Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of India :A New Era of Indian Democracy in the Making ?

I was born in independent India when the nascent nation was in its childhood days.The first democratic Prime Minister and the First President were in charge. They had a great responsibility to make the nation get rid of its rampant poverty and enhance its abysmally low literacy to some decent levels while taking charge of the governance system that the British had handed over. 

They had everything that they needed. A well drafted constitution, a total democratic mandate of the people and perhaps a top bureaucracy who valued principles and practically in-corruptible.

But essentially they lacked the basic principles of democracy, somewhere. Some of those who jumped in to the 'Swadeshi' movement to get rid of the foreigners from governance were too ambitious to get in to the power positions of government that the foreigners had vacated. Aspiring to come to power positions is not bad per se. What was bad was their desire to stick to those positions indefinitely and their desire to hand over their governmental thrones to their heirs and relations. If it is so, even the royals of the past were also to be deemed as democratic. 

So with that desire deeply rooted in some of them, the politicians of independent India conveniently adopted a constitution that allowed both perpetuation of single person rule and perpetuation of family rule, though not directly.

They preferred to mimic the British Royal system even when they forced that system to be evicted out. They did not find it worth while to consider the system of the most established democracy at that time that had been in successful existence for a couple of centuries, the democratic system of the United States of America (USA)- the nation who fought the independence movement centuries ago from the same British monarchy and established a successful democratic, secular and federal government with a well drafted constitution. 

The future virus of corruption had been knowingly or unknowingly in built within the Indian constitution and the rest is history that we know. The Indian democracy progressed to a full fledged corrupt system-the in built virus multiplying many times in the years to come.

The virus was the constitutional validity of the government and the head of the government to continue in power indefinitely for indefinite terms. There was no ceiling. There was no bar, unlike in the USA where the individual holding the presidential post is barred permanently by their constitution to hold on to that post for more than two terms. Eight years is the maximum a person can be on the top post there, however good he or she may be!

Because, the moment this bar is removed or not incorporated, democracy degenerate to aristocracy. A person holding a power post of governance by all means becomes an aristocrat. If the system allows an aristocrat to maintain that position indefinitely, the system cannot be essentially called democratic.

India is conveniently called a democracy. But is it really so? Democracy is of course majority rule. But how could the people find out the best suited man or woman  to serve them by occupying the elected posts from among themselves ? Those who have come to some publicity limelight are better positioned than those who have not. So those who have held some power positions earlier and seeking democratic mandates in elections are advantageously positioned to get the majority votes.

But this situation cannot be fully eliminated. What best can be done is preventing a person from holding elected posts perpetually or indefinitely. If such a provision is not in built in the system, we cannot say that the system is genuinely democratic. 

India now stands in that position. It is quite unlikely that those who tasted the spoils of such a system would ever want that system to be removed. Though people are the final authority, that is only in theory. It would be difficult for the people to make it practical.

But if history is any indication, there are ample examples to show that people use their authority when the need actually arise. It is not difficult for the determined people of a nation to evict those who cling to power with due disregard to people's genuine aspirations! History also indicates that foolish leaders always act foolishly before they fall from grace. 

But such things do not happen over night, though the culmination of things could happen that way on a night or a day. Historical events do take place after considerable time of gestation. In the last few decades we ourselves had witnessed many such events taking place in this world before our own eyes!

As an ordinary citizen of India who have been experiencing independent India emerging from its weak childhood to youthful vigor and intolerant middle age and its change from idealism to practical-ism, I have a gut feeling that this nation is now infected with old age weaknesses and sicknesses. It now needs some good life saving treatment to maintain its vigor and efficiency to exist for some more years in the same identity.

Is the new political compulsion called the Aam Aadmi Party or AAP going to be the agent for this to happen? Would India be self cured of its illnesses of degeneration caused by all round corruption, nepotism , greed and sycophancy? Would the Indian gen-next to feel and experience some thing any different and better? Only time would make things clear.

I have been a curious onlooker to these developments. To be frank, I am an AAP watcher and well wisher. I have a feeling that there are millions like me in this country. Regrettably, we have been watching the birth and death of political outfits in the past and we would not want AAP to be one such thing. AAP is in the midst of so many AAP haters. But, I think that would add to the strength of AAP.

In the recent times I have been reading some good online articles and news about AAP. More than the articles and the news, the reactions of the common men and women of India are indeed indications to take note of. Let me give some links of those for you to see:

Aam Admi Party got enough funds from citizens, that too in full public gaze! 

Intolerant reactions from a major political party against AAP !

AAP leaders declaring their assets and liabilities !

Ignoring AAP- another strategy !

Fund sources of AAP explained !

AAP history ( in the making) in the Wikipedia !

It is only a few weeks more for the world to know the public mood and swing in its capital, Delhi where AAP has taken the maiden efforts to enter the political arena of India. Unbiased observers feel the public mood already in favor of AAP. But there are many factors in that play in the Indian elections. One has to wait and watch.

But if AAP makes a dent, it would be the beginning of a new era of Indian democracy. The beginning of transparency and entry of light in the darkened area !

What do you feel ?

3 comments:

  1. The established parties are trying all they can do to destroy AAP in bud itself. They are feeling the heat of peoples' anger against them and know pretty well about their doom if AAP maintains transparency and honesty. The best way to do the damage is to tarnish its image. They are doing it and even got Anna ji to their side, as it seems now. If AAP becomes just another party, they all would be very happy! And this is exactly what AAP and the people of India should watch out!

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  2. Aam Aadmi Party or AAP had a marvelous stint in the Delhi elections towards the end of last year. From nothing to the party forming the government, AAP's performance left everyone in awe of their strategies and progress. However, they have only seen a down-fall since the day the party took over the reins from the then CM, Sheila Dixit. They soon realized that they had promised what was difficult to fulfill, the state was in shackles and they lacked experience in governing. All this combined with a haste they were in to prove a point before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections proved to be their reason for quick suicide - resigning from the government. What followed is for everyone to see. They could not perform in general elections as they lost credibility in their ability to run a government. What was a golden chance was thrown and people could not trust their vote to them.

    However it is still early to discard the party completely as they have some life left in them, strangely so but there is !! And it needs to be seen how they leverage that life - to rise to newer heights or to lay down slowly.

    For more detailed analysis and view points please do visit my blog article - In Hindsight - AAPka Bubble Bust ? Not yet but...

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    1. Unbiased Indians who have been concerned over the deterioration of ethics and morality in public life for a moment felt that the new party AAP would indeed give the much needed leadership to change the order. Some media intellectuals too thought it a possibility and gave the much needed support. But AAP crumbled just as spectacularly as they rose. I think the biggest blunder they made as a party was in the selection of their candidates. They opted for cheap potential of popularity of the candidates rather than potential of long standing credibility of candidates with intellectual maturity, character and competence. They adopted the same yardstick used by all other parties and unwittingly fell in to the same trap. They ceased to become a party with a different character. All those intellectuals who were keen to join them left them. They lost the golden opportunity to show the people that their MLAs and MPs are different. Instead they could have kept the vociferous group as the party workers and volunteers who voiced for eminent persons to be elected to change the country's rotten systems. But unfortunately, they did not. The inexperienced and immature MLAs did the rest for their immediate ruin. Mr Kerjriwal and his team should have resisted from becoming the rulers and should have remained as the party functionaries. The effect, we Indians got yet another splinter political party.

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