Getting AAP back on track


Aam Aadmi has been plunged into a deep crisis after the sacked minister of his cabinet Kapil Mishra levelled some serious allegations of corruption against the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Mishra said . However, breaking his silence, Kejriwal has said that the truth will prevail.  The corruption allegations have followed after the AAP’s resounding defeat by the BJP in the New Delhi’s recent MCD elections. What is more, the otherwise decimated Congress also showed signs of revival. This dramatic turn of events has confronted the AAP with its biggest challenge so far. Not long ago, the AAP was billed as the promising new political experiment in India. Its spectacular ascent to power in Delhi within a year of its formation was arguably the biggest and the most significant event of 2013 in India. The man who made it possible was the leader of the party Kejriwal who until a year ago was one of the many noted activists living under the shadow of his professed Guru Anna Hazare. Kejriwal was now the Chief Minister of Delhi with the outside of Congress. However, Kejriwal gave up the power when Congress came in the way of the implementation of his agenda. And a year later, the AAP bounced back to power with a landslide majority, defeating the then ascendant PM Modi.     


Kejriwal introduced an alternative political vision for India which transcended secular-communal politics of Congress and BJP. A kind of secularism where minorities are not treated at par with majority but are appeased for their vote-bank value.  And a kind of communalism and casteism where the identities are accentuated and then pitted against each other for political gains. But under the AAP political outlook the identities are subsumed under the idea of citizenship. The citizens are promised equality, reminded of their duties and assured of their rights and entitlements – and in case of AAP, an honest system to boot. On its face, it appeared an utopian vision for a bewilderingly complex country like India with its cauldron of contesting identities but it wasn’t.. Kejriwal offered an anti-vote bank politics geared to meet the basic aspirations of a citizen. And 2015 Delhi elections had proved that the time of this idea had not only come but had already taken root. This was a moment of profound import for India’s political future.


But two and a half years down the line, the AAP promise seems to have soured. The bright sheen of its ideals has faded.  Even though Modi-Kejriwal ideological tug of war is still a premature idea, but it was expected to come into play down the road and wrest the initiative from the ascendant Hindutva, AAP with some dedicated political groundwork across India and further fleshing out of its inclusive national outlook was expected to change the game. With some really far-reaching changes in process in India, the AAP advent alongside Modi’s ascent was seen to be seminal. True, in the AAP’s apparent failings, one can hardly discount the role of the BJP. After all, the government under Modi has made every effort to checkmate the AAP. But the AAP has also failed to realize its larger idea. Kejriwal, therefore, urgently needs to get his house in order and resurrect the  ambitious political promise of the AAP.


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