20 January, 2021

The Unmanifesto, Then?

The AAP, an extraordinary league for ordinary gentlemen?

Narendra Bisht
The Unmanifesto, Then?

What precisely has the league of fairly ‘ordinary men’ (and some women) accomplished in the realm of the extraordinary? Arguably, the AAP has reminded established political parties that those who aspire to power have to connect with the constituency they want to represent. For political parties, there is simply no alternative, neither muscular political rhetoric, nor helicopter visits to electoral spaces on the eve of elections, neither the playing off of caste and religious identities against each other, nor the offer of superficial collective benefits. AAP has also encouraged the belief that alternatives to a moribund and stale political system can be found. We have to look for and pursue these alternatives.

This is not the first time that such hope has been aroused in a thoroughly disenchanted political community. J.P. Narayan awakened faith when he led a major onslaught on the corridors of power in the early 1970s. In 1977, his persona presided over the electoral defeat of the Emergency regime, and the rise of an alternative in the form of the Janata...



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