Political grounds are shaking all over the world, and it seems India is the latest nation to experience such tremors.
Back in October, I highlighted the fact that the formerly “fringe” anti-euro Front National Party in France, led by Marine Le Pen, had shocked the nation by performing exceptionally well in regional elections. Not only was this a surprise because its strong anti-euro (currency) position is so outside the so-called “mainstream,” but also because it is not one of the traditional parties that shares power in France’s own version of the false left-right (Democrat/Republican) sham political paradigm.
Well now it appears the same thing is happening in India, with the sudden emergence of the AAP (Aam Admi or Common Man Party). Frustrated with the inept governance of the ruling Congress Party, and unwilling to embrace what is seen as a corporate backed Hindu-nationalist opposition BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), many Indians, at least in Delhi, are looking to embrace something new.
From the Guardian:
Outside the headquarters of the Aam Admi (Common Man) party in central Delhi on Sunday night, hawkers sold poppadoms, bored police watched from squad cars and a crowd of excited young people sang songs dating back to the days of India’s independence movement.
“This is what we do best in this country: non-violent revolution,” said Shehshan Partak, a 25-year-old engineer and activist for Aam Admi (AAP). “And this is a revolution.”
The claim is exaggerated but perhaps not entirely unjustified. The results of recent elections in Delhi and three other Indian states, released on Sunday, indicate that change is imminent in the in the world’s biggest democracy. A general election is less than six months away.
In local assembly elections in Delhi, India’s sprawling capital, the party won 28 out of 70 seats. Kejriwal himself beat the chief minster of the city, a veteran of the ruling Congress party who had dismissed the AAP as “not even on our radar” when it was founded a year ago, by a massive 27,000-vote margin. Congress was wiped out, reduced to eight seats.
“It’s a remarkable achievement for a new party. There is a general dissatisfaction with political parties and we fought on basic issues – water, education, sanitation, security – which resonate,” said Atishi Marlena, a historian who is a senior activist in the AAP.
The collapse of Congress support in Delhi was mirrored around India.
Though the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party was unable to clinch a majority in Delhi, elsewhere it won massive victories. The party wrested the state of Rajasthan from Congress, and held on to Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Gandhi said on Sunday that both mainstream parties were “thinking about politics in a traditional way”. Congress would learn from the AAP’s success and “involve people across the country in ways you cannot imagine right now”, the 43-year-old former management consultant told reporters.
His mother, Sonia Gandhi, said the party would “accept the verdict of the people in all humility”.
The AAP’s support is strongest among the lower middle classes, who do not have the resources to pay for private substitutes for poor public services such as transport or education. As urban populations swell in India so this constituency has grown.
That is the class that is being crushed harder than any other by oligarch theft, and given their proximity to the poverty line, are particularly open to new ideas and political parties.
Perhaps if the Congress Party spent less time worrying about gold, and more time dealing with the underlying issues of their nation, this would not be happening.
Full article here.
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