Ordinary Man’s Party

Kejriwal is an ordinary man whose ideology seems extraordinarily confusing. His ‘I’m an ordinary man’ might be quite catchy, just like Indira Gandhi’s ‘Garibhi Hatao’, but like hers, his too might end up just by being an empty, albeit deceiving, slogan. There are other questions too.

For instance, how will AAP translate into South Indian languages? How will the ‘aam admi’ of rural Tamil Nadu recognise his party? ‘Sadharana Manidhanin Katchi’, the literal translation of the term is too ridiculous to be taken seriously and we can be fairly certain that it would be no less hilarious in Telugu or Malayalam. Did Kejriwal think about this or are there no South Indians in his coterie?

And then about the ideologies. Yogendra Yadav, one of the proponents of this movement, admitted that they are yet to formulate their economic ideology. This is strange. A movement that took months to decide its name, and ended up with the most unoriginal name, has still not made up its mind on one of the most crucial issues affecting every Indian. It is not indecisiveness, it is just playing safe. The AAP have declared themselves as the staunch opponents of the corporate, and so they cannot choose the market-driven capitalism as their ideology, not especially with their chosen party name! Also, choosing state-controlled socialism will be perceived as retrograde and dangerously old-fashioned. Understandably, they are confused about which route to take.

As for the other ideologies, they aren’t faring better either. In fact besides being against corruption, we don’t know anything else about them, and anti-corruption isn’t an ideology or policy at all. It’s just a moral stand. And they have a dangerous answer to how this moral stand will translate into action. Jan-Lokpal is an all-powerful, almighty institution that will break the backbone of this fragile democracy. It will function like a massive, national-level khap-panchayat and if a corrupt official heads it, which we have too many, will make it into another, more destructive, CBI.

So AAP isn’t answering any of our questions and, instead, is causing too many questions to rise. Having said that, our only comfort is they don’t stand a chance in a single constituency. As a non-political party they were a good pressure-group, and as a political group, they have lost their relevance. They might slowly and surely gain power and relevance, but that might take many decades and require many changes in their ideology, including, perhaps, changing the party name. Until then the real aam admi has no choice but to rely on either BJP or Congress.