Aam Admi Party has earned lot of bouquets and praises for their debut success in the Delhi Assembly elections. People are praising their ability to garner volunteers as if it is unprecedented. Young journalists for whom it is a new phenomenon to see volunteers ability to connect with the masses, have therefore asked established parties to take a leaf or two from them.
Now I remember the history of BJP, it started as Jan Sangh when its election symbol was ‘Diya’ a Lamp. Jan Sangh was born out of full time pracharaks permanently seconded to this newly born party. In their RSS style (which is still present with the RSS) these pracharaks then got connected with the masses. Met them, had tea with them, sat with them, discussed issues with them over ‘Matar Pav’, became one of them and with this connect created the cadre of volunteers to propagate the cause. Jan Sangh was small party like AAP, created on the strong character of each individual pracharaks as the pillars of the party. These pracharaks were mostly unmarried (though not compulsory) gave their life for the party and to the social causes. There was no money but there was tremendous will power and self-motivation which drove the party and cadre. It was a difficult phase people were still under the hypnotic spell of Jawaharlal Nehru and then Indira Gandhi. Jan Sangh displayed great discipline coming from the RSS pracharaks and the newly motivated cadres. Shyama Prasad Mukharjee, Madan Mohan Malviya, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Atal Bihari Vajpayee led these cadres and L K Advani and many others from various regions added their bits to build the party. It included Bhairon Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan, Rajmata Vijayaraje Schindia, Sunderlal Patwa from Madhya Pradesh, Rambhau Mhalgi, Jagannathrao Joshi, Ram Kapse from Maharashtra, and many other stalwarts. That time was different. People were not very cynical and angry with Congress because during Jawaharlal Nehru’s time though there were differences in the policies and ideology, the giants in Congress were less corrupt. Corruption and numbness shown by the power hungry politicians was less on display. It was an era immediately after the independence and ideology was more or less socialist. The blunders by Congress were on handling of issues which were nationally important. Like any important national issue there were two perceptions prevalent. For Kashmir, Congress introduced Article 370 and were holding one perception about the problem and its solution. On the other hand Jan Sangh was opposed to article 370 and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee laid down his life for that, in Kashmir. This was the other perception. Masses because of illiteracy and other immediate concerns about ‘Roji Roti’ were oblivious to these handling of national issues and therefore Jan Sangh was slow in creating its national imprint. Came Emergency and Jan Sangh and other opposition parties came together to oust Congress Govt under Janta Party. Somewhere during that time (1975) Congress culture took a more bad turn towards corruption and it has manifested into todays illness. After Janta Party experiment, Jan Sangh was revived as Bharatiya Janata Party which is today. So it has got those roots which were introduced by selfless services of RSS pracharaks and sharp ideology as a result of its belief in maintaining integration of our nation. The party became big and over a period of time, some of its purity was washed away due to prolong participation in politics. For Congress, they have been in power for so long that power has corrupted it. During emergency absolute power had corrupted it absolutely.
Aam Admi Party’s popularity is the result of reaction of the masses to the corruption of Congress rather than any ideology. Rather I have read and heard from one of its leader ‘if the people of Kashmir want not to be part of India then they should have right to self-assertion’ this is a very dangerous view which affects our sovereignty and oneness of our nation. Any reaction based movement generally comes with its own cover period. During independence also the reactionary movements were necessary to make the masses aware and to break their numbness. When normalcy comes these reactionary forces fold up because then a system takes over. In case of Aam Admi Party it appears therefore that this reaction is creating ample heat and it would get enough seats and form the next Government in Delhi assy when re-election happens. The rise of Telegu Desam was more stunning in that in its first election itself NTR thronged with two third majority. It was a reaction to the arrogance of Rajiv Gandhi when he insulted the Telegu pride. We all know what happened to Telgu Desam Party today. Therefore one would observe that AAP has fielded their candidates where there is Congress Govt. as per their new plan next is Maharashtra again a Congress Govt.
As I see it therefore though AAP may not be acknowledging but they are more closer to BJP in their outlook sans BJPs nationalist ideology and BJP should also not antagonize them, because as AAP is the result of reactionary mood of the masses, the more BJP antagonize them the more their supporters would vote for AAP and go away from BJP. In fact BJP should see today’s AAP supporters as tomorrows increased mandate of BJP when the reaction and hype dries out.
BJP should again adopt the path of Jan Sangh or RSS pracharaks in Delhi and elsewhere and take following steps
(a) Take out padayatras or cycle yatras in the assembly segments propounding principles of RASHTRAVRAT for more reading on this, refer to http://rashtravrat.blogspot.in
(b) Increase mass contact with old traditional ways of having tea and spending more time in chit chatting with masses.
(c) Come out with district and assembly wise wish list of the people. This can be done by organizing block wise manifestos, call it ‘Prant Jahirnama’.
(d) Cut the pomp and show from everywhere – during rallies, during press briefings and during various core committee meetings.
(e) Be friendlier when talking on television media.
(f) For next delhi assembly re-elections get candidates from assembly segments by interviewing the applicants. Candidates should be new, first timers and young. It goes without saying that they should not be having any criminal case pending against them.
(g) Try to infuse more pracharaks from RSS. Hold ‘Guru Dakshina’ rallies in the assembly segments to build up party fund.
(h) If these steps are not taken then in the assembly re-election this time AAP would bag more seats than BJP as people are now determined to bring them. If it happens congratulate them. Remember all AAP supporters are prospective BJP supporters and not of Congress.
(i) Please do not ridicule them but engage them in talk on Kashmir or nationalism.