The AAP commercial: Is it an effort to create a personality cult for ‘Hamarey Arvind’



By Shilpika Srivastava

Opening scene: A saree-clad woman grabs her purse, goes to a vegetable vendor and buys vegetables. However, maybe it’s an irony of middle-class house-maker, she falls short on money and sadly returns back one of the vegetables that she planned to buy.

Next scene: Bijli ka bill aaya hai! Smiling, she shows her newspaper-reading, chai-sipping husband her electricity bill. And all thanks goes to the Arvind Kejriwal Government. (Is the lady ignorant of the fact that the tariff shot up by 6 per cent this Monday?)

The above scenes are small glimpses from the recently launched TV advertisement by the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party which is amusingly trying to highlight the achievements of the government.

Throughout this advertisement, a voice-over recounts those old and tough days before the AAP government and how the lady would cry alone and think of how she’ll manage to pay the bills and run the home.

What’s wrong with the ad?

The two-minute advertisement tried hard to focus on Delhi government’s achievements but instead ended up being self-congratulatory and sexist.

The commercial disproves of a new kind of politics that the party had initially promised. Rather, the advertisement has indeed turned out to be a model of political corruption that takes roots in almost all political parties across the country.

In the light of 6% power tariff hike in Delhi, the advertisement is misleading and is loosely trying to cover up the reality.

What’s more disturbing?

What’s actually bothersome in this ad is the audacious abuse of public funds to create a personality cult for ‘Hamarey Arvind’. The commercial is trying to show that the whole world is conspiring against the CM and he is the only honest man left alive in this world who can curb down corruption and promise real ‘Acchhe Din’ to people. In fact, the ad is boldly trying to portray Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal as the saviour.

In addition, the commercial is an unabashed infringement of the Supreme Court guidelines that states that any government should avoid the glorification of political personalities in their advertisements. The order also expounds that there should be no use of public funds for the projection of parties and their leaders.

The ad has also attracted strong criticism from many political leaders.

The ad ends with, ‘Hey Bhagwan, hamaarey Arvind ko salaamat rakhey.‘ (Oh lord, keep my Arvind safe).

PS: The background music in the commercial is the opening notes of Peter Cetera’s Glory Of Love which was the theme song in Karate Kid.

Watch the ad here.

  • Neeru Bahl

    The advt is not sexist. It shows the reality of a typical middle-lower middle class home maker in Delhi. This is how she spends her day, doing household chores and struggling to meet family’s needs within a given budget. So the writer should minutely have a relook on how a lower middle n middle class house wife spends her day in Delhi, And a typical man in Delhi hardly contribute anything in house hold chores except watching TV!