Loss is That of Civil Society

Is an AAP loss a loss of the Civil Society? Or will another Anna Hazare emerge from this debris?

Is an AAP loss a loss of the Civil Society? Or will another Anna Hazare emerge from this debris?
Is an AAP loss a loss of the Civil Society? Or will another Anna Hazare emerge from this debris?

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he rout of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party (AAP) in Delhi Municipal Corporation election is of no consequence. In fact, it was on expected lines. The party and its cerebrally constipated leader had been losing their credibility with remarkable steadiness ever since they rustled up a comfortable majority in the assembly polls. Nobody will shed a tear for the widely welcomed marginalisation of this fly-by-night party.

The need for a clean third force in Indian politics was acutely felt.

But the real loss is that of civil society. AAP emerged, legitimately or otherwise, from the womb of Anna Hazare’s famous anti-corruption movement.

The nation was being rocked during UPA rule by scams running into thousands of crores. The Bofors scam, which pulled down the Rajiv Gandhi government, looked like a parking offence compared to these mega scams. The middle class was rapidly and understandably, losing faith in the then ruling Congress and the Opposition, both of whom appeared to have compromised.

In such a scenario the formation of the non-partisan India Against Corruption appeared to be a legitimate and welcome development with Anna Hazare as its mascot. At last civil society had found a pan India platform to voice its disgust with not only wholesale corruption but also with the entire gamut of political culture rooted in graft. At last cynicism was beginning to give way to idealism. Businessmen and NRIs who were deeply concerned about the gross distortion of democracy backed Anna and the IAC with alacrity. Kejriwal emerged as the second mascot of the anti- graft movement.

Eventhough some persons, including Anna, were opposed to Kejriwal’s move to form a party to fight the elections, the decision was by and large welcomed by civil society as a necessary move to create an opposition to the politics of plunder. The need for a clean third force in Indian politics was acutely felt.

But in a short spell, Kejriwal dashed all hopes. He turned out to be yet another power-hungry politico with hardly any redeeming features. In his craze for autocratic power he packed his party with several uncertified charlatans despite warnings from well wishers.

Little wonder then that the AAP has been given a severe thrashing in the civic polls. One hopes it’s time to write the epitaph of this party and its crude leader. But I hope this does not mark the end of civil society activism.

S Balakrishnan

S Balakrishnan

Advocate and Senior Journalist who was formerly City Editor & Chief of Bureau of The Times of India, Mumbai. He has also served in the MumbaiMunicipal Council.
S Balakrishnan

4 COMMENTS

  1. This 56 “, alone is enough to take India where you all want this country to be , which is among the top in the world.
    He is our nation’s Bahubali today , no exaggeration.
    India does not need counterfeits like Kejriwal and co.
    Mr.Modi is a God send to the national politics.He has the wherewithal to deliver and deliver he will against all odds.This man is an incorruptible Karmyogi and Gods are on his side.He has the sharpest Gujarati mind with a very high political acumen ,administrative abilities of a top CEO and along with his pal Amit Shah , can think ten steps ahead of his opponents and beat them at their own game.
    You have yet to see his best.
    Wait until he gets his second term in 2019 ( God willing )
    From there he will go full throttle .
    By then he will have his majority in Rajay Sabha too.
    I can see him taking up those formidable tasks which only a Bahubali like him can accomplish.
    He will remove Art. 370 , rehabilitate Kashmere Pandits to where they belong , cut Pakistan to size for good with an Israel-like approach ,win over Indian muslims support and bring in common civil code , remove big time corruption , construct the industrial corridor throughout India ,his dream project ,which in turn will create huge employments and take our economy to an all time high and so on….
    So dear all , stop being cynical and sarcastic , here is a Prime Minister who you should be proud of.
    Wish him well and bless him !
    God bless you too.
    P.S. : I liked your this article MR.S.Balakrishnan and your legitimate concern over the fate of civil society activism .With Mr. Modi firmly in saddle ,we may not need a civil society for now.

  2. Agree with the sentiments.Many like me feel that Congress is a well oiled looting machine full of anti national crooks starting with its first family.Where as BJP has ambitions of oblitrating this national scamsters party,it really does not give confidence because it has in its line up a bunch of confused individuals who are actually socialists in the garb of hindutva.Given half a chance, they will easily follow the same crooked ways of congis.A third alternative is a need but then many like me will prefer a hindutva focussed incorruptible and learned nationalists who will change the way the country is run.IT has to have force of will to change ART.370,uniform civil code,tackling head on corruption by strengthening police/judiciary,repealing restrictive laws which protect crooks from being exposed and a complete conviction on standing on our own legs for progress..Or a palace coup to kickout the rubbish in present government starting with jai italy and then arm twist 56″ to correct his ways.

  3. If Kejriwal has no redeeming features,What are the redeeming features of the Maharani from Rajasthan, the poorly educated ex Human Resources minister Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari who went scot free in spite of using innumerable aircraft to bring in guests during a wedding in his family, the venom spewing Arun Jaitley who gave us the gift of demonetisation???? For reasons best known to them the media took it upon themselves to bring Kejriwal down by unleashing some poisonous canvassing against the AAP leader. Still, the fledgling party has come second in the Punjab assembly elections and the MCD polls,albeit a distant second. Don’t write off Arvind Kejriwal, he will bounce back when people realise his honesty.

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