AAP’s Confused Years

A few months ago, when someone asked me if we really had an option other than BJP and Congress, I had said I would probably support AAP.

The Anna Hazare Movement against corruption had just ended… least the first phase. And Arvind Kejriwal had started off with AAP. They seemed to have a team that understood the common man’s issues and not the uber rich of India. They were people like us who were creating a party to make a difference, and they seemed staunchly against corruption.

Of course, corruption is inevitable in India, or in any country for that matter. But as long as 90 percent of our taxes were used for what it was meant to be used, we couldn’t complain.

Fast forward to January 2014, AAP seems the stupidest thing to happen in the history of Indian politics. True, the team did not know much about running a state. But the glaring mistakes what they have committed so far were more common sense things rather than political knowledge to run a state.

Some political pundits will claim that these moves are a common sense thing. AAP is protecting their voter bank, which is not the middle class as portrayed earlier, but the lower middle class. The auto drivers. The bus drivers. The aam junta which does not include the pukka house dwellers.

We cannot really argue against their moralistic policies because that been there all along, right from the Anna Hazare Movement. Perhaps AAP is not directly related to Anna Hazare, but his policies linger around here because they were common ideals. The stories about them being anti-alcohol and drugs were quite common. Is there an explanation to what happened to the African women? No, there isn’t. Because we have no idea about the party’s policies other than against corruption, which in the bigger scheme of things is more of a statement rather than a policy. 

The richer section of the society, and by that I mean the ones who earn in millions, should probably be scared of the AAP regime. Probably. 

The question now is should the middle class also  be scared of the AAP regime?

They have floated themselves on the frustration with corruption in the society and the lack of options in the political scene. But their sympathies lie with what they would perhaps term ‘The Proletariat’ in the most basic sense. 

The move to give the control of policing the Delhi auto drivers to the Transport Department instead of the Traffic Police was the big red flag. This in a city where safety of women has been a hot topic. A city where auto drivers are known to be rude and dangerous. A city where the Transport Department clearly said they don’t want the job. Even if they get the job and the manpower to handle the same, where are the people on the street to address the issue? Do they have the authority to do anything more than seize the vehicle? Can they lodge a criminal complaint against the offender. This seems to be putting in more red tape in a country that is trying to wrap up the red tape.

Arvind Kejriwal is very familiar with the power of PR. His announcements regarding free electricity and water got an astounding response, as he knew it would. But nothing moved after that – like every other announcement. The political machine is a complicated hive, where pulling on one thread has ripple effects in several other areas – a fact that AAP seems to be unaware about or not bothered.

India needs a government that can take it forward but AAP’s current policies are more Gandhian than any current party. They might not believe in Hindutva, but they certainly believe in the ‘evil power of foreign hands’. I, for one, am most curious about their forthcoming ideas economic and foreign policies. 

So far, they seem to think that foreign prostitutes are dangerous and the law process for them should be different – in the sense that they should have no protection and be stripped of basic rights. Which translates to we do not want foreigners in our country – saying no to all the investments? Perhaps they forgot that we live in a globalized world and a sense of fair exchange is required for any country to survive. We need to be intelligent, not an outright ban.

So far, they seem to believe strongly in the reservation system – a system that is killing the progress in various fields. Instead of revamping the reservation system to suit the modern day needs (urban and rural) they are going for the mass reservation system, which even Dr. Ambedkar was not too keen about.

So far, they believe that the government should have complete and absolute authority over what it does and remain unaccountable – a policy that has supported corruption, and has strong Communist leanings. (China, anyone?)

So far, they have not given women a voice in their campaigns. Infact, their campaign language reads “hamari auratein”. We need to protect our women. We need to keep them away from bad influences. The women of India, once again, are not given any voice in what we want to do.

AAP is trying to bring back the concept of ‘ours’ like it was in the 1940s. Our country – without foreign influence; our women – without their own rights; our religion – without growth. 

Perhaps I am wrong. I hope I am wrong because for a while, I truly believed that AAP was the answer. But given the strong Communist base of the party, combined with a traditional / religious base, and the lack of common sense… AAP perhaps needs to take a back seat for now.

Besides, anyone who claims to be an anarchist and participates in any form of democracy either does not know the meaning of that word or is not a true anarchist.

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