Two days with AAP in Banaras

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

‘Varanasi’ is only the official name. Sometimes, to make a poetic point, someone may say Kashi.   But ‘Banaras’ is how Banarasis refer to their city.

Banaras ki parampara, they say. Or hum Banaras ke musalman.

Kaal Bhairav Banaras ke kotwal hain, says the mahant of the Shitala Mata temple. Kaal Bhairav (Shiva) is the keeper of the gates of Banaras.

And of course, Banaras ki chaat khaayi hai aapne? Banaras ka paan nahin khayenge?

do seet

Sticker on wall of home in Rajmandir, a Hindu locality (All pictures by JAMAL KIDWAI)

My old friend and comrade Jamal Kidwai and I were in Banaras to observe the AAP campaign, being supporters of AAP (me) and of Arvind Kejriwal in Banaras (Jamal), and to hang out with the (largely young) volunteers who have landed up – from IT and advertising, from colleges and small government jobs, from Bangalore and Mumbai…

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14 thoughts on “Two days with AAP in Banaras

  1. My answer to that provocative poster.

    मोदी जी वाराणसी से केज्रीवाल को हराने के लिए लड रहे हैं!
    यदि केज्रीवाल में हिम्मत है तो गुजरात आकर मोदी के खिलाफ़ चुनाव लडें !


    • GV ji, I dont know how valid that poster is, but Kejriwal can never defeat Modi in Gujarat. In a state which has experienced horrible riots and genocide in very recent past, there are enough Modi-fanatics born out of minority-phobia who will out-vote any challenger to Modi. No wonder Modi has been re-elected and will continue to be re-elected, since voters from the majority community will always be more than voters from the minority community. That is why we have the terms majority and minority in the first place. Thats common sense.


      • Modi entered the fray at Baroda first. He is sure to win there. There was no need for him to contest from anywhere else.
        If as you say, even before Kejriwal filed his nomination, Modi had decided to contest from Varanasi it obviously confirms that he is not afraid of Kejriwal.

        Filing his nomination in a distant state, away from home turf shows courage, not fear. He has done it with the confidence that he will win in both places. That would be a tremendous vindication of what he stands for. Tackling Mayawati/Mulayam/Rahul in UP needs extraordinary courage.
        I find the poster ridiculous.
        I repeat what i said. Let Kejriwal show he has guts by fighting the lion (Modi) in his den (Gujarat)


    • I am counting the thumbs. So far 23 up and 16 down at 7:30 pm on May 8.

      May I interpret this as an exit poll? In which case Modi wins against Kejriwal even here on your blog, the blog of an ardent AAP supporter.

      So do you expect the results among the common folk to be any different?
      I am waiting for May 16. Something tells me KJ will be history after the results are declared.

      India will finally get the “Modicine” it needs to cure its ills.



  2. The only reason why there is so much modi modi is not because of him or his party, its actually because people want to make congress lose. AAP emerged as the most credible alternative, but thanks to the sold paid media BJP has successfully created a sort of fear among people that they are inexperienced and are not fit to govern!!!

    I just don’t get it, the main reason why people want to change the present govt is because of the rampant corruption running everywhere, and to rectify that what we are doing ? We are just changing the faces rather than cleaning the problems, we are content with just changing faces so that those other guys aka bjp can come and loot. Debates will be raised later and many supporters will shamelessly say that bhaiya congress ne to 1000 crore ka hame chuna lagaya tha bjp ne to sirf 800 crore ka.

    And AAP should boycott media after the elections whatever be the results. If their major faces win, this same media will lick their boots for trps, this time they should teach this sold media some lesson.


    • 🙂 but isn’t that what we do everytime .. forget about politics or elections in otherwise day to day life too we do the same .. change the face.

      everyone i have talked to say BJP this Congress that.. YET the same people have gone and voted for the same people .. basically we are hypocrite people , we say something .. think something else and then go and do entirely different thing.

      I can bet that many of the people who are going AAP this AAP that.. have themselves gone and voted for bjp or congress themselves 🙂

      I say that because if you have talked to people then just count how many have said they will vote for AAP.. but when results come see how many AAP got in reality 🙂


      • I am hopeful of AAP getting a good share of seats :). And no, you cannot say their supporters will go and vote bjp and congress, some might be but he truth is AAP has actually the best supporters. We donate them, work for them selflessly for the betterment of our country without expecting anything in return for personal gain.


        • Theory wise.. if there are so many people talking about AAP, and they all vote for AAP.. then AAP should win.

          I do support AAP, but i do think the leaders in AAP are too inexperienced to run a country..


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