The AAP Volcano, EVMs & More

The MCD election results have activated an inactive AAP volcano. The name of the volcano is Kumar Vishwas. He is a poet, who passes lewd comments on poetesses. If this AAP volcano erupts, indeed it would cause huge damage not only to the AAP but also to innumerable bystanders, who might have just stopped by to hear his poetry. So, the gag order is certainly in order, but I wonder why Arvind Kejriwal was fanning this fire just before the MCD elections. Or is it that the real target of the gag order was Amanatullah Khan?

Let us look at the composition of this party to try find an answer to the above question. Arvind Kejriwal is undoubtedly a Sanghi product. He belongs to a baniya family, was strongly influenced by Vivekanand, piggybacked on Anna Hazare, and has shown many instances of Sanghism during his tenure as the CM (the AOL Event, Jain Muni Tarun Sagar, etc). However, the AAP per se might not be a Sanghi organisation. It has many liberal as well as leftist voices in its ranks, but unfortunately nobody speaks up ever when the AAP clearly tilts towards Sanghism. Nevertheless, the real ideology (if any) of the AAP should be corporatism. This party is flooded by ex-corporate and ex-corporate media honchos, who are playing important roles at all decision-making levels. The highest decision-making body of the AAP, i.e. PAC, is non-representative of the actual decision makers. So, indeed the composition of this party makes it an opportunistic party, which believes in Machiavellianism. The ouster of Amanutallah Khan from the PAC and extraordinary support to Kumar Vishwas could just be manifestation of the said opportunism. Yes, of course, the real target of the gag order was Amanutallah Khan, but nothing more than that. But I wonder if the AAP’s Muslim electorate in Delhi will see this as such. You can’t make fool of all the people at the same time. Somebody somewhere would get offended. The fact you had to gag a Muslim voice to appease a Sanghi voice under the fear of breaking away of the sitting MLAs, means you never chose your candidates correctly. Why should a candidate belonging to the AAP break away from the “Pavitra Party” inspite of a pious oath? (That oath was hilarious!)

Anyways, the story doesn’t end here. The biggest disappointment is the AAP’s lowering down its tone on EVMs. Indeed EVMs were manipulated in the UP elections and the Punjab elections. So many instances of EVM corruption have surfaced; in each of these instances, u/s 106 of the Evidence Act, the onus lied on the EC to prove the EVMs were hunky dory. Instead of doing that, the EC has organized a hackathon. That’s ridiculous! An institution doesn’t validate its credibility by inviting abusers to penetrate its “thick skin”. It should rather wrap itself up in layers of blankets under extreme climates. Moreover, why would any hacker worth his salt expose himself by taking part in a State sponsored hackathon. (Or, do we now have nationalist hackers too! Btw, the hackathon was to start from the first week of May. Did any media channel report shouting of slogans like “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”!) If there are so many question marks on the functioning of the EVMs, it ought to have remained the issue of focus for political parties, esp small and fledgling parties like the AAP. Under what pressure have they called back this campaign? The rebuke from Anna Hazare!

However, the main problem with the AAP is that they care least about law. They think they can manipulate law and judiciary at will, bigger and better than what the BJP and the Congress can do. But the fact is they are a non-starter when it comes to law. You don’t make your strategies under an assumption that the judiciary shall be manipulated. If you are a small party, you rather need to be extremely conservative when it comes to law, especially when the judiciary itself is so very conservative. So, you don’t appoint parliamentary secretaries in hordes, you don’t allot land when land is not within your jurisdiction, you don’t initiate ACB investigations when policing is not within your jurisdiction. I think, at present, the biggest fear of the AAP is that many of their MLAs will get disqualified for being appointed as parliamentary secretaries, following which the rest will just break away from the party. This can happen even without Kumar Vishwas. So, what’s the point cajoling him. Whatever will happen will happen! You yourself asked for it!

I am cynical about political parties for all the right reasons. And that holds true for the AAP as well. It is quite probable that the AAP has taken a final turn towards Sanghism with no scope for return. Or even more cynically, it seems the AAP was never a liberal force; it was always a Sanghi party, which disguised itself as a liberal force and snatched the votes from the Congress (which btw I don’t think is any better liberal force; the one word to define the Congress is Arrogance). And now the AAP has been exposed. But, for a change, let me take an optimistic view as well. Let us assume the AAP is originally an activist party, which has floundered in the field of politics and it needs help. But, of course, nobody helps a sinking ship without self-interest. The AAP will have to just hope for luck once again; let the storm pass and re-start with a new simple and clear vision sans nautanki: tackle pollution, carry out judicial reforms, reform bureaucracy, serve environment, end corruption, provide jobs, etc, through genuine efforts, not odd-even schemes.

P. S. The reference to “corporatism” above is not to “fascist corporatism”. It has been used as a general term characterizing deep influence of corporates in governance through political parties. If at all, the usage above would correspond to ” liberal corporatism”.

About the Author

Ankur Mutreja
Ankur Mutreja is an advocate-cum-writer, and his blogs are amongst his modes of expression. He has also authored six books: "Kerala Hugged"; "Light: Philosophy"; "Flare: Opinions"; "Sparks: Satire and Reviews"; "Writings @ Ankur Mutreja"; and "Nine Poems"; which can be downloaded free from the links on the top menu.

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