There is an interesting discussion going on in someone else’s thread, on that wonderful subject that seems like its never going to die, namely, the travails of the Aam Aadmi Party. This was triggered by that Livemint article in which the AAP was (what else?) panned. My first comment was petulant and dismissive. I wrote, Interesting to see only one line, or two word comments. Typical of people who criticise Arvind and walk away. Yes, people are indeed getting tired of Arvind; the kind of people who read Livemint; who really dont matter too much. Anyway, I am not going to try and explain how the AAP functions, who works where, what is being done. Why bother? To that, someone wrote, Probably if you did bother, it can help make us better & balanced conclusions. Till then, all we see is the excess theatrics, unnecessary tantrums and lack of political long term strategy in an attempt to win newspaper space everyday. Fair point, I thought. So I wrote, I said that after shedding a lot of (electronic) blood attempting to explain how it runs, with nobody listening really. Its good you want to know. So let me explain. By the way, I am not a member of the party, but work with them. First, I think that the party is really decentralised in its functioning. The Bangalore unit has its own momentum, its own priorities and is not hierarchically controlled by Delhi. Second, they have been scrambling to get their organisational act going. Because of one election following upon the other, there has been no time for them to hold their organisational elections. I am told that is their first priority, so that there is truly an internal party democracy system established. Third, I have met some incredibly committed, knowledgeable and bright people in the party. They remain out of the limelight, but come from all levels and sections of society; from all backgrounds. I have not seen that kind of diversity in any other political party. There are no stereotypes, in terms of member profiles. Fourth, while there is a lot of grassroots level experience, there is a lack of depth in understanding of some larger order issues. Many of them admit this freely, but for obvious reasons, not in public. That is where I come in. I try to help out with whatever I know. However, at the end of these intense learning experiences (10-12 hours at a stretch), I think I learn more than what I convey. Fifth, they are an upbeat, optimistic group of people. I must admit I was shattered by the results, but these young (and not so young) people, are capable of getting up from the floor, putting their disappointments behind them and moving on. I am very clear why I am with them. I believe they are sincerely committed to two critical areas of governance reform about which I am passionate about. These are my areas of professional work as well. These are, decentralised public governance and anti-corruption. I have worked with both the Congress and the BJP in the past, attempting to ensure that these reforms are taken up by them. However, while I do have the ear of honest champions of these aspects of reforms in these parties, they themselves are powerless within their organisational structures. To me the AAP represents the hope for the future. I know that they are sailing through choppy seas at the moment, but I am not willing to write them off and walk away. That was followed by a long rally. Energetic stuff, some good sledging, but thankfully, no abuse. My last post was as follows: ‘It is interesting to read views of people and arguments going back and forth. However, let me give a perspective of an outsider. What do political parties offer to someone like me, who is too left to be right, and too right to be left? The BJP? Nope, I do not like their communal agenda and dislike their leader as being sharply divisive. The Congress? Nah, I dont like them because they have a fuzzy view on everything except one, which is that their leaders have to come from one family. And both the BJP and the Congress do not disclose their accounts, and are probably very corrupt. Regional parties? Nahin, they only have opportunist agendas and if you look around, they are also dynastic and corrupt. Moreover, I am not going to fall at the feet of any of their leaders and yell, Amma! or Appa! Communal or caste based parties? Non, I am neither communal and couldnt care for caste. Moreover, my caste does not have a party and I cannot masquerade as belonging to some other caste. The Commies? Nyet, they are stuck in some Maoist, Stalinist lah lah land at the moment. So I am left with the Loksatta and the AAP. The Loksatta just shot themselves in the foot as far as I am concerned, with JP rooting for Modi. So that leaves me with the AAP, with all its confusion, bickering, jail going, apologising and agitating. As I said, in all this confusion, I would rather put my nose to the ground and work with the rank and file of the party in Bangalore. Thats all for the moment.’ Now I am going off to enjoy my Sunday.
Posted on: Sun, 25 May 2014 08:02:47 +0000
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