Why I joined Aam Aadmi Party

On November 26,2012, India witnessed the launch of a new political party- Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). In India’s multi-party democracy, there are hundreds of political parties, so what is the big deal about it! I would say that the launch of the Aam Aadmi party is really a big deal. It is a watershed phenomenon in Indian polity. With the fresh optimism around,  let me give you some reasons as to why I joined this party and support my decision. 

 

Launched with the aspiration to fulfill the common man’s dream of clean, accountable and just governance, Aam Aadmi Party has included some innovative and unique concepts in its core character right from the beginning, viz. Swaraj (de-centralization in administration), intra-party democracy (key elements being, selection of the candidates at the local level for elections and internal Lokpal for the party affairs). It is fair to say that the Aam Aadmi Party- borne out of the struggle for Jan Lokpal Bill- will shift the agenda of mainstream politics in our country. At the same time, it is worth noticing that while the current political culture in Indian evokes a sense of despondency, Aam Aadmi Party is attracting the idealist youth to it with a new vigor.

The current political atmosphere in India:
1. There is a despair around. Rampant corruption, nepotism, favoritism have seeped deeply into almost all political parties. The parties have become means to grab power, and amass wealth. They have no ideological cohesion  or if there is any, the leaders and parties change stands as if they are changing clothes.
2. Loot and scams in the name of Governance: Rather than serving their people by providing clean and efficient governance, the elected representatives have become self-serving. Scams are happening at the pace never seen before! The impact of this moral debasement is palpable on all streams of administration, viz judiciary, police and civil administration.
3. Policy making has taken the back-seat: Politics is synonymous with policy. As the Hindi word Rajneeti aptly explains: Raj + Neeti, ie, Neeti (Policy) of the State (Raj). Policy making and providing vision to the nation is one of the core functions of a political party. But looking at the current scenario, majority of the political parties smack of  blatant opportunism, vacillating  ideological stands and lack of any vision. 
4. The elements of family rule, nepotism and favoritism are so strong these days that you get a feeling of repulsion when you think of joining a party to contribute to nation building.
 
Why is Aam Aadmi party different?
Right from its inception, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has included some important principles in its core character which if adhered to  are bound to bring ‘aamul parivartan’ ( fundamental change).
AAP is made for aam aadmi, a concept which all the major political parties seem to have abandoned.
1. Swaraj: Political and economical de-dentralization are the two strong principles that AAP has presented to its people to bring about a change. I will refer you to the book written by Arvind Kejriwal , but suffice here to say that the purpose is to:
Under this concept, Arvind discusses how the principle of Swaraj will empower Gram Sabhas and Ward -Councils to make local governance more powerful and in the hands of people. Put in other words, Swaraj talks of the concept of “Direct Democracy”.
In Economic de-centralization, the revenue collection – a part of that- should be allowed to be spent by the local governments (panchayats or municipalities). in other words, (some of the ) planning should happen at the local level , rather than being imposed from the Center and similarly, the local governments should have the discretion to spend the revenue for local development.
You may not agree with each and every suggestion that has been given by Kejriwal and team in the book “Swaraj”, but it goes beyond saying that the principle of Swaraj- that Gandhi ji also so dearly espoused- will go a long way in bringing the power back to people.
2. Intra-party Democracy: The way the parties have concentrated the power and influence in the hands of chosen few, even the very idea of joining a political party for a conscientious man is repulsive. Moreover, what meaningful a common man contribute through the political action (otherwise a very noble field) when you see that political parties have become dynastic and feudal in nature (think Sonia, Mulayam, Chautala, Mayawati, Mamta, etc). To fight this hazard, AAP has included 2 fundamental principles in its constitution:
a] Selection of the candidates for the elections by the local party-workers. Tickets for the election will not be distributed from the above (high-command culture).
b] Internal Lokpal: As the first step towards bringing accountability within the party cadre, AAP has appointed 3 Lokpals who would take up the complaints submitted by the party-workers against any party-man. 
3. Transparency in party Funding: AAP has declared that it would keep its accounts open to public. This is a major decision in contrast to the nebulous accounting practices that almost all the other political parties are indulging in! 
In addition to this, AAP  is seriously working on pushing for electoral, judicial and administrative reforms. This is a fresh air when you see that the current political parties work hard to stymie reforms as much as possible.
Launched with an idealism, Aam Aadmi Party has the potential to change the political debate and discourse of the country. Will it succeed while the current political milieu in India is synonymous with the potent mixture of “Money-muscle- lung power”? Also, there is a saying that where the institutions of democracy are weak, demagogues thrive! 
Already, the party is attracting the motivated youth with a new vigor. However, a new political movement can not grow and succeed unless the common man identifies himself or herself with the party. Equally critical is the strong support of educated, intellectual and established section of the society. 
The dismal political scenario in the country has created a chance for us! Yes, the aspirations of the masses seem to have resulted in a crystallizing effect to create a political movement called Aam Aadmi Party. This is a chance for us to change the political culture and discourse of our country. A fresh breeze is around the corner. Smell the sweetness and be a part of this!
I will end my post with these 2 quotes:
“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. ” Pericles
The biggest problem in this world is : The Intelligent People are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence !

5 thoughts on “Why I joined Aam Aadmi Party”

    1. Dear Mr. Bhagat, i appreciate your fenilegs for our country, but i would still like to put one question before you. you talk about anti-corruption and Jan Lokpal Bill but do you even know what the lokpal bill states. your view to remove the panderers of democracy are good enough, but have you read all the enactments of Lokpal Bill. do you feel that Lokpal Bill in itself is enough? as far as i know about some of the acts contained in the bill, i am afraid that the passing of the bill may rather dignify corruption rather than curb it. corruption is more a quality of our mind, we are not able to do away with. why not read the whole act and come forth and explain the consequences of the bill and also motivate people against corruption instead of educating people only through social networking sites

  1. Good to see you after a long gap.
    Joining a political set up is strictly a personal decision.Having followed AAP from the begining,I feel somewhere along the line,they lost the plot and every thing was a knee jerk reaction

    1. is that we will have everything on our wseibte – but it will be the Janlokpal who will be in charge of putting information on a wseibte – how does that enforce transparency? 7) Why deny for example – a traffic policeman the right to use Janlokpal if he is a victim of corruption like being asked donation to get his child admitted to a school? What authority can he go to since public servants cannot make complains to Janlokpal. Who does he approach? 8) Lack of separation of powers :- For example if a Police officer was made a Judge in all its cases he was investigating – wouldn’t he just decide the accused is guilty in maximum number of cases without even bothering to prepare a solid prosecution case. So by keeping the police & courts separate we ensure separation of powers, however In Janlokpal there is no separation of powers so why will Janlokpal rule against itself especially since they are denying the right to even appeal. Janlokpal can investigate, can be the police without any warrants & then be the judge I just feel the scope for abuse of power is too large by giving all these powers to a single institution, at least the courts should be separate & not under Janlokpal to ensure fair trials.9) Is there any platform by current Janlokpal members / supporters on IAC wseibte to take suggestions & concerns from general public regarding the JanLok Pal bill, how does the civil society submit there suggestions?Personally I do not like the idea of Janlokpal bill in its present form, there needs to be lot more debate on it & amendments too. It seeks to create new public servants & bureaucracy with too much power in hands of few self appointed leaders with zero accountability to anyone. I also do not agree with diluting autonomy of existing institutions of democracy under one single institution – that is like giving them absolute power with no one to watch them – who monitors the Janlokpal ? How can the JanLokpal be above the parliament & Judiciary, that doesn’t make any sense.

  2. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Thank you!

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