Ideologies, Beliefs in Indian Politics-Opportunities & Challenges for AAP

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Muscat, Oman – Political ideologies, beliefs, strategies and agenda of political parties often differ. In Indian context too, basis ideologies and beliefs some parties are called Right and some are Left. In order to come to power, these political parties try to exploit sentiments of people, avail opportunities, make promises to masses, at election time.

Some of the promises often turn out to be unrealistic, difficult to implement, result in economic bankruptcy and ultimately lead to loss of people’s faith on the party. Thus fundamentals of economics should not be forgotten by parties while making promises in the Election Manifesto.

Congress Party, being associated with India’s freedom movement as major political party, became the first party to rule India during post independent era. Many policies of the Congress party had flavor of Socialism but in practice it favored Capitalism in the end.

Evolution of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came through supports of believers in Capitalism and branded them as Right wing party. BJP, however came strongly as alternative to national politics only in nineties.

Left wing parties, during late sixties, vowing to pursue socialism came to power in some states, tried to call themselves as pro-poor, strong believer of communism, eventually failed to prove their ideologies through delivery and implementation process. They finally inclined to invite capitalism for economic development of states but it turned out to be too late for them to keep their presence Indian politics.

Evolutions of political parties always come through some mass movement in India. Recent landslide victory of Aam Admi Party (AAP) in Delhi Election is also attributed to their ideologies to clean up the system, to eradicate corruption along with series of populist freebies and promises. Mandate, no doubt, has huge responsibility on AAP to fulfill those promises they had made in their manifesto during election campaign.

Ideologically 70 promises for 70 constituencies of Delhi included in the election manifesto by AAP sounded attractive to the people of Delhi, they liked and voted them to power.

Now AAP has come to power, implementation and delivery of those will be the acid test for them. Arvind Kejriwal, the new CM, immediately after taking oath rightly expressed his nervousness for such huge mandate because he and his party will not be able to get away with excuses this time but to deliver to meet people’s expectations.

All the promises might not have been made basis financial and economic analysis, viability. Sooner or later we might see some excuses, complaints, allegations against the systems, limitations of power of Government and even with regard to flaw in the structures. Many who supported and still are hopeful, may start singing different tune.

Social strata of Delhi primarily constitute of urban poor, middle class and urban rich which are not true reflection and similar to other states which have many rural villages.

So for AAP, the list of election promises will have to be much longer, if they decide to go national now. Ardent supporters of Kejriwal, are saying, “the space vacated by Left has finally been occupied by AAP in Indian politics”.

It is premature to comment and conclude at this point of time. We will have to see how efficiently administration is managed without creating chaos. We will have to see how the new government delivers the promises made during election campaign. We will have to see whether the unit cost of electricity can be brought down to 50 percent as the new CM has ordered soon after coming power. We will have to see whether by auditing power companies can bring down cost of electricity generation at the same time the business remains economically viable for the investor. We will have watch and see how and from where funds are arranged to finance large number of schemes promised as freebies in their manifesto.

It can however be said, Delhi election verdict has become eye opener for all political parties in India. Lots of introspections are to be done by both sides, the winning side to analyze and plan to deliver in time and for the loosing sides it should be how to improve their performance and to remain connected with the people. So a new era, no doubt, has begun.

Neo liberal economic policy has gone a long ways towards bring this to fruition. It should not be that long before all the ‘benefits’ of the dark ages are visited upon us…We see both Neo-Liberals and of course Neo-Conservatives as problems. Classical Liberalism is forgotten… but shouldn’t be…

Mousumi Roy
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Mousumi Roy has a Masters (MA - Political Science) from Calcutta University and is a visiting professor of International Relations in Muscat, Oman

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