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Aam Aadmi Party’s contribution to Indian democracy is ‘dissent’

Ananya Vajpeyi has an interesting piece in Open magazine, where she analyses the strategy of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), using absolute as well as comparative lenses of analyses. Author of the brilliant book, Righteous Republic, Vajpeyi examines the phenomenon with a robust depth, laced with compassion. While comparing the usual strategies of Congress and the aggressive stance of BJP, she delves deeper into AAP.
“AAP’s strategy is in fact the most interesting, because it must proceed with practically no funds, all new party-members, campaign volunteers and election candidates, and a complete lack of infrastructure, cadres or other sorts of resources to put up a viable contest in any constituency anywhere in India,” she writes. “The three parties are like persons belonging to three distinct generations — the aged Congress, the middle-aged BJP and the youthful AAP.”
In, The Disrupter, we have explored this aspect of AAP under a chapter titled, Politics of Entrepreneurship: “…AAP has set the ball rolling for other political entrepreneurs — not necessarily aligned with either AAP or with its values — to benefit from the opportunities it is throwing up. It has shown that in order to pursue what many call the most fulfilling profession in a democracy, politics, you don’t need to either have an incumbent daddy or be a criminal. If your idea is strong enough, if it engages voters, if it seeks to solve real problems, your enterprise will get the support it needs. You can pursue the politics of values, the politics of change, the politics of disruption, riding solely on the courage of conviction.”
Vajpeyi writes that AAP’s is a more negativist stance, “pointing out that things have gone badly awry, and need fixing” than knowing how to set them right. “This,” she points out, “is a courageous stand to take, all the more so because no immediate political rewards seem in the offing, despite the recent stint in office in Delhi during Arvind Kejriwal’s short-lived Chief Ministership of December 2013-February 2014.”
All Indian citizens, she concludes, need to “recognise that the work sought to be done by this fledgling party is actually the work of dissent. And no matter how regular, free and fair our elections, democracy cannot flourish without dissent.” A point, all observers would agree with.
You can read this insightful piece here
Pre-order The Disrupter here

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