I was surprised. Did they show election news in Cartoon Network, or did the children discuss politics while playing football? I considered making a “good-parent” statement that I appreciated his views on politics. (“Wait a minute,” I said to myself. “He is only eight years old.”)
I then pondered over giving a lecture on different ideals and mottos and purposes and even venturing into each party’s manifesto (I love the way he listens, wide-eyed), but thought it better to simply ask, “Where did you hear that from?”
It turns out that there was an auto rickshaw (with loudspeakers playing songs) that had been touring the neighbourhood a week ago, distributing AAP caps and asking the kids to make sure their vote went to the common man’s party. Needless to say, the kids were impressed. If there is a common man’s party, that’s where they will go.
While we’re on the topic, I’d like to suggest that political parties seriously consider recruiting these under-12 beings for their campaign. For one thing, they don’t charge a paisa, as long as you give them a free cap or just allow them to hang around. For another, they will yell their throat out Inquilab Zindabad-ing for you. As in the case of everything that comes free, there is a downside to this too – in the middle of a burst of “AAP Zindabad”, someone would insert a “Modiji” and the whole chant would swing to “Modiji zindabad” from which, recovery is tough. (Congress hasn’t caught up in this part of the Little World yet.)
“The Aam Aadmi Party is the best,” my son added. “When is it?”
That’s when I realised that all the while, my little one had imagined AAP to be One Big Happy Party where the Common Men got together and shared free drinks and food, and chatted for a while, probably danced a bit too, and then went home.
And at that moment, I hated all political parties for misleading us all by calling themselves “Parties.”