The idea of AAP, versus the idea of Modi, versus non-idea of rest

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by WMD, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. WMD

    WMD Regular Member

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    The idea of AAP, versus the idea of Modi, versus non-idea of rest



    Despite the beating it has taken in recent days from the media over the shenanigans of Somnath Bharti, the not-so-lawful Law Minister in Arvind Kejriwal's Delhi cabinet, there is no way the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) can be written off as a diminished force, leave alone a spent force.

    The BJP may hope it withers on the vine, the Congress may hope that the spoilt brat it has adopted on a temporary basis will not bite it in the butt again, but AAP is here to stay - bark, bite, bad behaviour and all. As the recent opinion polls show, AAP is on the upswing in Delhi and Haryana, and, to a lesser extent, in Punjab and Maharashtra. It has to get many things wrong consistently over a longish period of time to be seen as a loser. It is not one by a long chalk, despite Kejriwal's recent dent in public image over the trifling issue of suspending four cops.

    The reason is simple: AAP is not just a newbie political party. It is a powerful idea. An idea that politics will not be conducted as usual, an idea that politicians are servants of the people and not their masters, and above all a promise of excitement and change.

    AAP as an idea is larger than the pygmies who currently run the party, and hence the idea itself will outlive Kejriwal and the current leadership of AAP - assuming its leaders do not completely destroy the USP by an extended period of looniness.

    In Elections 2014, what the BJP and Congress and, to a limited extent, some regional parties face is the challenge of confronting an exciting idea with a counter idea that could also ignite the voter's imagination.

    Right now, the only powerful idea on offer to combat AAP is the idea of Modi. Like AAP, the idea of Modi is larger than the persona of Narendra Modi, who currently personifies it.

    The idea of Modi is competent governance, and the promise of service delivery to the citizen with a strong leader batting like Superman on their behalf. One can argue that Modi carries the tinge of the Hindutva idea too – but additional attributes/faults will not be decisive in this election. We will contrast the AAP idea with the Modi idea a bit later, but first let us also understand what the idea of Congress is and what the regional parties encapsulate.

    The Congress idea is that of a benevolent feudal dynasty that presides over a big tent under which all can reside. This idea is probably past its sell-by date. If India were a constitutional monarchy, hereditary rule would have some resonance as a unifier amidst the diversities of India, but India is not one and the people are not too enamored of the idea anyway. It is sycophancy that keeps the idea of Congress alive, not the people. A related idea of Congress is that of benefactor of the poor - but through a condescendingly feudal attitude. By positioning itself well to the left of the Congress, AAP has essentially demolished this idea. There are now other, more exciting alternatives to this idea.

    As for the regional parties - their core idea is simply that they speak the same language in their regions. They are thus closer to their people. Their stock-in-trade is a winning coalition of castes and community/communities - with castes and communities changing sides when one party fails to deliver.

    In 2014, the idea of AAP will clash primarily with the idea of Modi nationally – and the idea of the regional face in some states. The Congress is unlikely to be able to hold its own in too many places.

    Let’s explore the ideas of AAP and Modi a bit more. The idea of AAP is about a responsive political leadership, where the people coalesce and agitate to teach their rulers a lesson and demand their dues. It is about freedom and empowerment – not rules and constitutional propriety. It is appealing to those who anyway do not benefit from rules and propriety – which would make AAP a party for the dispossessed and the lower middle classes who have little to lose from supporting the current power structure. This is why one should not overestimate the antipathy Kejriwal supposedly faced during his Delhi dharna. What the dharna did was to pitch Kejriwal strongly as champion of the powerless, and to the far left of the Congress. What this did was to vertically split the coalition of the middle classes that supported his rise – with the upper end now developing doubts about whether he is their man. The downside to the idea of AAP is that no one ultimately wants endless disruption. At some point, its attraction wanes. But it won't be the case in 2014.

    The idea of Modi is where the upper end of the middle class will probably find succor– as the opinion polls show. Moreover, the idea of Modi is not just about competent governance. It is more than that. Psychologically, we are all driven by two powerful forces – one seeking greater freedom, and the other seeking safety and security. We need both, but often people have to choose between one or the other at a point of time. In times of anarchy, people choose the safety of a powerful saviour; at other times, they seek freedom. The idea of Modi right now offers the promise of stability and security to people who value this. Modi is essentially positioning himself like a Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. The idea of AAP promises more skirmishes with authority and the upending of the currently order. The idea of Modi offers those threatened by big change the security of improvement without disruption.

