Saturday, 14 February 2015

The politics of AAP

                 On the 10th of February 2015 history was created when the nascent  Aam Aadmi Party led by the maverick Arvind Kejriwal imparted the most humiliating defeat on the Big Boys of Indian politics – BJP and Congress. It sent tremors in the political landscape of the country and signalled a tectonic shift in the way politics will be done in the country in years to come.  It was literally David slaying the Goliath, what with 53% of the popular mandate resulting in 98% of the seats. All the money, muscle and resources coupled with carpet bombing of ads on SM, print and electronic media by the BJP couldn’t save it from biting the dust.

So, what went so horribly wrong for the BJP and the Congress and what was done so right by the AAP? I was reading through all the newspaper columns and analyses by the so called experts who all came up with myriad explanations for this astounding result but none was close to the fact. The Indian mainstream media needs to do some introspection on the quality of journalism and research they are saddled with, which is - mundane, to put it mildly  and rubbish - to state the fact.

For one, the Congress never stood a chance in this election.  They are bereft of any leadership, idea, agenda or vision and coupled with the baggage of long term incumbency, they were never in the game. The real contest was between the BJP and the AAP. The pundits  have harped on a variety of reasons for the BJP’s debacle - the arrogance of BJP leadership, Modi’s monogrammed suit, the Kiran Bedi factor, Amit Shah’s faulty strategy, internal sabotage by local BJP units, hardline agenda of BJP’s fringe elements, Arvind’s strategy etc., but all of them have missed the most important factor which went overwhelmingly  in favour of the AAP.

After the drubbing in the  Lok Sabha elections of 2014, the resolute AAP MLAs put their head down and went about doing what they were elected for, in the first place. They all were entitled to Rs. 4 crores as MLALAD fund by the LG and started utilising them for the benefit of the residents of the constituency where they were elected from. They put in inhuman hours in terms of work, effort and energy for imparting basic civic amenities to the masses and for the first time the electorate saw what public service meant. The local woes were listed, prioritised and were acted upon with meagre resources to deliver as much as possible with the allocated fund. The MLAs personally got involved in the process of tendering, bargaining and ensuring quality control for the work done. The contractors, ensured of zero commission and transparent and prompt  payment, happily obliged and went about the work with gusto. This was an entirely new experience for the average Delhiite who is used to getting the short shrift by public servants of all kinds. The residents of the other constituencies, meanwhile, were watching with disbelief and were kicking themselves for not giving these ‘Few Good Men’ a chance to serve themselves. The determined and gritty volunteers of AAP were carrying the message of these happenings and the well meaning citizens kept donating to the cause. All this happened right under the nose of the national media which decided to ignore and mock these good samaritans for their selfless public work, but the common man made up his mind. This election, the Aam Aadmi knew whom to elect and they had no hesitation in choosing the AAP as their representative. And thus, history was created in the capital of India.

In the murky cesspool of Indian politics, which is dominated by parties run as family fiefdoms and are typically associated with vote bank politics, the minuscule social benefits are delivered to targeted groups identified by either religion, caste or clan. This results in appeasement politics for a dominant group at the cost of others. In this scenario, AAP has shown the power of inclusive politics, shattering the age old barriers of religion, class, caste, gender, language, age and income groups. It has proved that in a pluralist country like India, you can serve everyone without being partial to anyone and that to me is the biggest achievement of AAP and its politics. Now its time to savour the idea of India as perceived by the Aam Aadmi and wish AAP all the best in its future demeanours. Amen.


  1. Very Well Compiled. And as you said "Now its time to savour the idea of India as percieved by Aam Aadmi" :))

  2. The reason why no one could guess what was going on with Delhi shows how much the MSM and politicians are away from ground reality of Delhi-it is as if-they are floating on individual clouds and missing everything below them..
    The arrogance and the culture of entitlement lost to honesty and sheer hard work. Lessons were learnt by all 3 players...and the game has just started.