Tag Archives: Aam admi party

चुनाव दिल्ली का:बाज़ी मात नहीं!

अब यह बात नई नहीं रह गई है. लेकिन है इतनी निराली भारतीय चुनावी राजनीति में कि दुहराने में हर्ज नहीं. दिल्ली के आम जन ने अपना पक्ष चुन लिया है. उसके बारे में खुलकर बोलने में उसे झिझक भी नहीं. आम आदमी पार्टी या झाडू छाप .अब वह किसी छलावे और भुलावे में आने को तैयार नहीं. उसे राजनीति में असभ्यता बुरी लगी है.

उसे यह बात नागवार गुज़री है, जैसा मेट्रो स्टेशन ले जाते ऑटो वाले ने कहा, “दूसरे देश से बुला लिया 26 जनवरी को और केजरीवाल को न्योता नहीं दिया! फिर कहा कि अगर निमंत्रण चाहिए तो हमारी पार्टी में आओ.”

वह बहुत पढ़ा-लिखा नहीं, लेकिन इतना उसे पता है कि आज तक भारतीय संसदीय राजनीति में यह बदतमीजी नहीं की गई.

आपका हो तो 13 दिन का भी होकर भूतपूर्व प्रधानमंत्री हो जाता और दूसरा 49 दिन के बाद भी भूतपूर्व मुख्यमंत्री के लायक शिष्टाचार का हक़दार नहीं! Continue reading चुनाव दिल्ली का:बाज़ी मात नहीं!

History and Idealism in the Aam Aadmi Party’s 2014 Victories in Panjab: Puninder Singh

Guest post by PUNINDER SINGH


Bhagwant Singh Mann, now AAP MP from Sangrur, on the campaign trail

The Indian general election of 2014 will firstly be remembered for the signal self-destruction and implosion of independent India’s three-quarters-of-a-century-old ruling dynasty and its political arm, the Congress Party. Whether the unexpected series of victories by the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Panjab will be remembered as an interesting anomaly, or as a galvanizing moment of genuine political change, remains to be seen. But just how a party that only a few months ago was essentially unknown on the national political scene, short on funding, and with virtually no organizational infrastructure, managed to secure 25% of the popular vote and four of thirteen Lok Sabha seats in Panjab (with a narrow miss on a fifth seat) is a tale that needs to be told. Although the newly demarcated role of the AAP as the gadfly and moral conscience of the political scene has been important to its success from a national perspective, it was the intersection of a new political ideology with a particular historical juncture that enabled the AAP to emerge as a giant-killer in Panjab where it met with frustrating disappointment in every other Parliamentary election that it contested elsewhere in India. 

The AAP’s success in Panjab comes almost exactly thirty years after the devastating events of 1984, including Operation Bluestar (the Indian army’s full out assault on one of the holiest of Sikh shrines, Harmandir Sahib, and the adjacent Akaal Takht, one of the seats of Sikh temporal power), the subsequent assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and in its aftermath, the Congress Party-orchestrated retaliatory massacres of thousands of Sikhs in New Delhi. The timing of the AAP’s success in Panjab precisely three decades after 1984 is by no means coincidental, but rather is closely tied to the unfolding history of Panjab in the post-1984 period. The momentous events of 1984 were followed by the tumultuous period of 1984-1992 in Panjab. Continue reading History and Idealism in the Aam Aadmi Party’s 2014 Victories in Panjab: Puninder Singh

Excitotoxins and MSG. (Or, the Modi Style of Governance)


Prime Minister Elect of the world’s largest democracy arrives at the airport in New Delhi

Image Ravi Kanojia, Indian Express May 18, 2014

Circulating on Facebook for two days, and still unreported in mainstream media, is the story of overjoyed BJP workers attacking two mosques in Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency. Inebriated saffron activists, raising Hara-Hara Modi slogans, attacked two Masjids in separate places of the district on May 16th, after the poll results were announced.

The BJP activists also tried to harm the Imam of Muhiyuddin Juma Masjid, but he managed to escape from the hands of the miscreants.

Meanwhile, another group of miscreants, believed to be BJP activists, reportedly pelted stones at a Masjid in Suralpady near Kaikamba under the limits of Bajpe police station.

