03 March, 2021

The Political Commons

Arvind Kejriwal’s party has thrown open a window, but will it really be able to carry the hopes of a billion Indians?

Sanjay Rawat
The Political Commons

It has been repeatedly said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has no coherent idea of India beyond the good versus evil battle against corruption. But as the party gets set to contest the general election in 2014, it can be argued that its most potent idea perhaps is that it is challenging every set ideological posture. Simultaneously, its leader Arvind Kejriwal has fired the national imagination and put the entire political class on notice by making a virtue out of simplicity. This non-ideological positioning could actually be AAP’s greatest strength as it sets off from the city state of Delhi to attempt a conquest of India.

AAP is indeed offering an intriguing idea of India that unsettles old certitudes as it refuses to take postures determined by the Hindu-Muslim faultline around which so much of  politics is played by traditional players. Equally, there is a certain ambiguity on issues of caste. In Delhi, AAP took both the slums and the middle-class localities, even as they damaged the Congress, the BJP and the BSP, in that order. There has also been...

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