Skip to main content

AAP churning: Lack of internal democracy, leadership style, lack of ideology were symptoms of larger issues

By Joe Athialy*
Is the internal churning within the Aaam Aadmi Party (AAP) inadvertently opening up an opportunity for a more egalitarian nationwide political process? The nearly two year process of AAP played a very important role in the recent history of Indian politics. It challenged and succeeded to a great extend both Congress and BJP in their own turf; from a dirty word, politics has become common people's concern and they were made to feel a part of it; it challenged the cynical perception that nothing can change in this country.
It brought in idealism, innovation and freshness in political campaigns and caught Congress and BJP on wrong foot more often on their wrong policies, nexus with corporations, corruption and lack of transparency. Finally it stopped the juggernaut of BJP's winning streak, something which looked very difficult a few months back.
AAP was also plagued with a lot of shortcomings. Absence of a vision of governance and development beyond ending corruption was among them. A radical political change with the issues of adivasis, dalits, women, religious minorities and other marginalised in its core was never in its agenda.
Lack of internal democracy, leadership style, lack of ideology etc were probably symptoms of larger issues. Like in naturopathy, without treating the root cause of symptoms, treating symptoms alone never brings cure.
Despite all these, a lot of people supported AAP because in the current political environment there isn't any party who could challenge the Congress and the onslaught of BJP.
Importantly, AAP had the right kind of people, some of whom where in PAC, while some were Lok Sabha election candidates, who could make AAP a potentially formidable political force. Over the past many months, one is seeing that they are either marginalised within the party or they are removed from responsible positions.
It is in this context that what had happened recently in AAP which manifested for the timebeing in the form of ousting Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan throws open an opportunity for a more egalitarian and inclusive political process aiming to contest elections at appropriate time.
Since AAP's vision is not to expand outside Delhi, and majority of people engaged with AAP from outside Delhi have year's of work behind them raising issues of land, forests, water, dalits, gender inequality, tribal rights, it would only be natural for this new political process to address the key issues of development paradigm, patriarchy, class and caste issues, marginalisation and others.
This is not in competition with AAP. Leave Delhi to them. There is a larger constituency outside Delhi. Any new political process should invest in a long term vision and plan rather than looking for quick results. Any new political process necessarily need not have to be without failings.
Alternative political process would only emerge through experiments. We have learnt from many non party processes the country has seen since independence, we learnt lessons from JP movement and we had many lessons to learn from AAP. These learnings would help in any future efforts.
---
*Senior activist

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Social workers, architects, students, historians, common people come together, protest "politics" of renaming Ahmedabad

By Nandini Oza*
No sooner did the BJP leaders of Gujarat announce the intention of changing the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati just before Diwali, on November 7, 2018, many people’s mood changed from festivity to heated debate and furor across the state. For many of us, an online petition, initiated by Bandish Soparkar, on change.org protesting name change came to immediate rescue.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”