Well-meaning, but also removed from reality
Anna Hazare’s erstwhile leading lights — Mr Arvind Kejriwal, Mr Shanti Bhushan, Mr Prashant Bhushan and others — had made public statements against politicians and political parties. They have now abandoned non-party civil society crusades to launch a political outfit.
An average Indian politician considers politics as a career for self-advancement and self-promotion. And in the quest for his individual prosperity, ideological commitments are considered expendable. How is Mr Kejriwal any different from other non-ideological careerists in politics? The new entrants have a history of ‘shifting’ their goals and abandoning erstwhile allies in previous struggles such as for the Right to Information. They have also abandoned causes which brought them into public domain.
Arvind Kejriwal's recently launched Aam Aadmi Party is floating in the air. Its political agenda is nebulous and completely unrelated to the needs and aspirations of the common man. How is he any different from other non-ideological careerists in Indian politics?
Further, everyone in the Aam Aadmi Party has devoted time and energy on one public issue only — corruption. There is no evidence from that they can organise a political party which can confront the complexities of Indian politics. In fact, taking up causes like the hike in power tariff in Delhi further strengthens the argument that they are novices in the arena of competitive party politics. The political programme announced by Mr Kejriwal shows that they have stitched some issues which had previously been raised by civil society. Mr Kejriwal claims that his party is anti-Congress and anti-BJP, without realising that the Left has always practised politics of opposition to the Congress and the BJP. This kind of politics has only marginalised the communists .
Today, Indian politics revolves around the Congress and the BJP. Almost every other party has found it necessary to join either one of them. Anti-BJP and anti-Congress political groups have occassionally floated a ‘Third Front’. But such coalitions failed because of the political fragility of the alliance partners.
Hence, the Aam Aadmi Party will remain a non-starter if it practises unrealistic anti-Congress and anti-BJP politics. If the party does not want to remain a drop in the ocean of Indian politics, it has to state its future plans in the context of coalition politics. A political party operates by establishing a network to connect with the people. By communicating its programme and policies, it is able to create its own constituency of supporters and voters. Mr Kejriwal’s AAP is floating in the air. Its political agenda is nebulous and completely unrelated to the needs and aspirations of the common man. And unlike other parties, the AAP lacks an organisational network and financial resources, vital to keep itself afloat.
It is not without reason that Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy who provided Mr Kejriwal money for his struggle for Right to Information, has now refused to fund his party coffers. Of course, Mr Shanti Bhushan has announced a donation of Rs1 crore to AAP but Mr Kejriwal will need many more millions to keep in the business of electoral politics. The intent of Mr Kejriwal and his party is to cleanse the political system of corruption. AAP is essentially a reformist platform, and understandably agonises about the dynamics of the country’s politics. But all AAP luminaries have worked within the system and previously they have made no calls for a ‘revolution’ because they think that the political system can be reformed.
Every party claims to stand for the welfare of the downtrodden. Every crorepati politician’s heart bleeds for the poor and Mr Kejriwal is sailing in the same boat. Mr Hazare has been unable to make up his mind about ‘politics’ because on the one hand he has debunked politicians but on the other, has maintained that he will support good candidates. Both men are well-meaning but they do not either understand party-based politics or are pretenders in public life.
Source: The Pioneer
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