expect the founding of a new, gender-focused party to take ownership of this vast, underserved segment of voters? It could be a game-changer, but for the pathetic sex ratio.

But to return to the Congress, it never really owned the common man, who has been shamelessly responsive to other suitors. Every now and then, he has gone with whoever offered rice cheaper, while silently grudging the paternalism of the favour. He has lined up for the electoral handouts, which steadied into a trickle-down with liberalisation. Until he could not keep silent any more and, freshly elevated to the middle class, he jammed on his Anna cap and took to the streets against the Congress. Such an ingrate!

The aam aadmi is no longer the party's family jewel. In an ever-diversifying polity, he has multiple allegiances. And yet the party can't let go. Should it not strike back, instead of bawling about copyright infringement? Kejriwal has been branding his movement with an ad-man's instincts. The acronym for the Aam Aadmi Party is Aap — it's all about you. Next, he may demand the mango for his election symbol, and that's when the Congress can strike. Because the mango is the designated national fruit, and it cannot be hogged by one party.

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