    Let’s also be clear: the idea of Modi goes beyond Modi. If the BJP does not seek this mantle when Modi moves into the shadows 10 years hence, some other party will claim it. Put another way, the idea of AAP would appeal to those who feel they have no stake in the current system. The idea of Modi offers security to those who have a bigger stake in the current system. The underclass may like AAP; the upper castes, classes and businesses may prefer Modi. The people in the middle of the two will decide the results in Election 2014.

    What about the regional parties who are theoretically secular and hence against Modi? They too face the same choices as the undecided people in the middle. Regional parties which have no stake in the status quo (like some small Muslim parties of Dalit parties) will go with AAP and a Third Front; those who feel most threatened by the AAP's rise will align with Modi post-election after the results are out.

    Modi, in short, may have more options than the media imagines. To many regional parties, AAP is a bigger future threat than Modi. For example, Mulayam Singh's SP faces decimation if AAP grows roots in UP. This is why some of his base is shifting to Modi.

    The idea of AAP is not going away. If it does not throw away its advantages, and uses its chances in power to change things visibly for its constituency, in 2019 (or earlier) it will be the real challenger for the centre.

    Broadly speaking, it is AAP, not Congress, that could become the other (left-wing) pole around which a right-wing BJP will be fighting in future. AAP and BJP will probably see the rise of class-based coalitions in future than transcend caste and community. We will see it first in urban areas and then the rural areas. 2014 has sounded the bugle for class tussles.

    The idea of AAP, versus the idea of Modi, versus the non-idea of rest | Firstpost
     
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  3. aditigir

    aditigir Regular Member

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    They are just making fool people, Arvind kejriwal did not complete public expectations being after Delhi chief minister.
     
  4. tramp

    tramp Senior Member Senior Member

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    is there an idea of the BJP? Is it not really the center-right version of the Congress -- equally corrupt though not as much exposed as the time they have been in office has been less. In fact there was no policy difference when the BJP took over at the center -- continuing with the same policies that the Congress had initiated, opening more and more vistas for corruption.

    And when the Congress came back they just resumed where the BJP left -- albeit with a little more populism sprinkled for some effect.

    The new idea should be building of institutions that will run irrespective of people in power. That is why I will back the idea of AAP. And without that India will continue to swing perilously between a morass of anarchy and solidified institutional intransigence to people's misery.
     
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  5. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Yes, both of them had same policies and still NDA created 60million jobs in 6 yrs compared to the peanuts during UPA rule.

    AAP is not about institutions, but no institutions, no power plants, no mining etc. The only sane voice on economic reforms of Gopinath is forced to write newspaper columns because no one inside the party probably shares his views. I will stay quiet for now and be more critical once they come out with their economic vision document.
     
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  6. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    They have just started, give them some space to breath and some time to implement ;)

    @Singh, replied on behalf of you, please don't mind huh :troll:
     
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  7. tramp

    tramp Senior Member Senior Member

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    I am not buying what the ad agencies claimed during the "Shining India" campaign.

    AAP has only sought more accountability from institutions including power companies. Strive as much as you want, but you will not be able to prove that for an institution Accountability = Negation.

     
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  8. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    There can be no arguments about facts: Claim Check: Narendra Modi on jobs created by NDA vs UPA - Livemint
    You are still free to dig your neck in the sand.

    Too much accountability=negation!
     
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  9. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    NDA's policies are not consistent. One need only look at their various manifestos.

    But in anycase, to claim BJP to be a centre-right counterpart to Congress's centre-left agenda would only sell in a country like India, where everyone tries to prove their "socialist" and "inclusive" agendas.

    I am amenable to reasonable amount of accountability and also autonomy. I don't think AAP is seeking too much accountability, and there is no reason for BJP to not offer reasonable alternatives to their proposed suggestions.

    The present system has outlived its utility, Reforms 2.0 are needed.
    BJP might have some ideas on the economics side, (as did Congress but failed to implement) but its severely lacking in other spheres.

    They just have one boy wonder, who will win them elections. If he is taken out of the scene, BJP is no better than Congress.
     
  10. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    There are others like Arun Shourie as well. Depends how much the wonder boy will listen to him and similar people. Given the options, wonder boy is the best!
     
  11. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    That's being reasonable. Not only Shourie, but I think Sinha, and Singh are smart too.

    But to believe if Modi or for that matter Kejriwal comes to power and the next day or month or even year, India will become heaven on earth is wishful thinking.

