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Issue No.: 559 | January 2014
 

Aam Admi Party

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When the Aam Admi Party was launched, I welcomed it. It is the first modern political formation in India since the Swatantra Party in 1959. Their economic philosophy is a polar opposite of Swatantra but they are an attempt to break the vacuous homogeneity of populist clientelist corruption which is common to all other parties. They have an open membership and people join not to seek tickets and line their pockets (thus far) but for an ideal. Urban modern India has been thrilled by the arrival of AAP.


Even so, these are early days. Radical, movement-based parties taste success at first but do not always repeat it. We need to see if AAP can be scaled up. Delhi is a municipality (or two), Not a real state. You can do intense door-to-door canvassing with a few hundred volunteers. Mumbai will be different as the Shiv Sena used the same techniques 50 years ago and is entrenched there at street level. Kolkata is a perpetual battleground between the Trinamool Congress and the CPM gangs for local control. No entry there. Still good luck to them.


MEGHNAD DESAI. Excerpted from his column ‘Out of my Mind’,

The Sunday Express, December 15, 2013.
 
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