ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Constructive Challenge to the Political Class

The Aam Aadmi’s Party

The Aam Aadmi Party has emerged to break the logjam created by the bad faith of the political class in issues raised by the democratic social movements. It is an attempt to overturn politics from above by a mobilisation of people from below, not just on a pro-people agenda but by using methods which will entrench democratic citizenship in our political system. This article is a statement of intent from one of the founding members of the AAP.

The year 2012 has come to an end with the birth of a new political party which aims to be an alternative political instrument in the hands of the common man and woman and their movements. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hopes to build active citizenship for major reforms in governance and policymaking. It has a vision document which is written in a simple language with a broad outline of the current situation in India and a set of priorities. It promises a new national agenda for 21st century India and commits itself to making a nationwide intervention in the next general elections of 2014. Its announced priorities include checking corruption, reversing centralisation of power, challenging discourses of power based on caste, region and religion, and putting an end to crony capitalism patronised by the major political parties. This new party has opened its political account by challenging both the major political alliances – the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Congress and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as well as their patrons in the corporate world, for their collective role in promoting corruption in India.

It is not insignificant that there has been no surprise expressed by the major political groups about the turn of events resulting in the formation of the AAP. They have treated it as a party which is a “media creation which was born in the OB van’’. They have also claimed knowledge about the deepest impulses of the leaders of the new formation, which apparently is a hidden desire for political power. However, AAP’s opponents claim that it will not be capable of anything serious except occasional acts of “hit and run” with sensational stories about politicians meant primarily for the consumption of the media and the middle classes. One former bureaucrat, who is now a Member of Parliament (MP) of the UPA, stated that the AAP leaders may need patience and persistent efforts for at least 20 more years before they see major electoral success. Some other regional parties have predicted that AAP will have no electoral future as they are ignorant about the complexities of Indian society and politics. In other words, for the adversaries this party is not going to be more than a marginal phenomenon without any effective electoral presence.

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