    Unrealistic expectations, the hate campaigns and all around trolling is stupid.

    I strongly believe Kejriwal and his AAP should come up and ought to force "uncomfortable" reforms. His is an experiment, that must be supported and nurtured.

    And at the same time I support Modi's rise, and his conscious decision to eschew Hindutva in favour of Development.
     
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  12. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    A 4-lane highway near my village is languishing since 5-6 years and it is not far away from Delhi. I hope such kind of mess created by 10 different ministries will probably be taken care of.

    Once we have some infrastructure, I believe the creative spirit of Indians will do the rest. At 10% growth rate per capita income doubles every 7 year. So, change would not come over night but it is very possible. Cool thing is that growth is exponential, in 14 years we will have 4 times the current income. If you compare it with reforms in China around 1977, we can see the reason why we are 14 yrs behind them.
     
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  13. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    I think I have written this earlier too, but here goes

    The aspirational drive (or the creative spirit) of Indians will ensure that the economic engine keeps chugging. It may go through troughs every once in a while, where someone like Modi can appear on the scene as a Messiah.

    The very fact that Modi is consciously exorcising the demons of his past, and the public is willing to back him, suggest that Indians are at heart pro-development.

    I don't see AAP scoring big in this election (neither did I expect them to win big in Delhi.

    But AAP is an important experiment, it has the potential of helping us remove a bulk of the issues plaguing our politics/government. In short, less chance of a cluster f*** and more chance of an continually upward trajectory no matter who is in the drivers seat.

    ==

    Re: Your scenario:

    Under BJP that highway would be built because of Modi's push towards modernizing infrastructure and his ability to get work done.

    Under AAP I believe that highway would be built because the villagers would have the power to haul up the responsible authority who would be accountable in case work is not done.

    ==
     
  14. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    I agree with the most except that in bold.

    Many people might agree with highway but not the people who live near the highway. Most villagers have encroached on the public land near the highway. So, if you take a referendum these people would most likely block the project. But yes in case the project is started and land acquired, then probably locals can push for completing the work quickly. But problem with AAP would be the first step i.e. land acquisition.
     
  15. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    There is no bright future for AAP, it would be fighting for it's existence in not too distant future.
     
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  16. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    AAP has shown only immaturity so far through its decisions and U-turns, it has no fixed ideology nor policy plus looking at the behaviour and immaturity of AAP leaders I am not going to vote for them.

    So far Rakhi Sawant is concerned I think she has struggled and has achieved her position wherever she is and comparing her to Arvind Kejriwal who has done nothing except whining against other parties and chanting corruption, is an insult to her. :p
     
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  17. tramp

    tramp Senior Member Senior Member

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    Accountability is accountability .... there are no different grades of it. There should be full accountability for institutions and individuals and that alone would ensure responsible use of resources at all levels.

     
  18. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I say, this is a bit too much.

    Under AAP (your model of AAP, I should say), that highway would never get off the ground.

    There are plans to build an expressway between Chennai and Bangalore. This plan has been on paper for nearly 5 years now. It keeps getting postponed, and land acquisition costs keep increasing, making the project tougher to implement, in a vicious cycle.

    How would your AAP model work here? How would it get the project off the ground? Not everything can be left to village/panchayat/mohalla/RWA level.

    Someone needs to lead, someone needs to push, someone needs to bring stakeholders together, someone needs to go ahead and upset some people (some people will always be dissatisfied at the end of it) - someone needs to take tough decisions.

    Your AAP mohalla model will work when it comes to trapping some corrupt DDA official or constable, or when it comes to solving problems like "bachelor boys playing loud music late into the night". To run a nation, you need top-down leadership.

    I am sure you already knew this though.
     
  19. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    From my limited understanding, mohalla sabhas can be utilised to approve / investigate / oversee / undertake local projects and utilization local funds.

    They will have no bearing on policies, higher govt functioning etc. afaik




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  20. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    I am not aware of any party's land acquisition policy except that it is a nightmare.

    Mohalla Sabha will have a role to play if its a local road or if there is a local road repair etc

    In case of state highways, I don't think they'll have veto power.

    But in any case any individual unhappy can file a case.


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  21. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    It is possible.

    It is a brave experiment by people who want to improve the system and game it, in favour of people as opposed to in favour of ruling ass

    So far they are looking unstoppable, despite the criticism of media, commentators and rival politicians.


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