It is gratifying to watch developments in Delhi as AAP is rewriting the script of politics. AAP has been a success in many ways and one can’t predict how far and when it will indeed sweep the dirt that contemporary politics is identified with in common perception. I can only pray for better alternatives to contemporary politics to flourish. Alternatives are always welcome when the dominant mode is corrupt and has been tested so many times.
There are issues with the question of getting genuine aam aadmi politics going. It involves, ideally speaking, among other things, doing away with the question of class and much of dominant discourse about nationalism, democracy etc. At least let us begin a serious debate on why electoral politics as practised today and declared legal of Election Commission warrants questioning. Let us call spade a spade and have the courage to ask for radical reforms in the conception of democracy, seeking votes, imposition of 2/3rd as definition of majority, need for election funds or election campaigning etc. Let us be clear how our democracy proceeds and underscore its class connection.
The story, rather absurd drama runs thus. Politicians need to go to people for votes. Votes are however bought by money power that goes in campaigning. Some get elected and they imagine themselves to be representing people. People are nowhere in picture. At least aam aadmi is not. In a system where aam aadmi is ever seeking to become khaas aadmi how can aam aadmi be ever himself or get due representation?
Many people in the educated class, elite consider it futile or beneath dignity to cast vote. Politicians need to recruit some people, most of whom are desperate for want of jobs/perks/favour as workers for campaign. I have heard the language of slangs in the corridors of MLAs used by workers who were denied meeting with their “chosen” leader. Politicians need election fund and this is provided by the rich, by the officers eyeing for promotions or extensions or acting as virtual extension of political class, by contractors eying mega contracts in next government, business houses etc. The question is why are holes in the system that arbitrary will of politician can later plug in? Why can’t we make the State irrelevant as Marx envisaged. Is not it the golden maxim that best governance is one in which there is least governance. Why can’t there be a system that rationally allocates budget, transfers employees, ensures equitable development, takes on board technocrats, diffuses power and resource allocation/usage to ground level for Mohalla committees/panchayats and ultimately makes the concerned MLA or minister irrelevant? As long as there are loopholes in the system deliberately kept there in fact politics is interesting and politician’s job enviable for those who value power. Let us fight for a better system, for stronger transparent institutions and makes politics as irrelevant as possible. Getting a party ticket is itself so undemocractic. Almost everything in current form of democracy is undemocractic. The parental transmission of party leadership, appointing ministers, giving tickets, organizing campaigns to keeping watch on booths through hired workers, taking important decisions in close houses or single handily all are undemocractic in practice.
There is hardly any heart and assuredly no ethics in sticking to party stand on all issues. Most of the decisions are taken by party leadership and then members have to second it. Can there be a more clear example of undemocratic behaviour? How come party takes a particular position? Through what Hebermas would call ideal speech situation or ignoring most of members? I don’t think we need to debate. Party rule is not democracy. How come people are represented by different parties or they are already polarized. I think people are divided by different parties.
Real Aam Aadmi Sarkar will have to wait till parties and the absurd calculus that one vote can topple the government when vote of confidence has to be won.
Let people frame their agenda. And people’s agenda can’t be squared with any particular party agenda. How can we identify people’s agenda with part agenda? There can be no people’s party though most of the parties are named deceptively as PPP, BJP etc. How come people choose different parties different times and in the heart of hearts would like to vote for NOTA. We can conceive of innumerable cases of conflict between people’s and party’s interests. Which is supreme for a party leader?
If we really want to govern ourselves, we have to govern ourselves leaving as little as possible for leaders to decide.
Let Aam Aadmi party popularize what Hebermas has called Ideal Speech Situation in which people put their points of view rationally for others to consider. It is reason rather than interest, of one party or another, of one class or another has the final say.