Saturday, May 17, 2014

Why AAP lost the battle but won the war…

From just another non-descript location in the capital of India, Anaa Hazare catapulted Jantar Mantar to being the heart of the anti-corruption movement. Anna took a backseat before seeing the end of the movement. But the movement didn’t end. His protégé, or as some of his detractors accuse, the puppeteer, Arvind Kejriwal took the movement forward in the form of the “Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)”.

This movement, the AAP phenomenon could’ve been just another political party on the scene. It wasn’t.

They stood for something that many others had taken for granted – corruption! Through their antecedents – educated, modern, forward-looking and young, they captured the imagination of millions of voters who used to consider politics as “that dirty little secret” in the overall scheme of “India Shining”. Facebook and the Blogging world was flooded with long, sometimes heated, discussions on the candidates and policies. Yes, there were accusations leveled, there were hate speeches and angry outbursts, but more importantly, opinions were brought into the open and debated.

As a result, criminal politics, though still not eliminated, was abhorred. Wherever possible, convicts were kept away. Few important judgements were passed by the Supreme Court that further helped this cause. More importantly, because of open debates started by IAC, more voters came into the electoral fray. And we know when more Indians vote, criminals lose! And not just criminals, even hardliners were sidelined. Pramod Muthaliks were disowned by their former political masters and diktats by religious leaders were left ineffective.

The AAP effect didn’t just stop there.

Kejriwal was one of the influential people who led the campaign that resulted in UPA-1 passing the RTI. But you can’t just give a screwdriver to a toddler and hope he will be able to repair a broken watch. You need to teach him what a watch is and how it functions. And then explain what is wrong with the watch. And finally, tell him how to use the screwdriver to repair it. RTI was the screwdriver. Through regular expose and press conferences, Kejriwal demonstrated the power of the tool, the RTI. Over a few months, many “toddlers” became the RTI gurus. Industry-Politician nexus could no longer be hidden. Adani might still get land at Re.1 – but now we’ll at least know why!

AAP might have won just 4 seats but the AAP effect will not stop here either...

AAP lost not because they put up bad candidates. But as a party, their plan had been to highlight inconsistencies and wrong-doings, not what they plan to do about it themselves. That they were bad at economics and worse at politics was known, what really let them down was that they were bad at strategy. Perhaps, by contesting pan-India, they spread themselves too thin. Like every other party, they had a few strong leaders who, given their lack of funds, couldn’t be in all places at crucial times. But what is good for India is that, this inability at omnipresence gave rise to ground-level workforce, who, with the same anti-corruption philosophies as the main leaders, can carry the movement forward. And importantly, bring to notice of the general public, wherever the main-stream politicians do any wrong.

BJP won because of a positive agenda and not divisive politics. Caste equations were ignored. Religious equations, while not ignored, were never stressed upon. Now, the ball is in our court. The moment this positive agenda gets lost and BJP is back to its old divisive politics, we need to give them a rap!

And as long as we keep doing that, AAP would have won the war :)


Anonymous said...


You were not so STUPID when you were in NITK. Either you have not seen enough around the world, that you are supporting Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party.

What on earth has happened to you?
What anti-graft???!!!!

Most of the "corruption" happens in India, as international pressures force the Indian establishment to hurriedly catch up with the world, where things get done sloppily.

Puneet said...

First, I'd have appreciated if you had posted not as Anonymous!

Secondly, I'm one of the most vocal opponents of Kejriwal!!

Thirdly, I'm a supporter of the philosophy and not the man.

And lastly, are you supporting "corruption"??

Ganesh said...

Your blog might get more readers if you change your screen colors. As it stands, your site competes strongly for inclusion in TEN GHASTLIEST WEBSITES.

Puneet said...

Thanks for your inputs. Perhaps you could also help.

Thanks again,