Skip to main content

Electoral victory, political defeat(HinduEditorial)

For the Aam Aadmi Party which claims the rationale for its very being is ushering in more democratic and transparent governance, the current troubles at the top levels of the leadership present an existential threat. While Delhi Chief Minister and national convener of the party Arvind Kejriwal was able to easily win support where it immediately mattered — among the MLAs in Delhi and among the members of the national executive — the issues raised by the dissident duo of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav would not go away quickly. What the AAP sees as problems in the Indian political system — corruption, absence of transparency and lack of accountability — now seem very much a part of its own self. A series of exposés have shown up the AAP as suffering from the very ills it attacks in other parties. From horse-trading and giving the party ticket to persons of dubious background to autocratic decision-making and suppressing dissent, the AAP appears susceptible to all the diseases plaguing India’s political system. Instead of the AAP changing the political system, the political system seems to be assimilating the AAP. While all of these might have increased its chances of winning the polls, the party is slowly morphing into another typical Indian party. With every compromise made on its founding principles, the AAP betrays its original backers, the youth and civil society movements who were disillusioned with the hitherto existing political parties. The AAP owed its success to the promise of change that it carried; to give up on this promise is to admit political defeat for the sake of electoral victory. If the AAP is to truly succeed, it would have to succeed on its own terms, without surrendering its original ideals and crusading spirit.
Mr. Bhushan and Mr. Yadav might have had different reasons for taking on Mr. Kejriwal, but they were united in their opposition to the way the party was being run. True, Mr. Kejriwal is the face of the party, its leader as well as its most hard-working member. But a leader who does not listen to his followers will soon be walking alone. As an organisation grows, consensus-building and democratic procedures might appear to be cumbersome and as a hindrance to quick decision-making and work efficiency. But there can be no shortcuts for a political party pushing for systemic changes. Mr. Kejriwal seems to be opting for a highly personalised style of leadership and campaign, and looks more interested in quick-fix solutions that do not always allow for the complexities of the problem. Internal democracy is integral to informed decision-making in any organisation. Dissent and dissidence might slow down the AAP and Mr. Kejriwal, but these remain essential to keeping them going in the right direction.
Keywords: AAP riftYogendra YadavArvind KejriwalPrashant BhushanAAPAam Aadmi Party

Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…