Watching the coverage of the Assembly elections in four states of India yesterday made me cringe as, at least, two prominent television networks liberally used cricketing terms like ‘man of the match’ and ‘match player’ to describe the movers and shakers such as Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi and Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan.
Cringe, because the results have been either trivialised or given too much more importance for the roads leading on from here.
Geographically the factors behind each state result have been different and hence the need to look at each result in its own context and see if the rays coming out on the other side merge or not into one conclusion.
Experts like Mukul Kesavan, in a comment in The Telegraph, aptly put it in the pre-result day that so far Aam Aadmi Party has adopted a plural populist approach, and it worked in New Delhi where casteism did not matter as much as rising price and electricity shortages.
Rajasthan has a trend of changing government every five years and it was Raje’s turn. As simple as that. To an extent Shivraj Singh Chouhan also was due given his good record so much that he thinks he is an equal candidate for prime ministership from the ranks of BJP and no less to Narendra Modi.
In the absence of anything major in Chattisgarh where BJP were not much ahead of Congress, the Modi effect is not prominent enough, yet, as the experts will concur.
The point here is calculating whether BJP benefit in the six months or so from now is a futile exercise. Just like it is futile to say that AAP and Kejriwal have blasted their way through all barriers and good governance is all that matters.
BJP can’t rest lightly and make the same mistake as Sheila Dikshit. These are exciting times for sure. For this time, an option other than Congress and BJP is not being cobbled together somehow by a Third Front or a Fourth Front. as an alternative.
Trouble is the alternative that is AAP has to be replicated outside Delhi in all states before it can even call itself as a party. It is still growing its wisdom teeth, but not psuedo activists either as Sharad Pawar prefers to see them.
AAP followers – and that includes me – must remind themselves again and again that the Lokpal movement that caught fire in Delhi became a damp squib in Mumbai. And that is urbane India too, so the generalised moniker that urban India is behind Kejriwal is out of place.
Delhi may be at crossroads, but the road has not even been charted out elsewhere. Pan India, the challenges are many. It will be naive to assume that the Congress party became so complacent that they continued to hike prices, grease hands and separate states above all the din over the past few years, only for selfish gains. Much like killing the goose that gave them the eggs.
It is imperative for all, including AAP, to understand that Mandalist policies of the Congress was adopted because there are situations pan-India which make it a tempting and seeming feasible approach. Will Aam Aadmi Party be a hit in south India, for example?
The problem for Congress over the years was that it ruled in a joint family by appeasing as many house members, read parties, as possible to stay in power. At the same time, it did not bother to bring food to the table for the ever-growing family but never forgot to feed itself.
AAP, under Kejriwal, is a new member in the premises; who refuses to enter either house – of the Congress or the right-wing so-called secularists under the umbrella of RSS and BJP.
Can this be as simple as that? Why not? Big journeys begin with small steps. If pseudo activism shapes into politics, there is no harm in assuming that role. There shouldn’t be any other way for ordinary people to join the cleansing movement.
The hard yards have not begun for the novices and they should bring it on. The real challenge is if AAP fall asleep like the hare who took a giant lead in the race at the start.
I too cannot resist to sump up this for AAP in cricketing parlance: A good start in the opening overs for AAP, but mind the fact that Powerplay was in force. Time to preserve wickets and yet score with the opposition more guarded and spread out!
What’s your verdict on AAP? Cast your vote?
PS: At the time of writing this, AAP had said they won’t align with either party to form government in Delhi, but if a re-election is necessary to come to a decision then there is no need for them to be apologetic about it. They could do well to ignore critics that taxpayers’ money is wasted. It will still be less than the amount of corruption if one party buys out the other for their support. And it will be justice for the fake sting engineered to hurt AAP in the run-up to the election.
- The Aam Aadmi Party win and consequences for 2014 general elections (kumardosi.wordpress.com)
- Why should you support AAP? (youknowmojo.wordpress.com)
- AAP doesn’t believe in coalition, ready for re-poll in Delhi: Kejriwal (ibnlive.in.com)
- The Narendra Modi conundrum
- EC to recognise Aam Aadmi Party as State party in Delhi (thehindu.com)