What went wrong AAP must salvage
It is imperative that the Aam Aadmi Party does the rethink that’s long overdue. What began as an embodiment of people’s hopes and aspirations has, in the days following the not-so-glorious election results, dwindled into an unfortunate show of lack of unity and cohesiveness within in the party order, especially its top brass. With mass exodus plaguing this roughly over-an-year-old party, and prominent faces like Shazia Ilmi, among others, falling prey to the old establishment trap that mainstream media laid by turning their public defections into unseemly spectacles, what in order is a thorough overhaul of a political organization that had truly caught the nation’s imagination. A series of high-profile leaks of letters exchanged between some of AAP topmost leaders, including Arvind Kejriwal and Yogendra Yadav, has made the post-poll bitterness a source of public entertainment. Inasmuch as AAP, despite the nationwide euphoria and high expectations from everyone, failed to open its account in any state barring Punjab (where it won all of the only four seats in Lok Sabha), there is both the need to reexamine its strategies and reassess its message to the people, irrespective of its claiming itself to be the vox populi. Misdirections and missteps can happen in an experiment as massive and ambitious as AAP’s national electoral politics, but it would do well for the party to address the gaping holes in its makeup first.
It goes beyond saying that in this game of one-upmanship between AAP, which still is a test worth retrying, and the establishment (represented by both the traditional political parties and the mainstream media), the casualty has been Indian people. Since it is true that neither the Congress, nor the ruling BJP would have the gumption to take on the corporate looters of our precious natural resources, the voice of AAP, no matter how enfeebled, must be strengthened. In its brief stint as Delhi government, Kejriwal-led AAP managed to lodge an FIR against the richest man in the country over problems in gas pricing. Brushed off as empty bravado minus substance, the move at a point of time spurred on many others, especially those involved in people’s movements all over the country and bother about issues like displacement, environmental degradation, relentless inflation, unbearably escalating cost of basic goods and services, among others. It is inevitable therefore that AAP is a necessary ingredient in the current composition of Indian polity. Instead of falling victim to unrewarding personality cults, AAP should reassemble itself and reemerge as the true voice of the people.