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Issue No.: 560 | February 2014
 

The Aam Admi Party (AAP) - the New Neo-socialists !

Girdhar Patil
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The socialists, whose policies had brought India to its knees and had been discarded by the Indian electorate, seized this opportunity for a comeback. They are now busy capturing the leadership and offering the same old failed populist measures like subsidies and mass political action they are used to.

Indian politics is experiencing a deja vu of the socialist pattern in the form of the Aam Aadmi Party, the new comer to Indian politics. After the traumatic experience of socialism which led to the collapse of the former Soviet Union, followed soon thereafter by the failure of Nehruvian socialism, India had perforce to turn to a policy of liberalization of it is economy in 1991. One would have thought that socialists and socialism all over the world was fast becoming obsolete. But…

The metamorphosis of India Against Corruption (IAC) to AAP (Aam Admi Party), from non-political agitation against corruption and mal-governance to a political party is turning out to be a socialistism and the concept of the collective. Half baked Indian socialists have captured the leadership of AAP and are busy turning it sharply to the Left. The large majority of young and well educated middle class, particularly the middle class youth, who rallied to the call of Anna Hazare who led the IAC followed Arvind Kejriwal when he broke away from former to transform the IAC into the AAP. Being new to politics, these young men and women, bereft of a political philosophy, are finding it difficult to understand and define their positions on a number of politically important issues. They rallied to a cause they understood because they are victims of its ill effects – corruption and mal-governance.

Old Wine in New Bottle

Barring their demand for a Janlokpal, which they consider as panacea for the country’s ills, they are innocently unaware of the policies needed to deal with major national issues, especially on the economic front. 

The public outcry against mounting scams involving millions of rupees from the public exchequer, thanks to the ruling party in India, could not be addressed in the way it should have been. Sadly the opposition Parties too, failed to respond in a manner so as to to create confidence in the mind of the common man. This vacuum was filled by a non-political movement which actively exposed the scams and scamsters and received huge support from a suffering people cutting across political parties and other vested interests. The leaders of this movement discovered there was plenty of space for a political party which could address the public outcry. The socialists, whose policies had brought India to its knees and had been discarded by the Indian electorate, seized this opportunity for a comeback. They are now busy capturing the leadership and offering the same old failed populist measures like subsidies and mass political action they are used to.

More of the Same

The Indian experience regarding subsidies is not a happy one. We have had for a long time subsidies on petroleum products for instance. Indian farmers got used to getting subsidies just to meet both ends. These subsidies did serious damage to the economy as well kill the initiative enterprise, particularly of the rural population. Moreover, these subsidies have eaten into the Indian economy and further impoverished rural India. 10 years prior to liberalization, the Shetkari Sanghatana, advocated a free economy and open markets, rejected subsidies and asked for remunerative prices for agriculture as a basic right. Subsidies and other socialist measures led to grave economic failure and bankrupted India. The country had to pledge its gold to meet its obligations, accept the conditions imposed by the IMF, give up statist policies and accept liberalization and globalization. This gave a massive boost to the Indian economy, the outcome of which we all are enjoying today.

APP is following the same socialist pattern which had already led India to dire straits. Take for example AAP’s policy on foreign direct investment in retail. They oppose it for reasons not known to their rank and file. The leftist opposition can be understood because their main ideological stand is anti-capitalist. Theirs is the philosophy of poverty. AAP is also in favour of strengthening the public distribution system (PDS) even though PDS is a major tool of corruption in the name of welfare of the poor. Any reform like food stamps or cash subsidy directly to poor does not enjoy favour with AAP. This party’s anti-progressive stand will take the country back by 50 years! Indian agriculture is a victim of closed markets by virtue of the APMC Act in force for many years. This Act has seriously eroded the income of farmers because of which thousands of farmers have killed themselves and many thousands more are on the verge of committing suicide. 

New Approach Required

Indian farmers have proved their mettle not only in fulfilling the indigenous needs, but are also exporting agricultural products overseas. If we want to boost our collapsing economy, obstacles have to be removed from exporting agro-products and the farm sector provided support and given intensives. The first step has to be to free the market from the clutches of the exploitative APMC Act which has monopolized the entire trade, making it prone to artificial rate distortions which benefit neither the producing farmer nor the consumer. The agricultural market is in need of a lot of reforms which in turn require massive capital reserves. Since the availability of such massive capital seems to be a remote possibility, there is need for foreign investment which has the  potential of creating millions of jobs through infusion of technology and management of food chains, cold storage facilities, effective transportation, gradation, packing, processing and distribution mechanisms. This will boost the entire economy by creating a consumer pool which will help revive the stagnated industrial market.

What India needs today is a progressive liberal economy to fulfill the aspirations of millions of Indian youth which is their constitutional right. Anything that obstructs or opposes it should be treated as being inimical to the interests of the common man. This will become possible when the current emotional hype encouraged and TRP-driven media wanes. This will happen sooner rather than later. For now AAP is proving to be a disappointment. 

DR. GIRDHAR PATIL is a practicing Homeopath and an agriculturist based in Nashik, Maharashtra.  girdhar.patil@gmail.com 

Among the earliest to join the AAP soon after its formation, Dr. Patil left the party in sheer disappointment seeing their socialist stand.
 
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Editorial

When Ambition Mocks his Useful Toil

S. V. Raju
 

Aam Aadmi party

The Aam Admi Party (AAP) - the New Neo-socialists !

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Is This India’s Spring Revolution?

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