Showing posts from January, 2014

Rahul Gandhi's PI - Is There More to it Than We See?

Rahul Gandhi (or his PR team) finally decided that after ten years in Indian politics he could give a one-on-one interview to a news channel. And interview he did give , though it was reduced to the butt of jokes both on the incoherent Rahul Gandhi and the unbelievably restrained Arnab Goswami. To sum up the interview, you need not watch it for the entire one and a half hour of its duration. The chaos that Rahul Gandhi's mind is on display, when he tries to explain himself and whether he fears a certain political unspeakable or not. His faff like responses to questions on Sikh Riots or for that matter on why Gujarat riots were really a blot seemed rote, under-prepared. This was shocking, since it is understood that when people of considerable political importance are interviewed, the questions are usually vetted by a set of people around the person in question. To then have a ramble pass on as an interview was incredible. Even someone as tempestuous as Arnab Goswami, despite his

Protest to Nowhere - AAP losing focus?

Perception is a major thing in politics. You may not be doing anything constructive or visionary, but even when resorting to sheer populism a political party must be able to create a perception of having done things. After all, in the age of marketing, part of the game is about how you present yourself in the market. The only political party in India that seems to have some semblance of that is BJP, though their lemmings - sorry, I mean speakers - just go berserk on television in an effort to be seen and heard, if only for nonsense.In this context, AAP was a refreshing change. They seem more of a CFP (Camera Friendly Party) since they managed to package their appearance and wording very carefully. Notice the way Arvind Kejriwal and co. tie their mufflers - it reminds you of how a migrant rickshaw puller or resident auto driver of Delhi would cover his ears in the biting winter of Delhi. Packaging however, is only half the game; substance revealed under pressure and the performance o

Understanding the AAP Phenomenon in Indian Politics

There is too much deliberation and discussion on what to make of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Indian political scenario. The problem with this discussion for me lies at several loose ends, none of which are tight enough to enable the curious onlooker any sense of the party and its moorings. My own two bits of 'wisdom' stem from distant viewing of the phenomenon. I may certainly be wrong; I may be right. But it is my submission that when seen from these perspectives, AAP and what it stands for can be perhaps better understood. AAP behaves not so much as a political party as it does like a Non Governmental Organization (NGO). This stems from the fact that most people who lead it have been associated with think tanks, NGOs and academia, and a major part of the base comprises of volunteers who have spared time for several causes close to their hearts. Even the campaign for Delhi's assembly elections ran more in the mode of a social enterprise networking with a large ma