Why just Atishi Marlena, all netas' surnames should be dropped
Reports suggest the AAP leader's name was removed for sounding 'too Christian'. That debate aside, all politicians should drop their identity tags and show us only their vision.
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Aside from a drizzle of rain in Delhi, Monday morning also brought a deluge by way of a backlash for AAP and its recently announced Lok Sabha candidate from the East Delhi constituency, Atishi Marlena. The reason being, reports that AAP had apparently asked Atishi to drop her surname as it 'sounded Christian'.
Atishi has been one of the foremost faces of AAP. Will that continue? Photo credit (PTI)
As allegations flew thick and fast, several politicians jumped into the fray.
Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM chief, tweeted that this it is the reality of India's electoral politics, that to get elected, one cannot have a name which is/might sound like a Christian/Muslim name.
This is reality of Indian Electoral Politics to get Elected one cannot have a name which is /might sound like a Christian/Muslim name That is why we have only 4% Muslims in Lok Sabha out of 14% ,all this “TALK”of Secularism fails at time of Voting https://t.co/3uPmuHzSnp— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) August 28, 2018
AAP was quick to issue a clarification. Akshay Marathe, its joint secretary, bemoaned the fact that instead of focusing on issues like education or healthcare , the discourse was being shifted to identities of caste and religion, and Marlena, being a progressive politician, doesn't use her caste name 'Singh' to ask for votes.
According to some reports, Atishi's parents, Dr Tripti Waha and Dr Vijay Singh, being committed Leftists, gave her a surname combining Marx and Lenin.
“Ever since she was appointed prabhari, a rumour began to be spread by political parties in the constituency, especially the BJP, that the AAP had given ticket to a Christian,” a senior party leader told ThePrint.
Whatever may be the truth, it is indeed a welcome change. When the ruling party, the BJP, itself is saying before the Election Commission that putting a cap on poll funding of political parties will lead to caste politics, Atishi removing her surname is actually doing the opposite.
It would encourage voters to either vote for or against her based on her views and vision, instead of what her religion or caste is.
At the end of the day, it should also be her choice.
While the sad truth is, caste and religion do affect polling, political parties and politicians, instead of dissing AAP, should ideally follow suit and stop distributing tickets based on such polarising criteria.
So many netas, so many surnames - such less vision. Photo credit (ANI)
We should do away with all the Gandhis, Scindias, Modis, Owaisis, Yadavs and Singhs from these names and go to the polls based on manifestos, report cards and vision instead.