Today’s Hindu reports that a Muslim chicken stall owner was beaten up by a gang at Hoode village.

Mr. Ais told The Hindu that he was cooking food, for nearly 400 students at a nearby school, when seven persons came on four motorcycles asked for him with his daughter Ayesha at around 4.30 p.m. They later pushed her and came to him and asked if he was present when a victory procession [of the Bharatiya Janata Party] was taken out on May 16, to which he replied in the negative. They then beat him up.

But none of this muck sticks to the Teflon visage of Modi, ever. Continue reading Excitotoxins and MSG. (Or, the Modi Style of Governance)

How The AAP Won Punjab: Harjeshwar Pal Singh

 This is a guest post by HARJESHWAR PAL SINGH

Amidst the unprecedented Tsunami of Modi which swept away opposition in most of the country, one result stood out as truly exceptional. AAM AADMI PARTY’s (AAP) stunning debut in Punjab. The virtually unheard of party in Punjab even 5 months before won 4 Parliamentary seats out of 13 and secured 25% of the popular vote announcing itself to be an equal of the ruling SAD/BJP combine and the opposition Congress. Two of its candidates Bhagwant Maan (Sangrur) and Prof Sadhu Singh (Faidkot ) won with a stunning margin of over 2 lakhs and 1.7 lakhs respectively. This popular groundswell of support which was ignored by most political analysts, conventional media and political parties had begun to take visible form through buzz on the street, social media and in common discourse by the election day.

What explains this massive upsurge by a fledgling political outfit lacking money, muscle, men and a local organization to humble two of the most well equipped political machines -SAD/BJP and Congress? Continue reading How The AAP Won Punjab: Harjeshwar Pal Singh

Two days with AAP in Banaras

‘Varanasi’ is only the official name. Sometimes, to make a poetic point, someone may say Kashi.   But ‘Banaras’ is how Banarasis refer to their city.

Banaras ki parampara, they say. Or hum Banaras ke musalman.

Kaal Bhairav Banaras ke kotwal hain, says the mahant of the Shitala Mata temple. Kaal Bhairav (Shiva) is the keeper of the gates of Banaras.

And of course, Banaras ki chaat khaayi hai aapne? Banaras ka paan nahin khayenge?

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Sticker on wall of home in Rajmandir, a Hindu locality (All pictures by JAMAL KIDWAI)

My old friend and comrade Jamal Kidwai and I were in Banaras to observe the AAP campaign, being supporters of AAP (me) and of Arvind Kejriwal in Banaras (Jamal), and to hang out with the (largely young) volunteers who have landed up – from IT and advertising, from colleges and small government jobs, from Bangalore and Mumbai, from Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh – to map Banaras with their feet. So this does not purport to be an objective account – unlike journalists’ accounts of the ‘Modi wave’, which do claim to be purely factual. As Professor Randhir Singh is fond of reminding us – in Paris in 1968, the first question the students would hurl at all speakers was always – “Where do you speak from?” Continue reading Two days with AAP in Banaras

Finding Women among “Common Men”: Aradhana Sharma


Arvind Kejriwal_new2--621x414

I have often wondered about the place of women in all the current talk about the aam aadmi. Is she included in this expansive and apparently un-gendered discourse that claims to represent every ordinary citizen? Who speaks for her and how? And what does this tell us about the gendered, dare I say patriarchal, nature of the contemporary discourse on democratic transformation?

Congress’ claims on the political symbol aside, the aam aadmi’s recent resurgence has much to do with Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. Be it the mobilizations around the RTI Act or Lokpal Bill, the Gandhian cap or Kejriwal’s new party, the aam aadmi’s durdasha and a fight for his rights are front and center in political debate today. The largely male leadership of ongoing agitations for governance reform and their critics rarely talk about women or gender concerns specifically. They assume, it seems, that women are automatically included under the common man category and therefore are spoken for each time the figure of the ordinary citizen is invoked.

So imagine my surprise, when, during an NDTV show titled “The Kejriwal School of Politics,” gender issues within governance were raised directly, if fleetingly. Continue reading Finding Women among “Common Men”: Aradhana Sharma