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Is AAP Janata Party 3.0?

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Some AAP supporters claimed what has happened in Delhi is revolution and it has never happened in India. That’s factually incorrect. It is not right to compare past events with the present because things are never same.  People  change, circumstances change. But revolution of much larger scale happened in 77 when Indira Gandhi was thrown out of power by Janata Party lead by Jayaprakash Narayan. It happened at the all India level while AAP’s revolution has happened only at the state level. Yes, the plant has potential to be banyan tree. But it’s just a plant as of now. In 1989 VP Singh lead Janata Dal brought Rajiv Gandhi’s government down  (Janata Party avatar 2.0). The difference between AAP phenomena and previous events is AAP is predominantly represented by the politically inclined youth not part of any party. In 77 and 89 established political leaders, who were in public life for decades led the movements. You can say Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav and others are also political activists or are from occupation that’s political in nature with enough experience in organising events and carrying out rallies etc. But they are not part of the establishment. That’s the difference.

Anyway, AAP will see influx of people and leaders joining the bandwagon. AAP has open the door to many who are politically inclined but has no place to go. As Congress is more or less family controlled, lucky sperm party even at taluka levels and BJP is very hierarchical starting from ABVP days. It’s difficult to get the lateral entry into politics in India unless you are celebrity of some kind. AAP has opened shop with solid brand equity. Many people will join. This is great news for Indian democracy. Fresh blood, new talent, lot of raw energy will be on display. AAP for next couple years will be very interesting phenomena that will unfold in India’s political landscape. But will that change India for better? Yes, indirectly. It will make other parties sit up and take notice. At least national parties won’t be able to run affairs in business as usual manner. Impact is already visible the way Rahul Gandhi intervened in Lokpal and later in Aadarsh report. Even before elections BJP was forced to name Dr. Harshwardhan, more likeable leader as CM candidate and after the elections it didn’t indulge in horse trading to form the government. Now BJP has announced shadow cabinet to monitor AAP’s work. That’s very welcome change. AAP has already started playing role of catalyst in that sense.

But AAP as a party of idea is nothing more than cleaner version of JDU or RJD, both are left over fractions of long dead Janata parivar. That’s why I consider them as Janata party 3.0. Comparison here is not about talent, motive or organisation but strictly speaking about their ideas. Consider how many times Arvind Kejriwal thanked Allah and Ishwar in his swearing in ceremony [1]. (Atheist thanking gods in the most important speech of his life so far. Can it get more hypocritical? But that’s different topic) Consider Kejriwal courting Tauqeer Reza Khan (who declared fatwa on Taslima Nasreen) before election [2] and now Kamal Farooquie (member of AIMPLB who claimed Bhatkal was arrested because he is a Muslim, not because he is IM terrorist) joining AAP [3]. Consider on day one he is talking about 30Cr subsidy to provide free water [4]. Consider on day one Manish Sisodia saying private schools are not for making profit [5]. As we can see AAP basically is party with with simialr socialist ethos.

My close friend Vishnu who volunteered with AAP told, “Hope is AAP’s base that is urban middle class. Hopefully they will force party to take reasonable position”. Honestly I don’t have much hope. Consider Kejriwal himself. His entire political upbringing is with Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander. Socialists to the core. Consider Prashant Bhushan or Yogendra yadav. Same. Though foot soldiers have no ideology they forget that their leaders do. Whatever they claim on their party’s website.

There are enough articles already written by eminent people on AAP policies. You can read them here, here, and here.

But on larger question of what are the top 3 things that needs to change immediately for India? What role AAP will play?

1. End of crony capitalism (Remember we need capitalism with fair, transparent, and open regulations unlike current rent seeking that Congress has indulged in in last decade). As we will see later AAP won’t be able to do it. It’s not in their thinking. They may oppose or expose crony capitalism but they can’t propose solution. BJP with Arun Shourie as disinvestment minister during NDA regime initiated the process hopefully they will take it forward during their second term.

2. Police & Judicial reforms: SC has already given judgement on police reforms but it has not been implemented by the states. Without gaining influence in major states AAP can’t hope to have impact on this issue. On Judicial reforms some serious action is required here and hopefully AAP can force others to take position as in lokpal movement.

3. Infrastructure: What country needs is massive investment in physical and social infrastructure. Physical infrastructure like ports, roads, railways etc and social infrastructure like access to  health care, sanitation and quality education. AAP’s thinking is against privatisation and without private money the scale at which country needs to build infrastructure to come out of the trap of 3rd world country is almost impossible.

Finally, if you have political ambitions, it’s good time to join AAP. It’s limited time offer. It’s like start up after series A funding. 

[1] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/assembly-elections-2013/delhi-assembly-elections/Once-atheist-Arvind-Kejriwal-thanks-god-calls-it-miracle/articleshow/28047228.cms, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_o4GQL2cQc,

[2] http://freethoughtblogs.com/taslima/2013/11/11/fatwabaaz-and-politicians/ http://www.ndtv.com/article/assembly-polls/cleric-who-issued-fatwa-against-taslima-nasreen-may-campaign-for-arvind-kejriwal-441919

[3] http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sp-sacks-kamal-farooqi-as-secretary-over-his-yasin-bhatkal-remarks/419853-37-64.html

[4] http://www.hindustantimes.com/specials/coverage/myindia-myvote/chunk-ht-ui-myindiamyvote-delhi/kejriwal-s-first-day-as-delhi-cm-holds-aam-darbar-transfers-jal-board-ceo-8-other-officials/sp-article10-1167280.aspx

[5] https://twitter.com/ANI_news/status/416890958844665856

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Written by goodapostate

December 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm